Philadelphia, South Jersey in Harm's Way from Sandy

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
October 30, 2012; 6:15 AM
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Sandy will bring major damage and life-threatening conditions to South Jersey and as far west as the Great Lakes. The greater Philadelphia area will experience some of the nastiest weather Sandy has to offer.

According to Expert Senior Meteorologist and Philadelphia native Steve Wistar, "Sandy is unfolding as the Northeast's Katrina in terms of impact."

Sandy will push westward across southern New Jersey Monday evening. However the impact from the massive storm will be far-reaching and will last into the middle of the week in portions of the Northeast.

People should expect power outages, property damage, flooding and travel disruptions throughout the area.

Most low-lying communities on the barrier islands of New Jersey and the beaches of Delaware will experience damaging storm surge flooding, beach erosion and over wash from wave action. These conditions will be most severe and potentially devastating from Atlantic City to Sandy Hook, N.J.

Accord to AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers, "Sandy is a hurricane wrapped in a winter storm."

Peak gusts in the neighborhood of 60 to 70 mph are expected in the tri-state area with higher gusts likely along the New Jersey coast and possible in between tall buildings. The worst conditions in Philadelphia will span 8:00 p.m. Monday to 2:00 a.m. Tuesday.

However, much of the area will experience wind gusts between 40 and 60 mph for an extended period through Tuesday.

Some roads may not only be blocked by water, but also fallen trees. Scores of trees can be downed in the region, not only near the coast, but well inland. Power outages could last for days in some wooded neighborhoods. Avoid walking or parking under trees during the storm, as large limbs may come down with no notice.

Loose items can become airborne. Funneling effect between the buildings can make walking extremely difficult. Windows could be dislodged from some skyscrapers, as the winds will be much stronger several hundred of feet above the ground.

Flash, small stream and urban flooding will occur inland with an average of 4 inches of rain. However, locally higher amounts pushing 8 inches are possible, especially west of Philadelphia along the southern Pennsylvania/Maryland border.

Fallen leaves blocking storm drains will add to the risk of street flooding in urban areas.

While the track of Sandy is critical for the worst of the storm surge, the storm will be very strong and very large with extensive disruptions related to wind damage and rain for a long after it diminishes at midweek.

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