Jessica Rennells, climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University, discusses the possibility of Hurricane Sandy developing into a Halloween Nor’easter.
“Hurricane Sandy is expected to continue moving north to be off the coast of Florida by Friday morning and weaken back to a tropical storm. The storm track after that is quite uncertain. Model predictions vary widely from turning east out into the Atlantic to curving west toward the Northeast and re-strengthening to a Category 1 hurricane by Saturday morning. Though the models vary, there is increasing agreement that Sandy will stay close to the East Coast.
“Late-season hurricanes have the potential to be more intense and damaging than peak-season storms. During October and November, cold Canadian air begins to drop into the U.S., but the Atlantic Ocean is still very warm and these two contrasting air masses can create violent Nor’easters. It’s important to remember that hurricanes and tropical storms are similar to snowflakes — no two are the same. We will have to watch this storm and see how it progresses.”