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Weather pattern affecting Sandy could bring more storms to East Coast

By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

3:34 PM EDT, October 31, 2012

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The weather pattern that meteorologists say helped turn Hurricane Sandy toward the New Jersey coast is expected to persist next week and could bring more wet and windy weather, forecasters say.

A high pressure system settled over Greenland is credited with affecting much of Sandy's path. The system acts literally as a blockade for weather systems moving from the west. The Weather Underground's Jeff Masters explains more about the phenomenon in this blog post.

This week, it meant Sandy and the frontal system moving in from the west could not move to the northeast toward Greenland and instead converged over the mid-Atlantic. Some say it isn't expected to change soon, opening up the East Coast for more low pressure systems over the next week.

AccuWeather.com severe weather expert Henry Margusity explains that one indicator, the North Atlantic Oscillation, shows a strong likelihood of stormy weather about a week out. Of course, it would be nothing a severe as Sandy, Margusity emphasizes in this blog post.

Local meteorologist Eric the Red is seeing stormy weather in the tea leaves as well.

"Models have begun to trend in a not-so-favorable direction with a disturbance that will trek across the Plains and toward these parts at the beginning of next week," he writes. "There are early rumblings that this energy at the jet stream level may encourage a coastal low to form, which would be most untimely and unfortunate."

Again, it would "pale in comparison to Sandy," he says, but could complicate cleanup efforts.

The Climate Prediction Center in College Park is forecasting about a 40 percent chance of wetter than normal weather next week, and Maryland is just on the edge of a region with at least a one in three chance of colder than normal weather.

Have a weather question? E-mail me at sdance@baltsun.com or tweet to @MdWeather.