A dastardly combination of Hurricane Sandy and a Midwestern cold front are brewing what could be the perfect storm all along the East Coast of the U.S. next week. "Frankenstorm," a monster combination of high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides (during a full moon) and even snow, could create havoc just before Halloween next Wednesday.
The two elements at play are Hurricane Sandy, which is heading north after pummeling through Haiti and Cuba on Thursday, alongside a hateful wintry storm that's chugging across from the West. Adding to the mayhem, frigid air is blowing south from Canada.
If they meet Tuesday morning around New York or New Jersey, as forecasters are predicting, the weather elements could create a grand mess across the nation's most heavily populated corridor, while reaching as far inland as Ohio.
Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the forecasting service Weather Underground says, "It's looking like a very serious storm that could be historic. Mother Nature is not saying 'trick-or-treat.' It's just going to give tricks."
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco, who coined "Frankenstorm," adds, "We don't have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting."
Forecasters say there's a 90% chance the East will get pounded starting Sunday and stretching past Halloween on Wednesday. Coastal areas from Florida to Maine will feel some effects, but the storm is expected to vent the worst of its fury on New Jersey and NYC, which could see 5 inches of rain and gale-force winds close to 40 mph. Eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, western Virginia and the Shenandoah Mountains could get snow. Hunker down, cool cats! *