If Hurricane Sandy hurt retail sales and closed businesses through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the problem is about to repeat itself as another storm, albeit a smaller one, approaches. Some economist have said Sandy’s harm will lower gross domestic product by a fraction of a percentage point in the current quarter. That can be added to any slowdown created by the fiscal cliff. In sum, the two could knock growth well below 2%.
Energy from the Midwest is pivoting eastward across the South and will spawn a surface low off the Southeast coast by Tuesday. This low will then make the turn northward up the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast while intensifying. We will be dealing with a very windy, rainy and cold Wednesday into Thursday along the Northeast I-95 corridor. The strength and duration of the winds would be dictated by the exact track and strength of the low. The winds will kick up high surf along the coast that could lead to additional coastal flooding. Across the interior Northeast or New England, there may be enough cold air for snow to go along with the windy conditions, particularly from the Poconos to the Catskills, Upstate New York and interior New England.
Douglas A. McIntyre