Stunning super high res image of Hurricane Sandy – plus forecast of a large storm surge

UPDATE: The NWS in Mt. Holly NJ has put out an extraordinary statement, dropping the typical “gov speak” and pleading to people in direct language. See below.

GOES-14 has been brought into service again on October 25th, 2012 for SRSOR imaging of Hurricane Sandy. (h/t to Al Lipton) Here’s a super high resolution visible light image of Sandy from today at 19:41UTC:

Click image to enlarge to 2400×1372 pixels

While there is no well defined eye, there is evidence of increased cyclonic vorticity and organization. Here are the current stats on Sandy from NHC:

BULLETIN
HURRICANE SANDY INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER  25A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL182012
200 PM EDT SUN OCT 28 2012

...SANDY EXPECTED TO BRING LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE FLOODING TO
THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST...INCLUDING LONG ISLAND SOUND AND NEW YORK
HARBOR...
...WINDS FORECAST TO BE NEAR HURRICANE FORCE AT LANDFALL...

RE-TRANSMITTED

SUMMARY OF 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...32.8N 71.9W
ABOUT 270 MI...440 KM SE OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
ABOUT 575 MI...930 KM S OF NEW YORK CITY
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 50 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...951 MB...28.08 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* CAPE FEAR TO DUCK NORTH CAROLINA
* PAMLICO AND ALBEMARLE SOUNDS
* BERMUDA

IN ADDITION...HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED ALONG PORTIONS OF
THE COAST BETWEEN CHINCOTEAGUE VIRGINIA AND CHATHAM MASSACHUSETTS.
THIS INCLUDES THE MIDDLE AND UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY...DELAWARE
BAY...AND THE COASTS OF THE NORTHERN DELMARVA PENINSULA...NEW
JERSEY...THE NEW YORK CITY AREA...LONG ISLAND...CONNECTICUT...AND
RHODE ISLAND.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED NORTH OF CHATHAM TO
MERRIMACK RIVER MASSACHUSETTS...THE LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY...AND
SOUTH OF CHINCOTEAGUE TO DUCK NORTH CAROLINA...THE NORTHERN
ENDPOINT OF THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING.

OTHER COASTAL AND INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT FOR
THESE AREAS. PLEASE SEE STATEMENTS FROM LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE FORECAST OFFICES.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED
STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE
MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE
THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL
METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...
AT 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE SANDY WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 32.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 71.9 WEST. SANDY IS MOVING
TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/H...AND THIS GENERAL
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TODAY. A TURN TO THE NORTH AND THEN
THE NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED TONIGHT AND EARLY MONDAY. ON THE FORECAST
TRACK...THE CENTER OF SANDY IS FORECAST TO BE NEAR THE MID-ATLANTIC
COAST MONDAY NIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 75 MPH...120 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS.  SANDY IS EXPECTED TO TRANSITION INTO A FRONTAL OR WINTERTIME
LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM PRIOR TO LANDFALL.  HOWEVER...THIS TRANSITION
WILL NOT BE ACCOMPANIED BY A WEAKENING OF THE SYSTEM...AND IN FACT
A LITTLE STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE DURING THIS PROCESS.  SANDY IS
EXPECTED TO WEAKEN AFTER MOVING INLAND.

HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO
520 MILES...835 KM. AN AUTOMATED STATION AT CAPE HATTERAS RECENTLY
REPORTED SUSTAINED WINDS OF 49 MPH...80 KM/H...WITH A GUST TO 62
MPH...100 KM/H. TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS HAVE NOW REACHED THE
MOUTH OF THE SOUTHERN CHESAPEAKE BAY.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE RECENTLY REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE
RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT WAS 951 MB...28.08 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE ALREADY OCCURRING OVER COASTAL
NORTH CAROLINA AND SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA.  GALE FORCE WINDS ARE
EXPECTED TO ARRIVE ALONG PORTIONS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST LATER
TODAY...AND REACH LONG ISLAND AND SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND BY MONDAY
MORNING. WINDS OF HURRICANE FORCE COULD REACH THE MID-ATLANTIC
STATES...INCLUDING LONG ISLAND...BY LATE MONDAY.

STORM SURGE...THE COMBINATION OF AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM SURGE
AND THE TIDE WILL CAUSE NORMALLY DRY AREAS NEAR THE COAST TO BE
FLOODED BY RISING WATERS. THE WATER COULD REACH THE FOLLOWING
DEPTHS ABOVE GROUND IF THE PEAK SURGE OCCURS AT THE TIME OF HIGH
TIDE...

NC NORTH OF SURF CITY INCLUDING PAMLICO/ALBEMARLE SOUNDS...4 TO 6 FT
SE VA AND DELMARVA INCLUDING LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY...2 TO 4 FT
UPPER AND MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY...1 TO 3 FT
LONG ISLAND SOUND...RARITAN BAY...AND NEW YORK HARBOR...6 TO 11 FT
ELSEWHERE FROM OCEAN CITY MD TO THE CT/RI BORDER...4 TO 8 FT
CT/RI BORDER TO THE SOUTH SHORE OF CAPE COD INCLUDING BUZZARDS
BAY AND NARRAGANSETT BAY...3 TO 6 FT

SURGE-RELATED FLOODING DEPENDS ON THE RELATIVE TIMING OF THE SURGE
AND THE TIDAL CYCLE...AND CAN VARY GREATLY OVER SHORT DISTANCES.
GIVEN THE LARGE WIND FIELD ASSOCIATED WITH SANDY...ELEVATED WATER
LEVELS COULD SPAN MULTIPLE TIDE CYCLES RESULTING IN REPEATED AND
EXTENDED PERIODS OF COASTAL AND BAYSIDE FLOODING.  IN ADDITION...
ELEVATED WATERS COULD OCCUR FAR REMOVED FROM THE CENTER OF SANDY.
FURTHERMORE...THESE CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR REGARDLESS OF WHETHER
SANDY IS A TROPICAL OR POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE.  FOR INFORMATION
SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE SEE PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE.

RAINFALL...RAINFALL TOTALS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER FAR
NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 8
INCHES POSSIBLE. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED
OVER PORTIONS OF THE MID ATLANTIC STATES...INCLUDING THE DELMARVA
PENINSULA...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES POSSIBLE.
RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS
OF 5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE FROM THE SOUTHERN TIER OF NEW YORK STATE
NORTHEASTWARD THROUGH NEW ENGLAND.

SNOWFALL..SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 3 FEET ARE EXPECTED IN THE
MOUNTAINS OF WEST VIRGINIA...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER TOTALS TONIGHT
THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT. SNOWFALL OF 1 TO 2 FEET IS EXPECTED IN
THE MOUNTAINS OF SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA TO THE KENTUCKY BORDER...
WITH 12 TO 18 INCHES OF SNOW POSSIBLE IN THE MOUNTAINS NEAR THE
NORTH CAROLINA/TENNESSEE BORDER.SURF...DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE FROM FLORIDA THROUGH
THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AND SPREAD INTO
THE NORTHEASTERN STATES LATER TODAY.

