National Weather Service warns of potential ‘major’ storm

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Area residents should be aware of a possible “major” storm on Monday, according to an advisory posted Tuesday afternoon by the National Weather Service’s Mt. Holly Forecast Office.

According to Meteorologist Gary Szatkowski, the remains of Tropical Storm Sandy could ride up the coast as a slow-moving nor’easter early next week. A period of heavy rain and wind could come as early as Sunday evening and last until Tuesday.

“The storm will bring multiple potential threats to the region,” Szatkowski said.

Combined with Monday’s full moon, the storm could cause “major inland and coastal flooding,” Szatkowski said. The storm could also contain strong damaging wind gusts and extremely heavy rainfall.

The good news is that the prediction models that forecasters use are showing two potential tracks, Szatkowski said. One of those tracks takes the storm up the coast and the other brings it out to sea.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Tropical Storm Sandy was located south of Cuba and east of Nicaragua, according to the National Hurricane Center. Sandy was expected to strengthen to hurricane status with sustained winds of more than 74 mph by 8 a.m. Wednesday morning before moving north over Jamaica and Cuba.

Sandy would weaken to a tropical storm before reaching the waters off of Miami, Fla. by 8 a.m. Friday.

If one forecast line of thought holds true, a dip in the jet stream would catch on to the remains of Sandy and pull her up the coast. The storm could make United States landfall anywhere from New Jersey to New England, depending on the exact track.

If the dip in the jet stream does not occur, Sandy would make a northeasterly turn after crossing over Cuba and head out into the Atlantic, according to some of the models posted by Szatkowski.

The Weather Service is expected to post daily forecast updates.


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