‘Perfect storm’ to hit Western Tidewater Saturday

Published 12:49 pm Saturday, October 27, 2012

FRANKLIN—Western Tidewater from Saturday night into Sunday can expect 2 to 4 inches of rain and wind gusts up to 50 mph for what’s being considered the “perfect storm.”

Eric Seymore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wakefield, said Friday that Hurricane Sandy’s movement north along the East Coast will combine with a cold front from Canada.

“A merger (creates the perfect storm), that’s what’s getting us,” Seymore said.

He suggests people prepare for the event as if it was a hurricane.

“Have preparations done and supplies,” Seymore said. “There may be power outages for a duration.”

The hurricane hit the Bahamas early Friday, leaving 22 people dead across the Caribbean, following a path to the U.S. East Coast, according to a published report. Sandy, which weakened to a category 1 hurricane Thursday night, will likely mix with a winter storm to create a monster storm in the eastern U.S. next week whose effects will be felt along the entire Atlantic Coast from Florida to Maine and inland to Ohio.

Gov. Bob McDonnell on Friday morning declared a state of emergency in Virginia in preparation for the hurricane, which is anticipated to affect the state over the weekend and early next week.

In Western Tidewater, rain is expected to begin falling by late morning Saturday. The chance of rain is 70 percent during the day with winds ranging from 15 to 25 mph and gusts up to 30 mph. One-half inch of rain is expected.

“As we go into Saturday night, the conditions will deteriorate with winds at 25 to 30 mph and gusts up to 40 mph,” Seymore said.

Chance of rain Saturday into Sunday is 100 percent.

“This is a pretty slow moving system,” Seymore said. “It will take a little time to develop, and the conditions will linger for quite a while.”

Rain is expected to let up by Sunday evening.