Posted: Oct 29, 2012 9:46 AM by Dave Baker
Updated: Oct 29, 2012 10:05 AM
Hurricane Sandy is turning toward the East coast and should make landfall later tonight. Several states are under a state of emergency and evacuations are continuing. Sandy strengthened overnight and is still expected to remain a hurricane at landfall.
The storm is a very large and sluggish hurricane similar to Hurricane Ike in 2008. Even though it should reach land as a category 1 hurricane, the storm surge along the New Jersey and New York coastlines could be more like a Category 3 or 4 storm.
Hurricane force winds extend up to 175 miles away from the center of circulation. Tropical storm force winds could affect a large area covering a dozen states where more than 65 million people live. The storm is expected to slow its forward speed once it makes landfall and could continue to dump heavy rain over the northeast for up to four days. Inland flooding will be likely as the area is expecting up to 10 inches of rain before the end of the week.
In addition to flooding rains, heavy snows are expected farther inland especially over the higher elevations of Virginia and West Virginia. Large waves are expected to batter southern coastlines of the Great Lakes. Lake effect snows are possible over Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York as Arctic air rushes in behind the hurricane.