Hurricane Sandy pounding Jamaica, may hit U.S. this weekend; TS Tony forms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:21 PM GMT on October 24, 2012

Share this Blog
42
+

Hurricane warnings are flying for Jamaica and Eastern Cuba, as an intensifying Hurricane Sandy plows north-northeast at 13 mph towards landfall. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm, and measured surface winds of hurricane strength--75 to 80 mph--in the storm's northeast quadrant near 9:25 am EDT. Sandy's pressure at the time of the 9:28 am center fix was 973 mb, and the temperature in the eye had warmed 2°C since the 7:48 am fix, a sign of strengthening. Intermittent rain squalls from Sandy have been affecting Jamaica since Monday night, and Kingston, Jamaica has picked up 2.12" of rain from Sandy as of 9 am EDT. Winds in Jamaica have been below 20 mph as of 10 am EDT, but will start to rise quickly in the next few hours. The Hurricane Hunters found a large 55 mile-diameter eye that was open to the WNW this morning, and it is likely that Kingston will receive high winds of 55 - 65 mph from the western eyewall, which will cause considerable damage to Jamaica's capital. The eastern tip of Jamaica will likely see the eye pass overhead, and will receive the strongest winds. The eye is beginning to appear on visible satellite loops, and Sandy is showing an increasing degree of organization as it closes in on Jamaica. Sandy is the tenth hurricane of the 2012 hurricane season, which is now tied for eighth place for most hurricanes in a year since record keeping began in 1851.


Figure 1. Morning microwave satellite image of Tropical Storm Sandy taken at 8:45 am EDT. The large 55-mile diameter eye was just south of Jamaica. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Near-term forecast for Sandy
Wind shear is forecast to be in the moderate range and ocean temperatures will be a warm 28°C through Thursday morning, which will favor intensification. However, Sandy doesn't have much time left over water before it encounters the high mountains of Jamaica this afternoon, which should interrupt the intensification process. The strongest Sandy is likely to be at landfall in Jamaica is a 90 mph Category 1 hurricanes. After encountering Jamaica, Sandy won't have time to re-organize much before making landfall in Eastern Cuba near 10 pm EDT tonight, and the strongest the storm is likely to be then is a 90 mph Category 1. Passage over the rugged terrain of Cuba should weaken Sandy's winds by 20 - 30 mph, and it will be difficult for the storm to regain all of that lost strength in the face of the high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots it will encounter Thursday and Friday. I expect that Sandy will be a 60 - 70 mph tropical storm as it traverses the Bahamas.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Sandy taken at 11:45 am EDT Tuesday, October 23, 2012. At the time, Sandy had top winds of 50 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Sandy: a potential billion-dollar storm for the mid-Atlantic and New England
On Friday, a very complicated meteorological situation unfolds, as Sandy interacts with a trough of low pressure approaching the U.S. East Coast and trough of low pressure over the Central Atlantic. The Central Atlantic trough may be strong enough to pull Sandy northeastwards, out to sea, as predicted by the official NHC forecast, and the 06Z GFS, 00Z UKMET, 00Z Canadian, and 06Z HWRF models (00Z is 8 pm EDT, and 06Z is 2 am EDT.) However, an alternative solution, shown by the 00Z ECMWF, 06Z GFDL, and 06Z NOGAPS models, is for Sandy to get caught up by the trough approaching the Eastern U.S., which will inject a large amount of energy into Sandy, converting it to a powerful subtropical storm that hits the mid-Atlantic or New England early next week with a central pressure below 960 mb and sustained winds of 60 - 70 mph. Such a storm would likely cause massive power outages and over a billion dollars in damage, as trees still in leaf take out power grids, and heavy rains and coastal storm surges create damaging flooding. The full moon is on Monday, which means astronomical tides will be at their peak for the month, increasing potential storm surge flooding. A similar meteorological situation occurred in October 1991, when Hurricane Grace became absorbed by a Nor'easter, becoming the so-called "Perfect Storm" that killed 13 people and did over $200 million in damage in the Northeast U.S.


Figure 3. The Wednesday morning 06Z (2 am EDT) run of the GFS model was done 20 times at lower resolution with slightly varying initial conditions of temperature, pressure, and moisture to generate an ensemble of forecast tracks for Sandy (pink lines). These forecasts show substantial uncertainty in Sandy's path after Friday, with a minority of the forecasts taking Sandy to the northeast, out to sea, and the majority now predicting a landfall in the Northeast or mid-Atlantic states of the U.S. The white line shows the official GFS forecast, run at higher resolution.

