Mar 4 2013




Storm Saturn

While newly formed Storm Saturn's impact is coming into focus, for some areas the future is still uncertain.

Already the storm is having an impact in the West with two feet of snow and winds up to 70 mph in Montana.

Becoming more clear is the impact ranging from Virginia to Southern New Jersey.

Of most concern is a significant storm surge that could hit Southern New Jersey through at least two high tides In areas, the storm surge could be among the top ten storm surges ever and have the capacity to do major damage. Dr. Jeff Master's reports:

"As the storm moves off the coast on Wednesday night, winds gusting to 50 mph will build waves of up to 15' and a 3 - 4' storm surge along the coast to the north of the center. Heavy rains will bring runoff down rivers that will act to increase water levels along the coast. The latest Forecast Discussion from the Mount Holly, NJ NWS office highlights the likelihood of at least moderate coastal flooding in Delaware during the high tide cycles on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, with the possibility of major flooding. The latest storm surge forecast from the GFS model calls for a storm surge of around 3' at Lewes, Delaware on Thursday morning, which would bring the 8th highest water level on record to the coast. This is of concern due to the damage Hurricane Sandy brought in October, which weakened the dunes and left the coast more vulnerable to erosion. Sandy brought the 3rd highest water level on record to Lewes."

Winds along the coast line in these areas could be gale force for two days.

Heavy wet snow will fall in a broad area from Virginia to Southern New Jersey. Because of the weight of the snow and winds, massive power outrages are possible. Washington, D.C and Baltimore can expect anywhere from 8 inches to 18 inches with the heavier amounts to the West of the cities.

The models differ on the path of the storm.

All agree it will be a slow moving storm increasing the likelihood of damage on all fronts. The American Model has the storm hitting New York and Boston hard. The Euro Model, which has until today kept the storm South, has edged the line up closer to New York. The Northward trend has been happening the last couple of days.

Especially New York should be prepared for a possible heavy snow fall with little warning. It might miss altogether but it is a close call.