Dr. Ryan Maue has a summary on the Weatherbell Forbes blog:

Hurricane Sandy: Deadly Storm Surge Brewing For NY, NJ Coastline

It is important to take note of the unusually low atmospheric pressure of Hurricane Sandy.  The Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale is based entirely on maximum sustained winds near the hurricanes center.  However, Sandy’s structure is not typical of hurricanes that exist in the deep tropics.  A typical category 1 hurricane would only have hurricane force extending several tens of miles from the center.  Sandy’s wind field is not concentrated near the center and hurricane force winds extend over 200 miles from the eye. As a result, significantly more seawater that normal is being driven toward the coast.  The central pressure of the storm would be more indicative of a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane.

NOAA is forecasting over 10 feet of storm surge into New York Harbor.   Keep in mind that the storm surge during Hurricane Irene was approximately 3.5-4.6ft.  The graphic below depicts just how dire the situation will become.

Similarly, Stevens Institute modeling is also forecasting a historic storm surge for NYC.

Just a reminder, October hurricanes hitting the Eastern USA seaboard are not something new, and certainly not a result of “global warming”.

UPDATE: This from NWS forecast office in Mt. Holly, NJ, it is quite something, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the NWS make a statement like this (h/t to Ryan Maue):

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
241 PM EDT SUN OCT 28 2012

...AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM TO IMPACT THE AREA...

SANDY IS EXPECTED TO SLAM INTO THE NEW JERSEY COAST LATER MONDAY
NIGHT, BRINGING VERY HEAVY RAIN AND DAMAGING WINDS TO THE REGION.
THE STORM IS A LARGE ONE, THEREFORE DO NOT FOCUS ON THE EXACT CENTER
OF THE STORM AS ALL AREAS WILL HAVE SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS.

THIS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE AN HISTORIC STORM, WITH WIDESPREAD WIND
DAMAGE AND POWER OUTAGES, INLAND AND COASTAL FLOODING, AND MASSIVE
BEACH EROSION. THE COMBINATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN AND PROLONGED WIND
WILL CREATE THE POTENTIAL FOR LONG LASTING POWER OUTAGES AND SERIOUS
FLOODING.

PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE WRAPPING UP AS CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO
WORSEN TONIGHT AND ESPECIALLY ON MONDAY.

SOME IMPORTANT NOTES...

1. IF YOU ARE BEING ASKED TO EVACUATE A COASTAL LOCATION BY STATE
AND LOCAL OFFICIALS, PLEASE DO SO.

2. IF YOU ARE RELUCTANT TO EVACUATE, AND YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO RODE
OUT THE `62 STORM ON THE BARRIER ISLANDS, ASK THEM IF THEY COULD DO
IT AGAIN.

3. IF YOU ARE RELUCTANT, THINK ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES, THINK ABOUT
THE EMERGENCY RESPONDERS WHO WILL BE UNABLE TO REACH YOU WHEN YOU
MAKE THE PANICKED PHONE CALL TO BE RESCUED, THINK ABOUT THE
RESCUE/RECOVERY TEAMS WHO WILL RESCUE YOU IF YOU ARE INJURED OR
RECOVER YOUR REMAINS IF YOU DO NOT SURVIVE.

4. SANDY IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM. THERE WILL BE MAJOR
PROPERTY DAMAGE, INJURIES ARE PROBABLY UNAVOIDABLE, BUT THE GOAL IS
ZERO FATALITIES.

5. IF YOU THINK THE STORM IS OVER-HYPED AND EXAGGERATED, PLEASE ERR
ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION.

WE WISH EVERYONE IN HARMS WAY ALL THE BEST. STAY SAFE!

$$

NWS MOUNT HOLLY, NJ
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120 thoughts on “Stunning super high res image of Hurricane Sandy – plus forecast of a large storm surge

  1. My experience with Florida storms is the storm surge is consistent with the storm it once was. Not so much wind speed and the momentum as energy wanting a place to dissipate. In the Florida panhandle in tropical force winds, the once 3 Dennis was still sending waves 30 feet vertically where they just sliced into the dunes. Over and over for hours.

    That’s a lot of force to go somewhere in Manhattan.

  2. “Just a reminder, October hurricanes hitting the Eastern USA seaboard are not something new, and certainly not a result of “global warming”.”

    I promise you that that fact will not stop them blaming it on a trace gas.

    But this all depends on Sandy turning sharp left very soon now.

  3. I checked with friends on Long Island and they are staying in place, after having protected everything they can and laying in supplies for a week without power, water, and telephone. They live in the center of the island, so flooding is not as much of a concern for them. They do assume that some rain will blow in around the windows, though.

  4. Catastrophic sea level rise?

    Sorry to make light of a dangerous storm. We know what’s coming in thanks to Joe Bastardi and weatherbell. They have been telling us that this will be a multi billion dollar storm. Joe predicted a 940 at landfall. 5:00 update has it up to 952 but the models have it falling overnight. Yes it will be as bad as they have been saying.

    Wind is beginning to build on Narragansett Bay and the surf is up on the outside – approaching double overhead in Newport as of noon. Fun to watch the weather…not so much fun to watch the consequences.

    Stay safe.

  5. Looking at that, I don’t know how anyone can think that our contribution to the climate amounts to anything more than pissing in the wind. It’s magnificent, glorious, and more frightening than anything I’ll see this Halloween.

  6. Geoffrey Giraffe says:
    But this all depends on Sandy turning sharp left very soon now.

    That’s the part I’m wondering about. I’ve seen two predictions of that happening, and one of it just going along the initial track and out to sea. Would someone please be kind enough to explain, for those of us who are merely interested observes in the whole climate/weather thing, how this sharp left turn is supposed to happen?

  7. After surviving a Cat 1 Hurricane in Cancun [ this was a warm weather/water storm], that was enough for me. Water blowing at 85 to 90 miles/hour gets everywhere; shorted out the condo electrical system, uprooted palm trees, and generally made a mess. In the dark with the howling winds was like Halloween on steroids.

    Never want to do that again!!!

  8. Would some kind soul please explain why a weak catagorie 1 hurricane is so much more dangerous when it hits New York than when it his Florida? I am having trouble with that — I figure I am missing something.

  9. Yes. What are the mechanics of a left turn rather than arcing left out to open ocean? I know there’s a stationary front on-shore. And it appears that there is a pretty strong low mid-Atlantic due east of Cape Cod.

  10. As TonyG and Geoffrey Giraffe note, the storm track is predicted to turn west in dramatic fashion in the next 24 hours. However, the 5 pm update of the model track ensemble from NOAA includes 5 model runs now predicting that the westerly turn will not occur. These model tracks are BAMS, BAMM, BAMD, XTRP and CLP5. Three of the models have the storm turning north and missing the major population centers on the east coast. Two of the models have Sandy continuing NE.

