It's important we stay focused on Sandy's effects on our area, and in other spaces, more conversation on "frankenstorm" headed to the Northeast.
Sandy will stay way offshore and miss us. It will be a wind event with a threat to marine interests only. Expect some power outages from downed trees in the gusty winds, and some coastal roads may become impassable due to coastal flooding, especially during high tides.
As of this writing, everything is on schedule so far with Hurricane Sandy, now 450 miles SE of Savannah, moving north at 6 mph as a Cat 1 storm, a little weaker thanks to some dry air being drawn into the storm and strong SW wind shear. She will start her turn to the northeast in the next several hours keeping her away from the Georgia/South Carolina coast.
Tropical storm warnings for SE Florida, tropical storm watches up to the Georgia state line. No watches for Georgia. Tropical storm watches start again at the Savannah River to the Oregon Inlet, NC for coastal waters. And a tropical storm watch has been issued for coastal counties in South Carolina including Jasper and Beaufort Counties.
Coastal showers will try to work inland late tonight and mainly before noon tomorrow, especially across the Lowcountry. Models look for up to 2" of rainfall north of the Savannah River, less than an inch total in Georgia. There may be higher wind gusts in the rain bands and even some rumbles of thunder.
There are two impacts on our area from SANDY: wind now, colder temperatures next week. The "spare parts" that will combine to create the "frankenstorm" early next week in the Northeast includes the coldest air of the season so far. This surge of incredibly dry cold Arctic air into the center of the country will push freezing temperatures to the Central Gulf Coast over the weekend. We will get a glancing blow of the cold, overnight lows in the 40s, afternoon highs in the 60s.
That's for next week after the wind and any showers from Sandy. You should have no troubles unless you have plans in coastal areas. Don't forget to recharge laptops, tablets and phones in case you experience a localized power outage. And, by the way, the time change comes up next weekend (Nov 4th).
Meteorologist John Wetherbee, CBM