The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Major Storm to Hit Northeast in Election’s Final Week?


Here’s an “October Surprise” few expected: a major storm – rain or perhaps snow – hitting the northeast.

We’re about five days out, so Tropical Storm Sandy could go in any one of several directions. But this is not the weather most would expect a week before Election Day:

Current worst case scenarios going into the weekend have a strengthening Tropical Storm Sandy emerging from the Caribbean and merging — or “phasing”, in weather terminology — with an intensely potent Arctic cold front coming down from the Great Lakes. The combined storm would then veer back northwestward toward Greater New York, pushed against the atmospheric grain by anomalously strong “blocking” high pressure centered over far eastern Canada.

Such a storm could bring several inches of snow to upstate New York and parts of New Jersey, tropical storm force winds from Virginia to Maine, and the potential for significant coastal flooding from New York City to New England. In short, we could have quite a mess on our hands.

The normally stoic Hydrometeorological Prediction Center — the National Weather Service’s head data crunchers when it comes to large-scale storm systems — called the potential storm “A POWERHOUSE CAPABLE OF WHIPPING THE ATLANTIC INTO A FRENZY AND CHURNING UP DANGEROUS TIDES”, emphasizing that a full moon early next week could boost coastal flooding amounts by an additional foot or so.



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