It was jokingly dubbed Frankenstorm by a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
However, that name has stuck and is creating a scare up and down the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast of the United States. Officially known as Hurricane Sandy with 75 mph winds, this tropical system has put or is putting fear into people from Hispaniola, to Florida, to New York.
Governor Chris Christie has already declared a state of emergency in New Jersey where Sandy is expected to come ashore. In anticipation of problems, officials have already closed the stock market on Wall Street for Monday, and all broadway productions in New York have been shut down as well.
In addition to the pounding erosional surf along the East Coast and flooding from storm surge and rain, this system will drop two feet or more of snow in the mountains of West Virginia. Wind is another major component to Sandy. As this system transitions from a hurricane to a wintertime low pressure system, winds will creep across the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Upper Midwest as they ramp up to a solid 20 - 30 mph sustained with gusts of 40 to 50 mph possible. Here in West Michigan, wind advisories have already been posted from 5:00 PM Monday through 8:00 PM Tuesday. Both Gale and Storm Warnings are in effect on Lake Michigan with 20 foot waves or higher expected across the southern base of the lake.
This system has already created more than 65 deaths in the Caribbean and plenty of life-threatening flash flooding. While Michigan is only expected to generally see light rain and snow showers Tuesday and Wednesday, winds will be the headline for us.
Flights have already began backing up from LaGuardia to other East Coast destinations with days of delays expected before normal schedules get back on track. Get more on Sandy from the National Hurricane Center. Get more information and resources on the West Michigan impacts of this storm here. The attached photo respresents the location of the low Tuesday morning at 6:00 AM. While it may be quite a distance from Michigan, we will still clearly be under its influence!
Don't forget to share any pictures or information with us here as this storm moves closer to Michigan. Email firstname.lastname@example.org post to the FOX 17 Facebook page. Get the complete forecast at www.fox17online.com/weather.