  11. I sincerely hope everyone along the Atlantic seaboard is both prepared and prudent. I love looking at these wonderful satellite images but can’t get all those other images of Hazel our to my child’s mind. Some of us just never grew up I guess.

  12. As blunt as this NWS warning is, it’s nothing compared to that given before Katrina hit land. For those interested, you can read the entire thing at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Weather_Service_bulletin_for_New_Orleans_region#Bulletin_text.

    Here’s a sample for flavor:

    …DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED…

    .HURRICANE KATRINA…A MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED
    STRENGTH…RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969.

    MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS…PERHAPS LONGER.

    POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS…AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN
    AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING
    INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.

    Still gives me chills to read it.

  13. We had a little wind and some rain, but nothing to speak of. Late season grass seed embraced the moisture and is up 3 inches in three weeks. Thanks Sandy.

  14. For those asking why a turn to the left, it is due to two factors:

    1. A blocking High north of the storm.

    2. The Jet Stream turns westward instead of eastward as it usually does.

    High’s spin clockwise and when Sandy hits it, it will “steer” it westward where instead of the Jetstream running SW to NE it is running SE to NW. These two systems are expected to act like a vacuum sucking in Sandy in between them.

  15. Anthony, do you as a long time meteorologist finding the coverage of this storm fishy? The phrase “mountain out of a molehill” comes to mind.

  16. I thought the sharp left or westward turn was supposed to have something to do with the interaction of the two weather systems – Sandy and the strong cold front it’s combining with to make the “FrankenStorm.” Regardless, I hope everyone in harm’s way is either safely battened down or taking an extended vacation in another part of the country.

  17. Anthony,
    Is the ‘update’ about the candidly worded NWS statement on the Mt. Holly NWS website, or a different location? I couldn’t find it. Have done a few searches, and several ‘weather’ type website show it, yet I can’t find a 2:41pm update from Mt. Holly . . .
    Please understand I am NOT trying to question the intensity and danger of the storm, and I agree with what is says – yet I wonder if it was done by someone to make it look like it came from the Mt. Holly NWS site . . ? both in a bit of fun, but also clearly a warning . I just wonder . . .

  18. Whether or not you think Man(n) caused this or not, don’t be dumb. Be safe.
    Back in the ’70’s during Tropical Storm Ilya I found out that the old VW bug really did float. I would have rather skipped that experience.

  19. “Never ever take any chances in a storm!” Agreed. The difficulty is the way storms are hyped by the media. Terror sells. Cute young things standing in the wind by the surf so you can see just how windy and surfy it is. I thought the piece by the Weather Channel explaining that the NC Outer Banks were sand dunes that could be topped by waves like it was a new discovery.

    Awesome satellite picture.

  20. chris y says:
    October 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    As TonyG and Geoffrey Giraffe note, the storm track is predicted to turn west in dramatic fashion in the next 24 hours. However, the 5 pm update of the model track ensemble from NOAA includes 5 model runs now predicting that the westerly turn will not occur. These model tracks are BAMS, BAMM, BAMD, XTRP and CLP5. Three of the models have the storm turning north and missing the major population centers on the east coast. Two of the models have Sandy continuing NE.

    XTRP? Extrapolated?

  21. Ref my comment above – I found the public information statement – I was looking on the ‘Area Forecast’ page . . . sorry . .

  22. markstoval says:
    Would some kind soul please explain why a weak catagorie 1 hurricane is so much more dangerous when it hits New York than when it his Florida? I am having trouble with that — I figure I am missing something.

    I don’t know all the details about this storm, but I can figure that, at the very least, it’s because Florida is far better equipped to handle such a storm, since they deal with it more regularly. Similarly, a 6.0 earthquake in NY would be far more devastating than a 6.0 in LA, for the same reasons.

    I’m sure there’s more to it than that, including a certain amount of simple hype.

  23. Drudge linked to this NOAA graphic of the storm’s path:

    RIGHT THROUGH MY HOUSE, and that’s the solid black line.

    PPL already sent out the robo-call to my phone at 6PM, Sandy is coming, power out for a week, 1300 crews being brought in for the recovery, etc.

    An interesting time is coming.

  24. Over 20 years of the boy crying wolf and now many don’t listen. We need a government bureaucracy to regulate the weather so we will know the truth as determined by the planners.

    It’s nice to have advanced warnings but who listens any more?

    Italian justice for the new post-modern era?

  25. Could someone direct me to photos of damage from Sandy? In all good faith, I have been searching the internet for signs of damage. I find nothing. In Hampton Roads, Virginia, known to locals as the Confederate Venice, there is the sort of flooding that you might get from a thunderstorm. I cannot find a wind reading beyond 55 miles an hour.

    I understand that when the storm makes landfall there will be considerable flooding in that area, but what is there about this storm that is causing panic among the MSM and the government?

  26. “Richdo says:
    October 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    @boballab
    Thanks. But I don’t see a blocking/steering high north of Sandy. There was a weak high over Main a day or two ago but it is no longer there???

    Here is a loop of NH surface pressure over the last three days,
    http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/Loops/UA_Entire/UA_Entire_03_Day.shtml

    On your loop, on the last frame – the cluster of highs over the Atlantic between Newfoundland and Greenland is the “anomalous” blocking high that the NHC is ascribing to holding Sandy down. The high pressure dome extends down into the Canadan Maritimes.

  27. Well there’s your missing oceanic heat, since the Earths core is millions of degrees, its obviously pushing warmth up from the oceans floor high into the atmosphere.
    Due to Climate Klymaticking, or Goo-ball Looming, the storm will set fire to the everglades with burning Hydrogen Di-Oxide.
    Shrimp, Crabs & oysters will rain down on the mideast, as a sign from Gaia, that every cloud has a silver lining – or perhaps a Gumbo lining.
    A thousand years from now, Ostreae-Dendrologist’s will conclude that tree growth was hampered by an Al-Gore bloom of molluscs, a sign of Polar-Wind-Pushery. The cause, Ursus maritimus deliberately trying to hitch a ride south, kick-board style on ice drifts. Their goal, the all-you-can-eat buffet of the Punta Tombo Penguins.
    Best luck to our American cousins, may you all get through unscathed.

  28. This storm is category 1 over a much bigger area than the tightly spinning smaller category 1’s usually encountered over Florida and into the gulf, though wind speed is the same. A larger cat 1 hurricane means a lot more sea water, A LOT MORE SEA WATER, is headed for the coast. Further, this storm is encountering systems from the North and West heading towards it in such a way that will draw/push the hurricane to turn left over land instead of out to sea. So in summary, lots of water (coming from the sea), sustained wind (because of how damn large this thing is), lots of time dealing with continued lots of water and wind (from pressure systems keeping it on top of the Eastern seaboard), and lots of people (because…well just because) not used to hurricanes.

