West Virginia could be dealing with Sandy early next week.
Accuweather Meteorologist Bill Deger says the storm that was expected to be a Category 1 hurricane when it passed Miami, hundreds of miles to the east, late Thursday into Friday morning will likely come ashore somewhere between Virginia and Nova Scotia by Tuesday morning.
He says that big storm will be colliding with a cold front when it turns, making for an unusual mix of a hurricane and a winter storm as we close out October.
“This is really something we’ve never really seen before, a hurricane going north and then turning back, left, into the Mid-Atlantic Coast,” Deger said on Thursday’s MetroNews Talkline.
The forecast says Sandy will bring the potential for gale force winds all along the East Coast along with some possible flooding, heavy rain and even some snow between Sunday and Wednesday. Sandy could reach from Florida to Maine and into Ohio.
“In West Virginia, that means heavy rain. There is the threat of some snow as well.” As of Thursday, though, Deger could give no firm precipitation predictions.
A landfall spot cannot be pinpointed until the storm makes the left turn. That is not expected to happen until this weekend.
“Depending on the track of the storm, how much cold air gets drawn into the western side of the storm really determines how much snow there’s going to be,” he said. The effects, he says, could be felt mainly in the Eastern Mountains and Eastern Panhandle or extend into other parts of West Virginia.
“Right now, we think that threat is mainly limited to areas above 2,500 feet.”
Any snow, Deger says, has the potential to cause a number of problems since the snow will likely be heavy and wet.
“There’s a lot of moisture to work with with this system,” he said. “With the extra weight of the leaves on the trees, it won’t take much to bring down trees if we get several inches of snow which is a very distinct possibility, once you get high up in elevation.”
Sandy took shape Monday in the central Caribbean and was a hurricane by Tuesday before making its first landfall near Kingston, Jamaica. The storm hit Cuba early Thursday morning before moving to the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.