ACCUWEATHER FORECAST FOR THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION STORM OUTLOOK DISCUSSION FOR THE NEXT 5 DAYS
Friday 10/26/12 10:00 AM
Hurricane Sandy is currently moving northward across the northern Bahamas. There is high confidence that the storm will track in a general northerly direction into Saturday morning
, when it will be located east of northern Florida. From there it is expected to curve northeastward away from the Southeast U.S. coast Saturday through Sunday night
Early next week the storm is expected to turn northwestward and make landfall. There is growing consensus that it will make landfall along the southern New Jersey coast late Monday night
. It is still possible that the landfall is farther south across the Delmarva or northward to Long island. The exact landfall spot is not critical to the forecast for Pennsylvania, as the storm will be producing strong winds and heavy rain over a wide swath. The main impacts on Pennsylvania will be heavy rain and strong winds, likely over much of the state. This can result in downed trees and power outages, along with flooding of small streams and low-lying areas. Flooding of major rivers is not expected at this time, and would only be a concern if the storm would slow down for some reason.
The most likely scenario will be for rain to move in from the southeast during the day Sunday. (note that there can be few showers or light rain Saturday into early Sunday from a cold front moving in from the west and outer fringes of Sandy in the east). The heaviest rain is likely to occur Sunday night through Monday night
and perhaps Tuesday.
Total rainfall is expected to average 2-4 inches, however across southeastern and south-central parts of the state 4-6 inches of rain with locally higher amounts can occur.
Sustained winds can reach 25-35 mph with gusts to 60 or even 70 mph across the southeastern part of the state, and gusts to 45-50 mph across the rest of the state. The strongest winds are expected Monday through Monday night
and perhaps into Tuesday.
Enough cold air could get involved in the storm for snow to occur.
Right now, the chance of heavy snow across Pennsylvania seems to be diminishing, with the greatest chance of this across the West Virginia mountains. There is still the chance of some accumulation across the higher elevations of the Laurel Highlands Monday afternoon
into Tuesday. A few snow showers could linger Tuesday night
and Wednesday, but the odds of heavy snow are low.