    It is time to get out of Dodge.

  29. Checked the Bermuda weather service:
    Current conditions @ Bermuda @19:07 (6:07pm est): wind speed = 20 mph

    Checked the NWS 5:48pm:
    Current conditions @ Wilmington, NC wind speed = 17 mph
    Current conditions @ Cleveland, OH wind speed = 33 mph

    This storm is huge!!!! NHC shows tropical storm warnings (East-West) from Bermuda to Wilmington, NC.

    Can hype kill?

    Sandy is right between them. OMG

  30. The reason this storm is so dangerous is flooding, both from storm surges and precipitation, due to the large size of the system.

    Which got me thinking that one benefit will be more hydroelectric power, but was then surprised at how few hydro schemes there are in the area, given the terrain and high precipitation.

    Here is a fun world map, with countries scaled by hydroelectric production. Note how big Japan, with similar terrain and precipitation to the Eastern USA, is.

    http://www.siswebs.org/water/story.php?title=Worlds_Hydroelectric_Power_Map

  31. I find it interesting and significant that such warnings are being given in plain language. It is as though the weather forecasters are unwilling to let the MSM speak, for one very simple reason: The MSM has been hyping storms for effect for quite some time.

    And so when something bad really happens people have been primed by the MSM to not respond, because the MSM cried wolf for pretty much all of the last times.

  32. Fitzy says:
    October 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    “Shrimp, Crabs & oysters will rain down on the mideast, as a sign from Gaia, that every cloud has a silver lining – or perhaps a Gumbo lining.”

    How nice to encounter a connoisseur of Gumbo. As you go north in the US, the Gumbo gets cloudier and thicker until it can be served on a plate and cut with a knife.

  33. This storm does not have all its wind concentrated at the core. It is far out to sea, but it is still very breezy out on Cape Hattaras. If the westward turn happens, ( a big “If,”) Sandy will by then in some ways resemble those huge winter gales you see up in the upper right of winter maps, up by Labrador, or even towards Greenland, where hardly anyone lives. Those are giant storms, and the rare times they form further south they tend to “stall” out by Nantucket, and don’t head ashore, but still Boston and NYC can get clobbered by high winds and the biggest snows. Such giant gales are very different from the tight hurricanes that can clobber Florida or the Carolinas. The winds extend out much, much farther. While they might lack the sheer ferocity Hugo displayed, snapping pines like match sticks north of Charleston with 100 mph winds, they stretch out over a wider area, and are able to push hundreds of miles of ocean up towards the funnel-shape of the Hudson River’s exit. That funnel-shape is not good. Think an ordinary tide heading up into the Bay of Fundy, and becoming a huge tide.

    I urge people to check out Ryan Maue’s Twitter comments. He includes very fascinating graphs. He also includes science that is miles above my head, but which I know some WUWT lurkers will love. He is concerned about high winds up only 1000 feet, able to duck down to the tops of NYC sky-scrapers. What’s more, he explains the logic behind such frets.

    My main concern is the tides. I once lived in a shack on a dock in Maine, and saw it swept away by the sea when the sea was in one of its moods. The power was awesome. I thought I’d seen the worst, when high tide passed, but the tide kept coming up when it was suppose to be going down. Fortunately I was young and strong and broke, and “when you got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose.”

    This is Obama’s Katrina.

    Here’s Ryans Twitter comments: https://twitter.com/RyanMaue

  34. TomRude says:
    October 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Something is rotten in Denmark. Wonder if it is the same plane that was used to determine the severity of Katrina. Supposedly cat. 5.

  35. David Ball says:
    October 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm
    boballab says:
    October 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Can you supply your sources for this info?

    Been watching the Weather Channel and you can see it there. Here is a NOAA map of the Jet Stream from Intellicast: http://www.intellicast.com/National/Wind/JetStream.aspx

    For the Block high it is sitting between Canada and Greenland and can be seen in the final frame here: http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/Loops/UA_Entire/UA_Entire_03_Day.shtml

  36. Quite agree Jack. The language used is fantastic. The weather forecasters have made the consequences as concrete as possible, rather than use abstract language. Hope it turns out ok.

  37. Yes, and think of the DAMAGE the MEDIA will do! As they did this summer for DULUTH Minnesota, which had a record, 12- 15 in rainfall, which …because of Duluth’s geography, caused about $250 million in damage to “infrastructure”. Most of which has been repaired, patched for now, scheduled for repair. Now let’s see. Yes, there was DAMAGE. BUT, electricity, sewer, gas, streets were all passable and all business up and running within 3 weeks. YES, that hurt the summer tourism. BUT I ASK MYSELF….HOW MUCH DAMAGE DID THE MEDIA DO BY PAINTING A PICTURE OF A “CITY DESTROYED”????? You want to talk about your “libel suit” territory, that is what the MEDIA did to DULUTH to “get attention”. The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerace spent $250,000 on an ADVERTIZING CAMPAIGN to counter the propaganda, to get people to finish out the summer taking vacations on the MN “North Shore”. Here’ my point, the people on the east COAST (notice the EMPHASIS ON COAST) certainly are familiar with the concept of a “North Atlantic Storm”. NO ONE should be caught with their pants down, or their property not ready. IF THEY ARE…in many ways, they don’t deserve a penny of help from insurance or FEMA!!!!! They have had the BLESSING of the mild weather, the good growing, the “ocean view”, the SHIPPING, etc. NOW comes the time to “pay the price”. IT SHOULD BE ANTICIPATED and accounted for ahead of time.

    SORRY no sympathy, no part of my trove should go to this, even though it will be taken by force (yes, that’s what it amounts to, as my taxes go to this..) for the “lack of planning” of others.

    I’m tired of the hype, and I’m exceptionally tired of the “feel for me, I’ve been hurt” response from the people who shoot themselves in the foot, and then apply for disability benefits.

    Max (Heartless) Hugoson

  38. markstoval says:
    October 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Would some kind soul please explain why a weak catagorie 1 hurricane is so much more dangerous when it hits New York than when it his Florida? I am having trouble with that — I figure I am missing something.

    How many hurricanes affect Florida? How many affect New York? The infrastructure in Florida is designed to survive a hurricane. Especially after Hurricane Andrew. Also, in hurricane prone areas, the weak trees have already been blown down so that there is less tree damage than could have been. Not so in New Jersey and New York. Finally, this is going to affect an area of very dense population.

  39. David Ball says:
    October 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm
    boballab says:
    October 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Still waiting on that source boballab, ……..

