‘Frankenstorm’ 2012: NOAA Predicts ‘Snowicane’ Sandy Will Hit Northeast By Halloween [VIDEO]
'Frankenstorm,' the NOAA's nickname for Hurricane Sandy, is shaping up to be a combination hurricane/blizzard that will likely blanket much of the Northeast in snow right before Halloween. The rain/snow storm mix, dubbed 'Snowicane Sandy' by NY Magazine, is currently a large Category 2 hurricane that is pounding the Caribbean and making its way up the East Coast. It's this path that has meteorologists predicting that the storm will merge with a variety of atmospheric conditions and metathesize into, at best, a powerful, unpredictable storm. The NOAA said of the storm's path "it should settle back towards the interior northeast through Halloween, inviting perhaps a ghoulish nickname for the cyclone along the lines of 'Frankenstorm,' an allusion to Mary Shelley's gothic creature of synthesized elements."
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Local forecasters throughout the Northeast are raising awareness and predicting that Frankenstorm will be a major weather event. Justin Godynick, a meteorologist for News 12 Networks, posted the following update on his Facebook page: "As of the 12z gfs model today it's clear that we're in trouble. The Gem, gfs, and euro are starting to agree on a major storm hitting the east coast starting Sunday lasting through early Halloween. Certainly should be serious stuff."
NOAA personnel are also raising the alarms. Jim Cisco, an NOAA forecaster, told the AP that "it's almost a weeklong, five-day, six-day event," Cisco said. "It's going to be a widespread serious storm." Efforts are underway to try to predict what Frankenstorm's impact will be, with estimates of 5 inches of rain for the New York area and snowfall to the southwest of Frankenstorm's landfall. As of now, this area includes southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and western Virginia. However Frankenstorm, like all other hurricanes, is a rapidly changing storm making certain predictions virtually impossible. Add to that the unique atmospheric conditions that could create a rain/snow mix and it's no surprise that even the NOAA can't say for sure what's going to happen.
"We don't have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting," Cisco said.
As of press time, Frankenstorm is expected to make landfall off the coast of New Jersey on Tuesday morning around 8 a.m. It is drawing comparisons to Hurricane Irene, which caused billions in damage when it struck the East Coast last year. Unlike Irene, Frankenstorm likely won't be hurricane strength when it makes landfall. However, Frankenstorm will be larger than Irene which increases the potential for damage. And, eerily enough, Frankenstorm is predicted to hit during a full moon when tides are high, meaning a larger storm surge.
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