The impacts of Hurricane Sandy are already being felt in the Valley as of this morning with steady winds around 20 mph.
If you read our previous blog posts, we mentioned the uncertainty in Sandy's track, but either way, we WOULD feel an impact from the storm. At this point, Sandy is expected to make a sharp turn west and make landfall near Southern New Jersey or into the Delaware Coast.
But, no matter where the actual landfall is at this point, we are going to be impacted.
This is already a very large storm and the storm is growing in size.
This Satellite and Radar image is from Sunday afternoon.
The hurricane force winds, of 74 mph and higher, extend out 175 miles!
Tropical Storm force winds, that is wind 39-73 mph extend out a whopping 520 miles from the center of the storm.
We are well within that wind field.
And that's why we have the High Wind Warning issued by NWS for Monday at noon until 8 p.m. Tuesday.
We also have rainfall on top of that.
The latest rainfall guidance has been consistent so we can see anywhere from 2"-6+".
The Northern Valley, meaning Shenandoah county towards Winchester, will see the higher amounts of rain and likely the strongest winds.
But it's important to remember everyone will be impacted.
Let's also mention we have cold air on the back edge of this system. Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for all of Highland county, all of Pendleton county, and Western Grant county. There is the potential for accumulating snow of 5" or more from Monday night through Wednesday morning.
Watch out for the Shenandoah Mountain area, elevation is 3400 feet and falls into the snow category. The extreme western facing slopes and highest elevations around the Snowshoe area could see 2-3 feet of snow! Cooler air, snow, and strong winds from the northwest, might allow some of this snow to blow over into the Valley, especially along the ridgelines. A lot of that will be mixing in with rain, but we are not ruling out minor accumulations. Farther east, along the Blue Ridge Mountains and Skyline Drive, we will also likely see accumulating snow.
Here is a forecast model, or an idea of sustained, or steady winds Monday evening.
That's 40 mph+ winds through the Valley.
Steady winds for this long will create some issues.
This next image shows basically when we can expect the worst of the winds which is on Tuesday morning.
The orange color shows an estimate of areas that can expect to see winds sustained at 58+ mph. Part of the Northern Valley is included.
The areas in yellow show the tropical storm force wind field, these areas could see winds 39 mph and above. That includes our area and well outside of our area.
These are sustained winds that are going to last for about 32 hours, this will create travel issues, downed trees, and downed power lines.
So we have declared Monday and Tuesday Severe Weather Alert Days because of Hurricane Sandy. Stay with TV-3 for the latest updates as the storm makes an impact on our region.
I hope you've prepared, so now just stay informed and stay safe.