The hazardous weather outlook for Madison and surrounding towns remains in effect for Saturday through Thursday, the National Weather Service says, asa forecasters continue to track Hurricane Sandy.
"There is increasing confidence that the tri-state area will feel the impacts of a dangerous coastal storm late this weekend into early next week," the NWS says. "This includes the potential for heavy rainfall and resultant significant urban, small stream, and river flooding, high winds causing widespread downing of trees and power lines, and significant shoreline impacts from coastal flooding and beach erosion."
NWS says the specific impacts will ultimately depend on the exact track and evolution of Sandy "as it interacts with a deepending upper level low pressure system approaching the East Coast. Please refer to the National Hurricane Center for the latest forecasts on Sandy, and monitor the latest National Weather Service forecasts throughout the week."
Madison officials say they are monitoring the progress of Sandy and have already started making preparations. They are urging town residents to do the same. As of Thursday afternoon, they said it looks like Madison might feel the worst of it late Monday into Tuesday, but that the timing could change and that they will continue to monitor the storm. They plan to meet again on Friday afternoon to determine what actions, if any, need to be taken over the weekend to continue preparations.
The extended forecast for Madison and surrounding towns as of Friday morning was as follows:
- Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 66. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
- Tonight Patchy fog after 5am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 50. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight.
- Saturday A slight chance of rain after noon. Patchy fog before 9am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 65. Northeast wind 5 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
- Saturday Night A chance of rain, mainly after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. Northeast wind 9 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
- Sunday A chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 61. Breezy, with a northeast wind 15 to 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
- Sunday Night Rain likely. The rain could be heavy at times. Cloudy, with a low around 51. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
- Monday Rain likely. The rain could be heavy at times. Cloudy, with a high near 58. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
- Monday Night Rain likely. The rain could be heavy at times. Cloudy, with a low around 49. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
- Tuesday Rain likely. The rain could be heavy at times. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 54. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
- Tuesday Night A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
- Wednesday A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 51. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
- Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41.
- Thursday Partly sunny, with a high near 52.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane center say the structure of Sandy continues to evolve, "as shear and dry air associated with the upper-low to the southwest have displaced most of the convection north of the center."
"Sandy is expected to remain near hurricane strength for the next couple of days"
"Aircraft data show that while the central pressure has not changed much, the pressure gradient and wind field have broadened substantially. As a result, winds from flight level do not appear to be mixing down to the surface very efficiently and the initial intensity has been lowered ... Sandy is expected to remain near hurricane strength for the next couple of days."
"Afterward, some re-intensifiction is shown as Sandy interacts with a shortwave trough, given that the global models show the the large cyclone deepening offshore of the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic states. It appears that Sandy will maintain some type of warm seclusion structure until near the end of the period, although it is possible that Sandy could become post-tropical a little sooner than indicated here."
"The NHC forecast is a little to the left of the previous one ... "
"The initial motion estimate is toward the northwest ... As Sandy continues to interact with the upper-low it will slow down today and tonight before accelerating northeastward on Saturday.The NHC track forecast is a little to the left of the previous one through 36 hours and lies between the GFS and ECMWF Models. Late in the period, while all of the guidance shows Sandy turning northwestward, there continues to be a large spread in the exact track. The WCMWF, GFDL, HWRF and some of the HFIP guidance shows a sharper turn toward the Delmarva Peninsula, while the GFS and UKMET show a wider turn with a track farther north toward Long Island."
"The official forecast continues to lie between the ECMWF and the TVCA multi-model consensus at days 4 and 5, and is just a little to the left of the previous track. Users are reminded to not focus on the details of the track forecast late in the period, as Sandy is expected to bring impacts to a large part of the U.S. East Coast into early next week."