When might Sandy arrive in the mid-Atlantic and New England?
The models vary significantly in their predictions of when Sandy might arrive along the U.S. coast. The 06Z NOGAPS model predicts Sandy's heavy rains will arrive on North Carolina's Outer Banks on Saturday, then spread into the mid-Atlantic and New England on Sunday. The 00Z ECMWF model predicts that Sandy's rains won't affect North Carolina until Sunday, with the storm making landfall in New Jersey on Monday night. The GFDL model is in-between these extremes, taking Sandy ashore in Delaware on Monday morning. The trough of low pressure that Sandy will be interacting with just moved ashore over the Western U.S. this morning, and got sampled by the 12Z (8 am EDT) set of land-based balloon-borne radiosondes for the first time. One of the reasons the models have been in such poor agreement on the long-term fate of Sandy is that the strength of this trough has not been very well known, since it has been over the ocean where we have limited data. Now that the trough is over land, it will be better sampled, and the next set of 12Z model runs, due out this afternoon between 2 pm - 4pm EDT, will hopefully begin to converge on a common solution. I'll have an update this afternoon once the 12Z model runs are in.


Figure 4. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Tony.

Tropical Storm Tony forms in the middle Atlantic
Tropical Storm Tony formed Tuesday night in the middle Atlantic, becoming the nineteenth named storm of this very busy 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Tony has a modest area of heavy thunderstorms, as seen on visible satellite images, but is battling dry air , wind shear, and ocean temperatures that have fallen below 26°C. Tony will not threaten any land areas, and will likely be dead by Thursday night.

Tony's place in history
Tony is the Nineteenth named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, tying this year with 1887, 1995, 2010, and 2011 for third busiest Atlantic season since the HURDAT historical data base began in 1851. With five more weeks left before the November 30 end of hurricane season, 2012 is likely to move into second place for most named storms before the year is out, as all six prior Atlantic hurricane seasons with nineteen or more named storms have had at least one named storm form after October 24. Here, then, is a list of the seven busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record:

2005 (28 named storms)
1933 (20 named storms, according to a new re-analysis)
2012 (19 named storms)
1887 (19 named storms)
2010 (19 named storms)
2011 (19 named storms)
1995 (19 named storms)

It's pretty remarkable that we've now had three straight years with nineteen named storms in the Atlantic. But how many of these storms might not have been counted in the pre-satellite era (before 1960)? Here's a list of weak and short-lived storms from 2010 - 2012 that stayed far out sea, and would likely have gone unnoticed in the pre-satellite era:

2012:
Tropical Storm Joyce
Tropical Storm Oscar
Tropical Storm Tony

2011:
Tropical Storm Jose
Tropical Storm Franklin

2010:
Tropical Storm Gaston

Even if we correct for the possible over-count of approximately two named storms per year during the 2010, 2011, and 2012 hurricane seasons, compared to the pre-satellite era, there is nothing in the HURDAT data base that compares to the type of activity we've seen the past three years. One likely contributor to the unusual string of active years is the fact hurricane season has gotten longer, perhaps due to warming ocean temperatures. I discussed in a 2008 blog post that Dr. Jim Kossin of the University of Wisconsin published a 2008 paper in Geophysical Research Letters titled, "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?" He concluded that yes, there is a "apparent tendency toward more common early- and late-season storms that correlates with warming Sea Surface Temperature but the uncertainty in these relationships is high".

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 771 - 721

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18Blog Index

Thx!:)
Quoting Levi32:


She's not likely to get jerked around as much as Isaac because she's moving perpendicular through the island, and she's on a strengthening trend.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
TV reporter says Sandy should clear Jamaica by 5pm. But to expect rain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
The NWS in Taunton, MA always does a fantastic discussion of big events like this. I'll link it rather than post it because's it's quite long but you should definitely read it.

Link


Perhaps most important in that all:
AGAIN THERE IS NO CERTAINTY THIS FAR OUT IN THE FORECAST...NUMEROUS
POSSIBILITIES REMAIN ON THE TABLE...BUT THE BEST ADVICE IS TO BE
TUNED TO THE LATEST FORECASTS...BEING PREPARED FOR EVERY SCENARIO...
BEST OR WORST CASE.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey Levi What are the chances that Sandy gets pulled west by Cuba like what happened with Isaac??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The NWS in Taunton, MA always does a fantastic discussion of big events like this. I'll link it rather than post it because's it's quite long but you should definitely read it.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:


Are you near or in Kingston ?


