No one wants to be the little boy that cried 'wolf' but on the other hand it is essential that people with beachfront properties, those who have a tendency to lose power and people in flood plains follow Tropical Storm Sandy very carefully. While the models are still in some disagreement, more and more of them are showing Sandy coming ashore somewhere between New Jersey and the tip of Long island.
The danger with this storm, even if it loses its name and becomes 'sub-tropical', are real the storm surges (at full moon!) could be quite significant. The storm would be moving slowly north pushing great amounts of water and waves in front of it. This could lead to serious damage to beach front properties. If the storm enters south of New York, very serious flooding could result. The other option is that it hits Long Island hard and then into New England.
No one knows with certainty the track of this storm. However, the likelihood of a major massive storm is becoming more possible with each day. Weather forecasters might not know for sure until the weekend so preparation time might be limited.
Here is what AccuWeather.com says about the impacts:
While the Southeast coast would face heavy rain, strong winds and rough surf, far more serious impacts await communities from Virginia to Maine if this solution pans out.
Reminiscent of the "Perfect Storm" during the week of Halloween 1991, damaging winds and significant storm surge would unfold near and northeast of its center along the coast. Similar to the 1991 storm, these conditions could last for days.
In addition, if the storm were to move inland, unlike the storm in 1991, torrential rain would blast the I-95 corridor and heavy, wet snow would evolve over part of the Appalachian Mountains on the system's western and southwestern flank.
Dr. Joe Lundberg, a respected forecaster writes:
So, what's the final verdict? It's still to be determined. However, given the weight of all I am seeing, and factoring in the tendency for the pattern to go to some level of extremes in the past several weeks, I lean more toward this coming inland, probably in the vicinity of Long Island or northern New Jersey. I will openly root against that solution, if for no other reason than of my great concern for such a scenario to result in an economic and human disaster on multiple levels. Forget how it would wipe out my ability to get outside and ride for a couple of days - utterly meaningless. I'd be much more worried about things like a storm surge coming at a Full Moon on Monday; gale and possibly hurricane-force winds along the coast, as well as inland over a very large area as the storm begins to unwind; torrential rains and inland flooding; power outages; downed trees; and the potential for a cementlike snow to cripple areas southwest of the storm, mainly in the high ground of the central Appalachians (essentially, northern West Virginia and Pennsylvania). No, I don't want to see all of that, as it would do considerable damage all around.
Then we have the issue of the ECWMF’s idea of an unprecedented impact to the Northeast with Sandy or what ever it becomes once past about 35 N latitude. The model has not given up on its forecast of a general northward track, just passing the Outer Banks and then slamming the Northeast with what looks like hurricane conditions over a large area of coastline. While the GFS remains strong in its forecast of an out-to-sea track, it has been getting a little more west and north with each run. Even if the Euro forecast turns out to be dead wrong, Sandy will leave its mark down south along the Florida east coast and probably the North Carolina Outer Banks. If the Euro is right, then we will remember the ending of the 2012 hurricane season for many years to come.