    Look right above your post also you could have spent that time waiting using google and found them yourself. This tells me you haven’t been paying attention to the storm since this weather pattern has been predicted for the last 2-3 days. Also you could just read the 5pm NHC disscussion:

    SANDY SHOULD CONTINUE TO INTERACT WITH A STRONG NEGATIVELY TILTED SHORTWAVE TROUGH THAT IS MOVING EAST-SOUTHEASTWARD ACROSS THE
    TENNESSEE VALLEY…AND WILL REACH THE U.S. EAST COAST IN ABOUT 48
    HOURS. AS THE TROUGH CONTINUES TO UNDERCUT SANDY TO ITS SOUTH…THE
    HURRICANE WILL GRADUALLY LIFT NORTHWARD OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS…
    FOLLOWED BY A TURN TO THE NORTHWEST AND WEST-NORTHWEST AFTER THAT
    RIGHT UP UNTIL LANDFALL OCCURS IN ABOUT 36 HOURS.

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2012/al18/al182012.discus.026.shtml?

    For a definition of what a negative tilt is:

    Negative-tilt Trough – An upper level system which is tilted to the west with increasing latitude (i.e., with an axis from southeast to northwest). A negative-tilt trough often is a sign of a developing or intensifying system.

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=spotterglossary3#n

  40. boballab says:
    October 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I usually watch closely, but it has been a very busy weekend at our house.

  41. markstoval, you write “I figure I am missing something.” I am no expert, but I think the thing you are missing is the Arctic front. In the summer months, the Arctic front is well to the north of Canada, and hurricanes never come anywhere close to it. By October, the front comes much further south. It is the interaction of the hurricane with the Arctic front that makes it so dangerous. In 1954, Hurricane Hazel met the front and was basically forced straight upwards, and dumped all it’s moisture in a very short time period, causing all sorts of major flooding. This time, the front is almost stationary, and Sandy is going to hang around a long time, and dump all sorts of moisture it is still picking up from the relatively warm North Atlantic Ocean, and cause all sorts of flooding. Plus other problems, like a strong storm surge, and a high tide with the moon nearly full.

  42. I recall from my time in upstate New York that in places like the Adirondack Mountains, plenty of homes were built on or near floodplains, and roads ran along river valleys.

    Reading the bulletins, it seems that the emphasis is on conventional hurricane measures, especially evacuating coastal areas, whereas this isn’t a conventional hurricane and I think inland flooding is going to be the big problem.

    I hope i’m wrong.

  43. I will second Anthony’s motion that such hurricanes are not entirely “new.” Check out the 1893 season:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1893_Atlantic_hurricane_season

    While Anthoney’s data notes the two October hurricanes, (including one much like Hazel in 1954,) there was also a very interesting tropical storm, “Number 11,” which is interesting because it hooked west very much like Sandy “might” do. It cut into the Delmarva Peninsula with 60 mph winds October 23.

    You can also dust off my outdated article: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/21/hurricane-warning-mckibben-alert/

    However if this storm does what it looks like it might do, it truly will be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

    As such, it brings back to me the times I’ve been told that certain historical events “can’t possibly have happened.” Reading through the weather history so painstakingly gleaned by David Ludlum, you come across events that seem fantastic.

    Those of you who are young might want to make copies of today’s weather maps. Someday you will be an old geezer, and when you get telling tales about the ten foot tides in NYC, the young whippersnappers will get all scientific on you, and will say, “That’s just a tall tale….”

    Of course, if the prayers of many are answered, Sandy will go out to sea, in which case, “Never mind…”

  44. I bet it will be a fizzer. Cold air is now mixing with the sytem (its far far too north) and still hasn,t moved on bet it will be a simple LOW by tomorrow

  45. check out why she turns left. expect more wacky winter weather.. especially a colder northern europe.

  46. So far here in central Pennsylvania, the rain has started. That’s it.

    Been grey dark skies for about six days straight, didn’t see any breaks during the day.

    Bet the people with solar panels are real happy with their investment right now.

    Let’s hope they’re more happy with the insurance checks after they’re smashed by the flying tree branches and/or ripped off the roofs. Will they be eligible for tax credits and subsidies for the replacements?

    Don’t forget the flying and exploding wind turbines. What happens when a “100 year” wind event hits a windmill with a (hopefully) 20-yr lifespan?

    In other news, the Obama administration has finally made a bold move to cut federal spending. Federal offices in DC are closed on Monday.

    If the government had such savings for an entire week, wouldn’t that be a good thing?

  47. Martin Clauss says:
    October 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Anthony,
    Is the ‘update’ about the candidly worded NWS statement on the Mt. Holly NWS website, or a different location? I couldn’t find it. Have done a few searches, and several ‘weather’ type website show it, yet I can’t find a 2:41pm update from Mt. Holly . . .

    I thought I’d try my hand at it, and the first “not quite” hit is well worth reading, Anthony may have gotten some graphics from it or similar sources. It’s a pdf presentation at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/phi/briefing/packages/current_briefing.pdf by Gary Szatkowski – National Weather Service Mount Holly.

  48. Got it. http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=PHI&product=PNS&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1

    Got there from http://www.erh.noaa.gov/phi/emerman.php and clicking on “Public Information Statement (Snow and Ice Reports)”

    BTW, one of the things I couldn’t find for my post about the 1962 storm was an account I read of the town officers and other fulltime residents’ struggles just to survive that storm. In the midst of if a police chief suffered a heart attack and people couldn’t get him to a hospital for over a day. I forget if he survived or not, I think not.

    This storm should not be as bad as the 1962 storm, but a barrier island is not place to be for it!

  49. eliza says:
    October 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I bet it will be a fizzer. Cold air is now mixing with the sytem (its far far too north) and still hasn,t moved on bet it will be a simple LOW by tomorrow

    One more time…. People have been expecting this hurricane to make the transition to an extratropical storm before landfall. That process is happening now. That’s one reason tropical storm and hurricane warnings are not up at the coast. Look at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/phi/ – they have a warning for a “Hurricane Force Wind Warning”. In other words, they’re expecting a “simple LOW.”

    A simple low with hurricane force winds arriving during a spring tide probably won’t be considered a fizzer.

  50. Record 24 hour rainfall for North America was 1979 T.S. Claudette which dropped 42″ on Alvin, Texas. The second highest was a few years later in Hockley, Texas less than 50 miles away at 38″. Other local records, highest temperatur of 109F in Sept 2000, and lowest of 05F in Jan 1940. In Texas we live with Mother Nature everyday and we don’t need Nanny NWS telling us to hide under the bed. Furthermore, we don’t need Big Sis FEMA to come clean up the mess. Grow up….weather happens.

  51. Precisely. This is NOT now a tropical cyclone. It’s baroclinic. For NHC to continue to state so in their “Governmental Discussions” is a complete insult to the intelligence of any Meteorologist.

  52. Sandy/cold front has officially brought snow to NC. Drove through Newland on the way to TN (~3900 ft) and it was 32F and snowing. Earliest snow I’ve personally ever seen in any part of NC.

  53. Well I was kind of thinking this might be an act of God to knock the stench off the manure slinging politicians in time for them to see the approaching cliff that will contract our GDP by maybe 5% and raise unemployment to 10%+, and ‘do something’. Dream on, Ed.

