The dangerous combination of Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean, an early winter storm in the west and a blast of arctic air from the north are all expected to play equal parts in a “perfect storm” that will reportedly hover over the country's most populous coastal corridor starting Sunday.
While the extremely intense weather system is not expected to fully mature until early next week, the latest reports out of the National Hurricane Center in Miami indicate that Sandy could make landfall somewhere between Maine and Virginia, bringing with it heavy rain, flooding, high winds and widespread power outages.
Forecasters predict the worst of the storm to hit around Tuesday, but say it will stretch into midweek.
"It'll be a rough couple days from Hatteras up to Cape Cod," forecaster Jim Cisco of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prediction center in College Park, Md., told the Associated Press. "We don't have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting."
The NOAA further reports that Sandy will collide with the other weather systems during a full moon when tides are near their highest, increasing coastal flooding potential.
While many experts are comparing it to the so-called Perfect Storm that struck off the coast of New England in 1991, Cisco told the AP that one didn't hit as populated an area and is not comparable to what the East Coast may be facing.
Reports from the 1991 storm indicate that damages added up to approximately $200 million, while experts predict that the storm involving Hurricane Sandy could be a billion-dollar storm.
"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 AP. "Yeah, it will be worse."