The two big weather models that track storms came to a consensus Friday that the storm would turn inland somewhere to the east of the Chesapeake Bay and drench at least eight states as it drives across the Great Lakes into Canada. It is expected to turn into a blizzard before it gets there, dropping up to a foot of snow.
Sandy’s top winds diminished Friday, and the National Hurricane Center in Miami briefly downgraded it to a tropical storm Saturday morning before restoring it to a Category 1 hurricane — with sustained winds of 75 mph — a few hours later.
“[The storm’s loss of power] absolutely does not mean the threat to the eastern U.S. has decreased,” said Brian McNoldy of The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. “Quite the opposite, in fact. It is forecast to reorganize and strengthen on its inevitable approach to the East Coast.”
Rain is expected to spread over much of the region Sunday afternoon as the leading edge of the storm advances toward land, and people with events planned then and in the days to follow said they were pondering canceling them.
The first of it may fall on thousands of runners and hundreds of departing horses, as the annual Marine Corps Marathon flows through the streets of Washington and, later in the day, the last of more than 500 horses leave Verizon Center after the international horse show.
“Right now, we’re going on with all of our events as planned. Runners will come rain, wind, whatever,” said Tami Faram, the spokeswoman for the marathon. “We’ll just have to wait and play that by ear.”
Jennifer Wood, with the horse show, said she hoped that the last of the horses and spectators would be gone before the worst arrives.
“Luckily, we don’t think we’re going to have much of an effect,” she said.
Gloria Garrett, who manages the Palisades Farmers Market every Sunday in Northwest Washington, said she wasn’t too worried about the storm. “I just
e-mailed everyone to be sure they have their weights” for their tents, said Garrett, who added that some shoppers might decide to stock up before the storm. “I think there might be up to a 20 percent uptick in sales.”
With the full force of Sandy expected to arrive sometime on Monday, school schedules were in jeopardy.
“We’re reminding people to check our Web site periodically just in case the weather becomes nasty,” said Phil Kavits, a spokesman for Prince William County Public Schools.
Officials with D.C. Public Schools also asked parents to check the school system’s Web site. “We are taking every step necessary to ensure that our buildings are protected throughout the storm and ready to open on time,” spokeswoman Melissa Salmanowitz said in a statement.