No two storms are alike, and Hurricane Sandy is as unique as they come, according to one meteorologist.
As the late October hurricane continued to wind its way through the Caribbean Friday morning, already leaving 22 dead in its wake, the National Weather Service says Sandy will begin to impact northern New Jersey late Monday into Tuesday.
Hurricane Sandy’s track is still on target to batter portions of the mid-Atlantic, according to meteorologist David Stark, but will likely be most damaging in Delaware and Southern New Jersey.
“Points north and west (of Delaware and southern New Jersey) will feel the northern side of the storm,” Stark said. “That includes tropical storm winds, but it could be sustained for a longer period of time due to the size of the storm.”
In northern New Jersey, Stark said a band of rain from the storm could dump anywhere between three to six inches of rain on the region late Monday into Tuesday, with a clearing on Wednesday. Heavy rainfall could result in 1 to 2 inches of precipitation per hour at times, Stark said.
Areas further East, however, such as Long Island, could feel the impact of a Category 1 hurricane, Stark said.
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Hurricane Sandy has become a moving target for meteorologists, Stark said, and experts won’t really be able to forecast its impact until it reaches the area.
But because of a cold-air jet stream bringing pressure from the West, Hurricane Sandy is making meteorologists guess, at best, its impact.
“If that jet stream gets close enough to the area, it will begin to pull (Sandy) inland,” Stark said. “Usually when these things happen it’s out over the Atlantic, not affecting people, so this is very different.”
If Hurricane Sandy and the cold-air jet stream do combine forces, rain could turn to snow in higher elevations.