Our area has had tons of sunshine and warm weather over the past few days, but that's all going to change.
The weather this weekend is only going to get worse, as forecasters track the eventual collision of Hurricane Sandy from the south with another storm system from the Midwest. And it looks like this combination—nicknamed popularly as a "frankenstorm" this Halloween season—will be in the western Pennsylvania vicinity early next week.
The National Weather Service is reporting that the combination could bring snow, wind, rain and flooding to much of Pennsylvania. And according to an Allegheny County news release, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency has indicated that the potential heavy rains, high winds and risk of flooding may result in extensive damage to roads, streets, bridges and property.
The Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services' Chief Alvin Henderson said that all local emergency management coordinators have been given information about the storm and plans.
"We are currently monitoring the situation and are ready to implement any changes that may be necessary," Henderson said.
It's too early to say for sure what impact that the storm will have on Baldwin-Whitehall weather, but it's safe to say that it's going to be a lot colder and wetter than it has been recently.
"Obviously, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the forecast for early next week with the track of Hurricane Sandy," county Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. "Although, we expect to see rain and some snow for portions of our area."
Henderson is urging residents to stock up on necessary items should the storm hit severely. He said that residents should have on hand:
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- A portable, battery-operated radio with extra batteries
- A first aid kit with its manual
- Emergency food and water
- A non-electric can opener
- Essential medicines/prescriptions
- Cash, credit cards and important legal documents
- Sturdy shoes
The American Red Cross of Southwestern Pennsylvania is also preparing for the possibility of flooding and power outages as a result of the storm. Volunteers and staff have been put on alert, supplies and resources are being inventoried and prepared, and preparations are being made regarding the possibility of opening shelters, according to Red Cross spokesperson Lauren Chapman.
Red Cross Community Evacuation Center Teams—community groups who are trained to quickly open shelters in their areas in times of disaster—also are ready to join response efforts if needed.
For more information on how to make a disaster supply kit and how to prepare for all kinds of disasters, visit www.alleghenycounty.us/emerserv/preparelinks.aspx.
Here's a look at, roughly, the Baldwin-Whitehall weekend forecast from the National Weather Service:
- Saturday—Showers. High near 52. North wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and a quarter of an inch are possible.
- Saturday Night—Showers. Low around 42. North wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and a quarter of an inch are possible.
- Sunday—Rain. High near 47. North wind around 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and a half of an inch are possible.
- Sunday Night—Rain. Low around 37. North wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and a half of an inch are possible.
- Monday—Rain, possibly mixed with snow. High near 40. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and a half of an inch are possible.
To track Hurricane Sandy's path, click here.
Should you take any weather-related photos that tell the story of how our area is being impacted, upload them at this article's address by clicking on "Upload Photos and Videos" above.
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