Frequently asked questions about superstorm Sandy

October 30, 2012|By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun

We spoke to Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, and asked him some of Marylanders' most pressing questions about Sandy and its aftermath. 

When will it stop raining?

The worst of the rain is over. The rain will continue to taper off throughout the day. By tonight, it will be a shower. By the time worst of Sandy had passed, the Baltimore region saw 6.5 inches, which is about double the total 3.33 inches of rainfall the area sees during an average October.

When will the winds die down?

The damaging winds – which reached as high as 58 mph at the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport – have passed. Winds today are expected to range between 10 and 20 mph, although some gusts are possible. Gusts on Tuesday could reach around 30 mph, but generally the winds will blow between 10 and 20 mph.

Is there anything else to come?

Each day this week will see an improvement in the weather. The high today will reach about 50 with temperatures dropping to the lower 40s tonight. Wednesday will be chilly with highs in the mid-50s and a low near 40. If there is any rain on Wednesday, it will be an isolated shower. Thursday and Friday will be dry with highs in the upper 50s.

When can I get back on the road?

While the driving ban in Baltimore ends at noon, authorities across the state are urging people to stay home. Maryland State Police said emergency crews need open roadways to clear traffic hazards, such as downed trees and power lines and non-functioning traffic lights.

Why was Maryland mostly spared while New York and New Jersey got slammed?

Sandy’s center made landfall on New Jersey’s southern coast line near Atlantic City.

The damage to New Jersey and New York can be attributed to the power and direction of the wind. Whereas in Maryland, the winds gusted mostly from land to ocean, the winds in New Jersey and New York blew east to west, from ocean to land. That caused storm surges as high as 10 feet along the coast to the north of Maryland.

Wind gusts in Ocean City were close to 60 mph while gusts along the New Jersey coastline topped 70 mph.

Sandy, now a post-tropical storm, is moving over southwestern Pennsylvania and will continue toward eastern Canada.

Is Sandy a precursor to an awful season?

This storm has no bearing on this year’s winter weather. However, compared to last winter this coming season will be a “reality check.”

When will the snow stop falling in western Maryland?

The snow is expected to continue all day before slowing by this evening. Snow showers are expected to continue Wednesday. Garrett County reported 18 inches by this morning; another 6 inches could fall by tonight.

Are we going to start to see more super storms?

This is a probably a once-in-a-lifetime storm. Other big weather phenomena like devastating earthquakes and tsunamis are not related to Sandy. The superstorm was caused by three weather system that came together helped pull Sandy ashore.

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