Frank Strait

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Sandy's Leaving, Now What?

November 2, 2012; 1:30 AM ET

At this point, we're finally finished with Sandy. What's left of the storm is pulling away to the north through Quebec. There's some wind, some rain and some snow up there with it but it's not really a big deal at this point, though there was at one point 150,000 Canadians with no power. Yes, Sandy did hit pretty hard even up there.

For what it's worth, it wasn't particularly bad here in State College. Yes, it got windy here and it rained about 4 inches. But there were not many power outages near me, mine only went out for an our or so in the middle of the night. It's way worse where the ridiculous snow fell to my south and where the storm hit hardest in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

For what it's worth, even down into North Carolina and Tennessee, a few really high spots saw extreme snow on the order of 30-36 inches. But the heaviest was in West Virginia.

Well, the last time I did a blog, I mentioned the next thing to deal with once we were done with Sandy would be a front that would arrive at the end of the week in the middle of the country. It's arriving a little later than I thought the other day, but will cause some showers and thunderstorms over the next couple of days in areas west of the Mississippi, also pushing into Kentucky and Tennessee Saturday. It looks as though the models that show the storm center tracking south the other day will be the correct one since by Sunday much of the Southeast appears to be subject to unsettled weather. By Monday, that storm system will be departing over the Atlantic while leaving the front behind over the Gulf Coast and Texas. Yet another rather chilly air mass will arrive in the Southeast behind the front, but that won't penetrate very well back into Texas and Oklahoma.

If you have a look at the satellite picture from early this morning, you will see another storm off the West Coast. Well, it will have to go over the ridge over the western part of North America (yes, weather geeks, the PNA is positive) and then it will dive southeastward into the main upper trough over the eastern part of North America. It looks as though it will be winding up as it moves into the Southeast. With fresh chilly air in place ... well, it's October, most places will just get rain. But, we might see some snow on the northern edge of it, probably just flurries but it will be entertaining. On the other hand, once the storm heads to the East Coast early next week, it will spread moisture into the Appalachians, and it looks cold enough for snow there. It's not yet certain how high up you will have to be to see snow, but right now it's not looking all that high. Maybe not even 2000 feet! And cold air wedged in place in the Carolinas will result in a very chilly rain by October standards ... I envision it being only in the 40s Tuesday in the rain in places like Charlotte, Raleigh and the Triad.

After that ... well, weather geeks, the NAO will still be negative and models show another upper ridge building over Atlantic Canada during this time, so we probably will see the storm turning north and tracking close to the East Coast. The weather geeks also know the GFS has a tendency to show storms going out to sea during this time. Well, to its credit, the GFS has the storm at least hitting New England, but the other models show the low tracking right up the coast around the middle of next week. Again, it's just October, so it will be tough to get snow out of the setup except in the mountains, and there's some question how far west the moisture will be. But, flakes probably fly again through parts of West Virginia, western Virginia and Maryland. The problem with this storm at this point looks to be more that the areas that just got hie by Sandy will get hit with a lot of rain and wind again. Certainly it won't be as much wind as with Sandy but enough to bring water levels up at the coast again and perhaps down more trees in the soggy soil. Let's hope that's not how this comes together, but we have to face facts here ... the setup looks pretty good for it. The picture at right, by the way, shows where yesterday's 12Z Canadian global model shows where it will end up on Wednesday morning.

At least, after that storm, assuming it does work out the way I fear it might, it looks as though the weather pattern will change a bit and the West Coast and northern Plains will have to deal with the bad weather for a few days while it gets quieter in the East.

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Frank Strait
Frank Strait's weather blog is focused on the Southern States in the US. Get weather videos daily from this weather blog from