Saturday 1 PM EDT
Sandy is still wobbling northward well off the South Atlantic coast. As a strong trough aloft approaches Sandy, the storm's circulation will be drawn into and become part of a greatly expanded upper air storm.
Since the storm will be a hybrid that includes some of the characteristics of the non tropical storms that cause most the cold season precipitation we see in the Great Lakes and Northeast, its circulation will be more spread out (rather than more compact). A lot of rain will be generated as tropically moist air is forced westward over air that is much cooler. This is something we typically do not see with pure tropical storms/hurricanes.
What all this means is that the heavy rain and increasing wind will reach places long before the center arrives. Delaware, New Jersey, as well as parts of eastern Pennsylvania and Maryland, are likely to start getting damaging winds and torrential rain tomorrow night, perhaps escalating into the worst conditions Monday morning. The center will come ashore after this, and by that time the rain and even the wind will be weakening.
Unless the storm tracks farther north than expected, the New York City area may be near the northern edge of the very worst conditions. Where the wind and rain are the worst, there will be streets flooded with water and massive tree damage and power outages. And, the wires have to be restrung one at a time... that's what takes so long (as well as other challenges of accessibility and maintaining safety.
It is important to complete your planning and preparation before the worst conditions approach later tomorrow. This video shows the situation and forecast as of early Saturday afternoon. Please check more recent information that will be continuously updated on AccuWeather.com. Also, your local emergency management people are trained on helping people avoid and deal with the most critical things that can kill and destroy.
Enhanced infrared satellite picture from early Saturday afternoon.
It is freezing cold in the Northeast this morning, but this map shows that much more mellow mildness has reached the Plains.
Extensive precipitation straddles both sides of the cold front that was moving through central New York and central Pennsylvania as of mid morning. This radar shows the distribution of rain and snow; some temperatures are added.
The cold front approaching the East shows up quite well in this pressure analysis. Several temperatures are plotted to give you a sense for how much the temperature changes behind the cold front. At Chicago, it went from 60 at 4 a.m. to 39 at 5:19, a 21-degree drop in little more than an hour.
Temperatures on Sunday and Monday will range from the 60s in parts of New England to near 80 in Maryland and Virginia. However, a strong cold front will then trigger and perhaps a few thunderstorms as it ushers in air that will be 30-40 degrees colder than it will be ahead of the cold front.
During the early morning hours of April 15, there will be a total lunar eclipse visible across North America. This eclipse is the start of a <em>tetrad</em>, a series of four total lunar eclipses over a two-year period. The totality begins at 3:07 a.m. ET, 2:07 a.m. CT, etc.
Severe Weather Awareness Week activities are conducted by National Weather Service offices nationwide at various times during the spring. There is a lot of information for everyone (from children to seniors) available online. You can start <a href="http://www.ready.gov/kids/know-the-facts">here</a>: