Storm surge is forecast to be an important piece of the story as Hurricane Sandy gears up for a collision course with the U.S.
As of Sunday evening, the storm is considered a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. Despite its low ranking on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, the National Weather Service and government authorities are taking no chances as the storm moves toward land.
Storm surge is a dangerous component to hurricanes, moving tremendous amounts of water toward land. Despite its devastating impacts storm surge intensity is not taken into consideration with the Saffir-Simpson ranking. The scale only accounts for wind speed.
The center of the storm’s circulation is forecast to move toward southern New Jersey, but the brunt of the storm surge activity will be north. That is putting areas like New York City, Long Island and lower New England on alert.
In addition to the storm coming ashore, residents of the mid-Atlantic, New England and eastern Great Lakes will feel the impacts of the storm meeting a stationary front and support from the jet stream.
With colder air surging southward with the jet stream, locations in parts of West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina could see considerable snowfall amounts.
Storm Track 9 meteorologist Rob Duns has more in this explanatory video.