    Doesn’t Smokey live over that way?

  54. We used to find a certain grim amusement when we’d see/hear weatherpersons saying that the storm had safely headed out to sea.

    May God take pity on the sailors.

    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)
    Who was a sailor from 1963 to 1999

  55. Well, Tuesday will be interesting here in western New Hampshire. I’ll give everyone a full report. Meanwhile I pick up stuff in my yard today (in case we get high winds) and raked leaves.

  56. TonyG and others,

    H. Sandy is so dangerous because it is very broad and the high winds extend far beyond its central core. A more intense hurricane might have a narrow band of high winds, even much higher than Sandy. However, in the current case the winds are blowing over a longer stretch of ocean, thus pushing more water toward shore. This will last longer and the moon’s position will also enhance the height of these multiple and long lasting surges.

    Sandy’s track is being forecast by many models with different ways of trying to determine what will happen. The ones with the “B” in the front such as mentioned by chris y @ 2:38 include a Coriolis parameter called “beta” (that’s the B). The idea is that as a storm gets farther north it is going to show more turning from the Coriolis effect and change its direction from more west to more northeast and east. That’s why the BXXX models miss the mainland.

    Working against the Coriolis effect are the Lows and Highs in place and how these cause air to move or not. With a High to the NE there is reason to expect Sandy cannot go that way (“a blocking high”). So, some think it will just go north. Others expect it to turn west because of the other pressure and wind systems moving around its edges.

    So we wait.

  57. David Ball on October 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm
    Still something not sitting quite right on this,…..”

    I agree.

  58. For all of those who asked why a Cat 1 storm would be so much more disastrous to NY-NJ than to FL, remember that in addition to the frequency of such storms in FL, along with the population density factor in NY-NJ, a Cat 1 storm such as Sandy will “pile up” seawater into the New York Bight a funnel-like geography formed by the coasts of Long Island , Staten Island/NJ.and the Hudson River.
    This has been the nightmare of meteorologists for as long as I can remember, but I believe that only one commenter took any note of it, and even then .rather cursorily,

  59. If people in the NY/NJ area ignore the warnings due to all the over-hyping of Irene last year, and wind up paying for it, can we hold those who sensationalized Irene responsible for manslaughter?
    Is it really much different than the recent events in Italy?

  60. Rascal,
    Good point, however this has not gone unnoticed by the local media in NY
    A similar super high tide/flooding occurred in the northern Chesapeake several years ago with massive flooding due to water being pushed north by wind into a narrower waterway.

  61. Long Long Range impact from Sandy. High wind Watch for southern Lake Michigan . . . Chicago is 700 miles away from the East Coast! Waves in southern Lake Michigan to 20-25 feet tomorrow night.

    URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
    918 PM CDT SUN OCT 28 2012

    …WIND GUSTS TO AROUND 60 MPH POSSIBLE NEAR LAKE MICHIGAN LATE
    MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY…

    ILZ014-291030-
    /O.CON.KLOT.HW.A.0001.121030T0600Z-121031T0000Z/
    COOK-
    INCLUDING THE CITY OF…CHICAGO
    918 PM CDT SUN OCT 28 2012

    …HIGH WIND WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE MONDAY NIGHT
    THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING…

    * TIMING…LATE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH EARLY TUESDAY EVENING.

    * WINDS…NORTHERLY AT SUSTAINED SPEEDS OF 30 TO 35 MPH WITH
    GUSTS OF 50 TO 60 MPH.

    * IMPACTS…THE VERY STRONG WINDS COULD RESULT IN MINOR WIND
    DAMAGE…INCLUDING DOWNED TREE LIMBS AND POWER LINES. HIGH
    RISE BUILDINGS NEAR THE LAKE WILL EXPERIENCE EVEN STRONGER
    WINDS JUST A COUPLE HUNDRED FEET ABOVE THE GROUND…SO BE
    CERTAIN EVERYTHING THAT COULD BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO HIGH WINDS IS
    SECURED.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

    A HIGH WIND WATCH MEANS THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR A HAZARDOUS
    HIGH WIND EVENT. SUSTAINED WINDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH…OR GUSTS OF
    58 MPH OR STRONGER MAY OCCUR. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST
    FORECASTS.

  62. Fitzy says:
    October 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm
    Well there’s your missing oceanic heat, since the Earths core is millions of degrees, its obviously pushing warmth up from the oceans floor high into the atmosphere.
    Due to Climate Klymaticking, or Goo-ball Looming, the storm will set fire to the everglades with burning Hydrogen Di-Oxide.
    Shrimp, Crabs & oysters will rain down on the mideast, as a sign from Gaia, that every cloud has a silver lining – or perhaps a Gumbo lining.
    A thousand years from now, Ostreae-Dendrologist’s will conclude that tree growth was hampered by an Al-Gore bloom of molluscs, a sign of Polar-Wind-Pushery. The cause, Ursus maritimus deliberately trying to hitch a ride south, kick-board style on ice drifts. Their goal, the all-you-can-eat buffet of the Punta Tombo Penguins.
    Best luck to our American cousins, may you all get through unscathed.

    ============================================================

    Until such time as you can back all that “mumbo jumbo” up with some graphs ……. I remain unconvinced.

    Well done!

  63. I wonder if the recent court case in Italy was in the front of someone’s mind when they worded this warning. It is as you say unusually graphic for a weather service statement.

  64. meanwhile, back in the UK:

    29 Oct: UK Express: Emma Bamford: BRITAIN SET TO FREEZE IN LONG ARCTIC WINTER
    A FREEZING winter is on the cards with experts forecasting a repeat of conditions that led to temperatures of -22C (-8F) in 2010.
    The Met Office’s long-term forecast suggests that, like two years ago, high-pressure systems will cut off mild Atlantic air, sending temperatures plunging as Arctic air moves in…
    British Weather Services also warns of “significant” snow, temperatures of -18C and transport disruption.
    ***The Met Office said its winter forecast is more accurate than ever thanks to a new computer programme.
    Government meteorologists have briefed ministers and transport leaders to be ready for colder-than-average temperatures until the end of January…
    Councils have put thousands of extra staff on standby for snow clearing duties and a record three million tons of salt has been stockpiled…
    Temperatures fell as low as -7.5C in the UK over the weekend, making some parts of the UK colder than the Arctic.
    It was 6C in Akureyri, Iceland, near the Arctic Circle, while windchill from 62mph gales in north-east Scotland made temperatures feel far below zero.
    ***Some snow even settled in London – only the second time that this has happened in October since 1934…

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/355056/Britain-set-to-freeze-in-long-Arctic-winter

  65. I am not downgrading the severity of this storm may have but doesn’t it have shades of the movie ‘Day after tomorrow’ when snow and water devastated NY. I hope you who live in the areas in which it is heading, will be safe. I wonder how Bermuda is faring, I lived there once, and the roads line the sea fronts and our little car was swamped quite a few times, getting home. And although on the edge of a hurricane it was frightening. The wind so strong, when shopping at Higgerly Piggerly store I could hardly stand up right against the strong wind. It’s the nearest I got to a hurricane.

