Forecast: What To Expect From 'Super Storm Sandy' - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Forecast: What To Expect From 'Super Storm Sandy'

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PHILADELPHIA -

Don't let the weakening of Hurricane Sandy on its way to our area fool you. All of the ingredients are there to re-intensify the storm as it approaches.

"We don't want to panic anyone, but we have time to prepare," Chief Meteorologist Scott Williams said.

Hurricane Sandy is back to being a minimal hurricane, after a brief downgrade to a tropical storm early Saturday morning. There's a lot of its moisture to the north of the center of circulation.

As of 8 a.m. Saturday, the storm was 335 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C. with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph moving north-northeast at 10 mph.

The storm is expected to eventually take a turn back toward the East Coast.

The latest National Hurricane Center forecast track puts the center of the storm directly over Philadelphia at 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Williams said what really concerned him about the forecast track was that it shifted a little farther to the south on Friday.

"That would put the worst part of the storm, the right part of the storm, along the Jersey Shore and also toward the heart of the Delaware Valley," he said. "We will be watching this forecast but, nonetheless, it does look like it is going to be taking that turn."

On Sunday, some of the rain bands will be pushing their way up into the Chesapeake and Delaware bays. And conditions will be going downhill Sunday night into Monday.

Sandy could weaken as it loses its warm-core characteristics and becomes a cold-core system.

But a trough off to the north and west of Sandy will likely pull the storm toward to the coast and re-energize it.

We'll also be keeping an eye on a pretty strong temperature contrast there. Temperatures off to the north and west are pretty cold, while temperatures in water over which Sandy will travel are still above average.

"A lot of energy will be coming into play with this system," Williams said. "… A clash is going to take place, and that will also help to re-energize the system."

So, at the coast we're looking at the major impacts from Sunday through Tuesday to be winds anywhere from 50 to 80 mph and rainfall totals ranging from 6 inches on up to a foot. Also, keep in mind that major coastal flooding and severe beach erosion are expected as this storm comes into play right at a time of astronomical high tides (a full moon). So, that could really impact the storm surge.

As for inland impacts, we'll see winds from 40 to 50 mph, flooding rains dropping 6 to 10 inches, trees and branches coming down, resulting in power outages, as well as river flooding.

Keep it here throughout the weekend and into early next week. We'll be on top of the storm at FOX 29.

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