Jul 26, 2014

Could Tropical Storm Sandy Head for Northern Virginia?

Some forecasters' scenarios have storm hitting Mid-Atlantic.

Could Tropical Storm Sandy Head for Northern Virginia?

Forecasters are keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Sandy, which was kicking up 50 mile-per-hour winds Tuesday in the Atlantic and headed toward hurricane status, according to forecasters.

"One of the scenarios is actually quite threatening to the northeastern U.S.," said the Weather Channel's hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross.

Once the storm's winds ramp up to 80 miles per hour Wednesday and Thursday heading through Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas, one scenario has it turning toward the Mid-Atlantic.

Climate Central's Andrew Freedman said it's what happens after passing the Bahamas that may be concerning: "...think if a hurricane and nor'easter mated, possibly spawning a very rare and powerful hybrid storm, slamming into the Boston-to-Washington corridor early next week, with rain, snow, damaging winds, and potential storm surge flooding."

The Capital Weather Gang's Brian McNoldy explained that the ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) model has the storm coming up the mid-Atlantic coast "as a hurricane or possibly a hybrid tropical/nor’easter storm. It simulates flooding rain, strong wind, and destructive storm surge and coastal erosion affecting every state in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The model also would suggest snow at higher elevations in the interior. This simulation is also a bit of an outlier, but since the ECWMF is historically one of the better models, it should not be dismissed."

Northern Virginians won't soon forget Hurricane Irene, which blew into town last year in August as a tropical storm, bringing down trees all over the state that knocked out power and resulted in five deaths. The next month, Tropical Storm Lee hit the area.

Hurricane Irene was retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical storm names by the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) hurricane committee because of the fatalities and damage it caused and was replaced by Irma.

This is a list of retired hurricane names.

This year's hurricane season still has another five weeks to go until it is officially over on Nov. 30.

Don’t miss updates from Patch!