  66. Ken G says:
    October 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    If people in the NY/NJ area ignore the warnings due to all the over-hyping of Irene last year, and wind up paying for it, can we hold those who sensationalized Irene responsible for manslaughter?
    Is it really much different than the recent events in Italy?

    I’d say quite different. In Italy forecasters said there was no risk before an earthquake, with Irene forecasters said there was risk, and there was $15.6 billion in damage from NC to NH. It was only a week or so ago I saw something on a rebuilt business in Vermont. Upstate New York was also severely damaged. The road leading to my Mt Cardigan property in NH still has some “temporary” repairs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Irene says:

    Throughout its path, Irene caused widespread destruction and at least 56 deaths; Damage estimates throughout the United States are estimated near $15.6 billion,[1] which made it the 5th costliest hurricane in United States history, only behind Hurricane Andrew of 1992, hurricanes Wilma and Katrina of 2005, and Hurricane Ike of 2008. In addition, monetary losses in the Caribbean were estimated to be as high as US$3.1 billion, plus another $260 million in Canada for a total estimate of nearly $19 billion in damage.[2][3]

  67. The following is the latest reports on wind speeds related to storm.

    Checked the Bermuda weather service:
    Current conditions @ Bermuda @ 1:55 (Bermuda time): wind speed = 24 mph

    Checked the NWS 1:10 am est :
    Current conditions @ Wilmington, NC wind speed = 17 mph / 28 mph gusts
    Current conditions @ Virginia Beach, Va wind speed = 23 mph / 33 mph gusts

    Just for fun:
    Current conditions @ Cleveland, OH wind speed = 25 mph / 36 mph gusts

    NHC is showing the “Cumulative Wind History” graphics to be inclusive of Bermuda and Wilmington, NC to be of tropical force.

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at3+shtml/030345.shtml?swath?large#contents

    Just making a record of the current conditions as Sandy progresses. We are told this storm is huge with hurricane winds extending out a couple of hundred miles.

    Never forget Irene. That one required Obama, the president of the United States, to command the National Hurricane Center! With such command hurricane force winds never reached the coast of the USA.

  68. Ric Werme
    Well its very unlikely to be a Frankenstorm. Just a normal LOW system with lots of rain and strong winds. You get these in Ireland quite frequently even in winter because of the warm gulf stream (and warmer air) meeting Arctic air. Sometimes on a satellite image they look terrifying LOL

  69. Having used the epithet “Perfect” storm some time back, where does one go for this one?
    Superlative? Celestial? Infinite? Surely not ‘Frankenstorm’.
    Gird your loins with our prayers.

  70. [quote] Steamboat Jack says:
    October 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    We used to find a certain grim amusement when we’d see/hear weatherpersons saying that the storm had safely headed out to sea.

    May God take pity on the sailors.

    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)
    Who was a sailor from 1963 to 1999
    [/quote]

    Amen to that, due to the size of this thing if anyone has to try to out run it or cut across its track to avoid getting run over, if it turns north east they will be in for a long pounding.

    I had the “pleasure” of running across the front of a 150 knot wind typhoon near Guam in the early 1970’s and it beat the crap out of us. It was a wild ride but a lot of folks were seriously worried that some of the hits we took from a wild wave were going to cause some damage to the ship. When they hit the hull they would literally make the whole ship ring like a bell with a very deep Brruuuuuum shudder that you could feel run down the length of the hull.

    I hope the ships at sea had time to get well clear of the storm.

    Larry

  71. Rick Werme:

    One more time…. People have been expecting this hurricane to make the transition to an extratropical storm before landfall. That process is happening now. That’s one reason tropical storm and hurricane warnings are not up at the coast. Look at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/phi/ – they have a warning for a “Hurricane Force Wind Warning”. In other words, they’re expecting a “simple LOW.”

    A simple low with hurricane force winds arriving during a spring tide probably won’t be considered a fizzer.

    Keep in m ind as well the tide is also enhanced by full moon.

    I agree as well it is pretty silly to drop the “hurricane” moniker … it is worse in many ways – hurricane force winds over hundreds of miles for a much longer and sustained time frame. They do not call a hurricane mostly because it switched to a cold vs warm “core” – but the storm is just as dangerous or more so.

  72. eliza says:
    October 28, 2012 at 10:54 pm
    Ric Werme
    Well its very unlikely to be a Frankenstorm. Just a normal LOW system with lots of rain and strong winds. You get these in Ireland quite frequently even in winter because of the warm gulf stream (and warmer air) meeting Arctic air. Sometimes on a satellite image they look terrifying LOL

    Pretty clearly you have no idea what you’re talking about or have not paid any attention to the forecasts and maps.

    From memory Isaacwas 954mb at its strongest – Sandy is currently appx 950mb and dropping – predicted to potentially be as low as 940mb. It is also hitting a hugely populated area very susceptible to storm surge.

    Irene’s flood level is said to have come within 9″ of overwhelming the subways.

    There is nothing normal about this low pressure system – this hurricane. It represents huge potential for impact on millions of people.

  73. Fridays modeled path compilation here

    Sat night compilation of various models path predictions here

    And current modeled track prediction of the many different models is HERE

    It would seem there is little doubt where this storm is heading any longer

  74. i was in Toronto Canada during Hazel in1954! My Uncle was a police officer at the time. When the storm hit he was given the job of rescuing those who were trapped in their homes. Most people were not aware of the severity of Hazel until it was to late. Unfortunately my Uncle’s rescue assignment turned into a harrowing night of pulling bodies out of the local water ways! Instead of carping and ridiculing those who urge extreme caution and evacuation I would suggest you think of your families and comply with such orders! Many who lost relatives and friends during Hazel wish they were given that chance! the complexity of Sandy as it turns inland mirror that of Hazel! Be forewarned ….this storm can and will be deadly! Best of luck to all!

  75. Typically, we worry about the intensity of a hurricane and breathe a sign of relief when the intensity subsides.

    Sandy is different. The danger stems from the size (rather than the intensity) of this storm system It is HUGE. Although the winds will be of a dangerous force and cause property damage for sure, I fear the sea level surge and rainfall more. We are going to see serious flooding and, I fear, massive infrastructure damage to power and communications systems.

  76. Anthony says: “Just a reminder, October hurricanes hitting the Eastern USA seaboard are not something new, and certainly not a result of “global warming”.”

    Just a reminder …
    * most of those storms (in the link) were earlier October, not this late (Hazel was 2 weeks earlier).
    * most of those storms did NOT hit “the Eastern USA seaboard”, but instead hit around the Gulf Of Mexico (Texas to the west coast of Florida).

