Weather forecasters are predicting the merging of a hurricane and winter storm will pound the East Coast as early as this weekend, bringing with it gale force winds, heavy rains and flooding that could cause more than $1 billion in damages, making this “Frankenstorm” worse than “The Perfect Storm” that wrecked havoc on the Eastern seaboard in 1991.
“The Perfect Storm only did $200 million of damage and I’m thinking a billion,” Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private service Weather Underground told the Associated Press. “Yeah, it will be worse.”
He said that will culminate when Hurricane Sandy, now in the Caribbean, an early winter storm in the West, and a blast of arctic air from the North merge into a super storm that weather forecasters said will most likely last five to six days.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco said the storm is likely to come ashore somewhere in New Jersey on Tuesday morning. Coastal areas from Florida to Maine will feel some effects, he said, predicting the storm will reach inland from North Carolina northward.
The worst of the storm should peak early Tuesday, but it will stretch into midweek, forecasters said.
“It’s almost a weeklong, five-day, six-day event,” Cisco said. “It’s going to be a widespread serious storm.”
Both private and federal meteorologists have dubbed it “Frankenstorm” and said will likely go down in the history books.
“We don’t have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting,” Cisco said.