A Category 1 hurricane off the East Coast doesn’t sound like a huge threat, but I do anticipate a big change for the worse over the weekend.
Here's where we stand: Hurricane Sandy has weakened a bit since yesterday and stands at a Category 1, with 80 mph sustained winds. It is edging out of the Bahamas and should parallel the U.S. East Coast for the next few days.
Tropical storm warnings are up for the East Coast of Florida and a tropical storm watch has been extended to the Oregon Inlet in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The winds and wave action should steadily increase this afternoon and tonight for them.
Here’s what's next: A strong trough of low pressure is digging down the Midwest right now, and moving east. There is a lot of energy with this already, even without Sandy’s help.
A cold front extends south to Texas at the surface, and this will also help steer Sandy north and ultimately northwest into the Mid-Atlantic Coast by Tuesday.
That trough and Sandy will combine and create a massive wind field that could be felt from Florida to Chicago and up to Maine. When you factor in the full moon phase on Monday, the result will be awful beach erosion to go along with the power outages from the wind.
It appears to me that this will be the worst storm we have seen since the Halloween storm in 1991 , also known as, "The Perfect Storm." At least that one stayed out in the ocean; this new one looks like it may actually come ashore. Scary stuff, just in time for Halloween!