    So a storm this big, this late, this far north DOES seem to be something new (unless someone can find even one hurricane on Anthony’s list that is indeed similar in location, intensity, and date).

    As to possible attributions to climate change vs. simple bad luck, I will leave that to others.

  77. Ric Werme,

    I never said Irene didn’t cause damage and I referred to the NY/NJ area for a reason. The fact is, as demonstrated on this very blog, that Irene was losing strength and no longer a hurricane well before it got the NY area, yet it was still being sold as a coming Armageddon event. A quick google search will confirm I’m not the only person who felt there was a big disconnect from what we were expecting here compared to what we actually got.

    Now this morning I woke up to the mayor of Newark talking about the storm. He mentioned that last year a particular shelter had 50-60 people before Irene hit. Today they had 2.

    So the question remains, when people in this area dismiss this storm because of the sensationalism of the last one, can we start holding people legally responsible?

  78. Wow, center’s moving WNW now at 25 mph. Moderate, driving rain already here, at least 300 miles to the west.

    Flooding along my border stream & basement are my concern, & the inevitable power outage. Maybe the rain will knock off some of the tree-leaves before the wind arrives in earnest. Hope the two main 500 KVA transmission lines heading east across southern PA aren’t taken out.

  79. the inland flooding will be issue here in maine, and tons of trees overturning from saturated rootballs.
    and you know what?
    its nothing more than normal bad maine weather. it may be bad, but bad and 45-50 deg F is a lot better than bad and 0 deg F.
    I’d rather ride out hurricane than bad blizzards or ice storms.

  80. @Tim Folkerts: So a storm this big, this late, this far north DOES seem to be something new (unless someone can find even one hurricane on Anthony’s list that is indeed similar in location, intensity, and date).

    An image of hurricane tracks for late October (Oct. 18 through Oct.31)
    http://i47.tinypic.com/3480sh4.png (2.4 MB)

    Observations: by late october, TX, LA are mostly left alone. It is Florida and the Eastern seaboard that gets the storms.

    It is true that Sandy is a very unusually strong storm to make landfall this late.
    I note an UnNamed 1923 hurricane that made landfall in Maryland on Oct. 24 at 50-55 MPH wind speed that is closest to Sandy’s track. It crossed western NY and exited through Quebec. 1923 had another storm that hit Cape Cod (40 mph).

    1963-GINNY was a 90-95 MPH storm as far north as 48 deg North before making landfall on Nova Scotia.

    As for November, nothing hit the Eastern Seaboard north of Cape Hatteras. Nothing stronger than 60 MPH north of 45 deg N and West of 75W.

  81. Stephen,

    Thanks for that image and analysis. What is the source of that graph? Sandy is certainly unusual — its uniqueness can be questioned. It would be interesting to analyze hurricanes by date and location. I would expect that a warmer climate would allow hurricanes earlier and later. It is possible that “mid season” hurricanes would decrease (I saw a similar pattern for tornadoes).

  82. For all those who claim this is nothing to worry about – just a garden variety low:

    At present Sandy at an astounding is 940mb and due to come onshore in several hours

  83. Tim Folkerts says:
    October 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Anthony says: “Just a reminder, October hurricanes hitting the Eastern USA seaboard are not something new, and certainly not a result of “global warming”.”

    Just a reminder …
    * most of those storms (in the link) were earlier October, not this late (Hazel was 2 weeks earlier).
    * most of those storms did NOT hit “the Eastern USA seaboard”, but instead hit around the Gulf Of Mexico (Texas to the west coast of Florida).

    So a storm this big, this late, this far north DOES seem to be something new (unless someone can find even one hurricane on Anthony’s list that is indeed similar in location, intensity, and date).

    As to possible attributions to climate change vs. simple bad luck, I will leave that to others.

    “Hazel made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane“…

    Nice try Tim.

    http://www4.ncsu.edu/~nwsfo/storage/cases/19541015/

  84. Clipe says:
    ““Hazel made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane“…
    Nice try Tim.

    Except it made land fall in the Carolinas, which is definitely south of this storm.
    And it made landfall a couple weeks earlier (Oct 15).

    So it was definitely more intense winds (although it doesn’t seem to have been as broad), but farther south and earlier. So this was a good attempt at a counter-example, but not a clear-cut case of a storm “this big, this late, this far north” (meeting only 1 of the 3 criteria).

    PS– my prayers go out to all those in the path of this storm. Already there are reports of major winds, rains, storm surges and power outages.

  85. tjfolkerts says:
    October 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Except it made land fall in the Carolinas, which is definitely south of this storm.
    And it made landfall a couple weeks earlier (Oct 15).

    So, a couple of weeks and a few miles south, relegates a mid October Cat 4 to? A Cat 1 in New Jersey?

  86. @tjfolkerts at 2:11 pm
    Thanks for that image and analysis. What is the source of that graph?

    That was an analysis I cobbled together in a couple of hours using a graphical Visualization tool called Spotfire. I use it for all kinds of graphical and data analysis. It’s interactive filtering is superb.

    The raw data came from NOAA via http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/tracks.atl
    I built an Excel process to decode the file into a single relational table. Then paste it into Spotfire. I found a Cartesian coordinate graphic for a background from some Florida county GIS dept (now a dead link). Paste that and register the image on the coordinate system. Verify that 83-Alicia data goes through the mapped Houston. Presto. Filter to dates from Oct 18 to Oct 31, all years, color by Hurricane number of the year, size by Wind Speed, Label by Year-Name, connect by hurricane ID, order by record #, and mark the points of interest Take a screen shot.

    For more examples, you can go to this rather tattered blog page. http://stephenrasey.com/Hurricanes/HurricaneIndex.htm (I just haven’t got around to cleaning it up after a server move, but most of the graphics are still intact.)

  87. @TJFolkerts I would expect that a warmer climate would allow hurricanes earlier and later. It is possible that “mid season” hurricanes would decrease (I saw a similar pattern for tornadoes).

    In the article: Tropical Storm Beatriz – the six hour “shorty” (June 23, 2011)
    I did a simple test of the question, does the date of the earliest named storm have any bearing on the number of named storms in the year? My results are here:
    June 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm The answer was NO

    You had to get to early August before the mean even began to drop. There are three years in the past 30 where the first named storm happened on or after Aug. 11: They were 1980, 1983, and 1984, with 11, 4, and 13 storms. Which is a average, below average and above average activity years.

    The problem was the “first” of anything is an outlier data point by it’s nature. Outliers are poor indicators of any trend. This wasn’t an answer to your hypothesis, but offered as a potential problem for “earlier” and “later” indicators.

    What I would really like to sink my teeth into is a study of hurricane path by location, data, and positiion in AMO or ENSO cycle.

  88. Please can anyone tell me wether Sandy has sucked the life out of the gulf stream that was supposed to have been delivering all that heat energy to europe to keep us warm for the winter ?

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