By Joe Beck
For the second time in two weeks, the Northern Shenandoah Valley has a good chance of missing the brunt of a storm heading north up the Atlantic coast.
The effects of the storm, now off the Southeast coast of the United States, appear likely to be minimal by the time it arrives near the Chesapeake Bay around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, said Jared Klein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in Sterling.
"We're thinking right now it'll be toward the Chesapeake Bay, not toward the Shenandoah Valley," Klein said, adding that rain in this area will probably be "very light and isolated or scattered, at most."
Klein said those worried about wind and rain damage on the scale of Hurricane Sandy should relax.
"We're not expecting anything like that," he said.
Kline said travelers may see rain mixed with snow in the mountains, "but we're not expecting a significant accumulation."
Klein said wind gusts may reach 20 mph or 30 mph, but the strongest winds will remain farther east along the coast. Temperatures will be at their warmest before the storm arrives Wednesday afternoon with highs reaching the mid-40s before falling into the 30s by late afternoon, he said.
Klein said the storm should be out of the region by the end of Wednesday evening.
Klein said the chance that the storm could switch to a track that would carry it closer to the Shenandoah Valley couldn't be ruled out.
"We do have a higher confidence now that it's going to be farther off the coast, and we'll miss the brunt of it," he said.
New Jersey and New York, the areas hit hardest by last week's storm may not be so lucky. The weather service is forecasting heavy rain, wet snow and gusty winds in the Northeast, although the effects may be diminished if the storm continues to show signs of following a path farther offshore.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org