Kingston. Norbrook. Plenty wind, not so much rain. Power gone. on generator.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Hey Levi What are the chances that Sandy gets pulled west by Cuba like what happened with Isaac??


She's not likely to get jerked around as much as Isaac because she's moving perpendicular through the island, and she's on a strengthening trend.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
MetService says the radar is down...anyone know an alternate source?

Quoting PalmBeachWeatherBoy:
Jamaica radar anyone, link?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sandy still looks relatively unchanged on satellite. She could/should do some more strengthening before making landfall in Cuba. If her core remains intact after Cuba she will do more strengthening north of the Caribbean. If not then she would likely just maintain intensity until she gets some baroclinic energy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SE VA here... I hope I don't have a sub-950 storm just off the coast, but some snow would be nice.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:
Sandy is prepping the event for there are now 57 days till the 2012 Winter Solstice



There is really no need for this post.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:
Sandy is prepping the event for there are now 57 days till the 2012 Winter Solstice



LOL, good one!
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
Sandy is prepping the event for there are now 57 days till the 2012 Winter Solstice

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Unfortunately if Sandy does come up the east coast/backs into the NE, which it now appears pretty likely will happen, there will be a major surge/coastal flooding/beach erosion problem as it will be a very large storm with a large windfield capable of pushing a lot of water in front of it. Tides will also be very astronomically high when it gets up here.

ESPECIALLY WITH a storm pressure lower than 960 mbs. That could equate to an easy 10 ft. surge in places, and could be higher.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If the models play out I sincerely hope people from Jersey to Maine/Vermont take this seriously.....I hope they aren't gonna just blow this off and say "They said the same crap about Irene".....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Unfortunately if Sandy does come up the east coast/backs into the NE, which it now appears pretty likely will happen, there will be a major surge/coastal flooding/beach erosion problem as it will be a very large storm with a large windfield capable of pushing a lot of water in front of it. Tides will also be very astronomically high when it gets up here.

Not to mention the flooding rains and heavy snow that people would see. High winds would cause major power outages in areas with snow and power outages else where. Some models keep it strong as it goes inland and Sandy's affects could be very far reaching in the US.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kimoskee:
The wind is howling!!!!!!!!! Sandy is here!!!!


Where are you located, kimoskee?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kimoskee:
The wind is howling!!!!!!!!! Sandy is here!!!!


Are you near or in Kingston ?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
GFS

NAM
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AllStar17:


3-4 feet of snow is not happening.


1 foot is possible, more likley 3-5 inches.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
174HR GFS 12 Snow
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aprinz1979:


That's like asking, "If I put a an AK47 to my head and pull the trigger, any chance I may kill myself."


If its loaded, same situation goes with Sandy, it may be loaded with enough energy, or it may not.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
Quoting washingtonian115:
I highly doubt that..3-4 feet of snow?.


3-4 feet of snow is not happening.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
S FL 12 NAM at 57HR

60HR 12Z GFS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FunnelVortex:


Most likley


That's like asking, "If I put a an AK47 to my head and pull the trigger, any chance I may kill myself."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherbro:


I think this is gonna resemble the Hurricane of 1804 in a lot of ways for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic states(wouldn't doubt it if someone gets 3-4 feet of snow)!!!
I highly doubt that..3-4 feet of snow?.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Unfortunately if Sandy does come up the east coast/backs into the NE, which it now appears pretty likely will happen, there will be a major surge/coastal flooding/beach erosion problem as it will be a very large storm with a large windfield capable of pushing a lot of water in front of it. Tides will also be very astronomically high when it gets up here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The northern portion of the eye wall its already coming offshore. There are just 20 miles in that part of Jamaica fr. south to north.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricane23:


Few emails from co-workers thinking all of mainland sfl under watch at the moment. For those with questions keep checking HERE.

That's a good link, thanks. Here's another one:

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
poor jamaica! afternoon everywhere.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42036
Now Cuba's turn... how will Sandy fair that ride.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
Quoting washingtonian115:
I have a question..If Sandy makes a huge impact on the North-east(like some of the crazy a__ model runs are showing) could it be retired?

First off, the models might not be that crazy as they all basically show a hit. If she is tropical and she hits she would be retired but if extra-tropical I don't think so.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting washingtonian115:
I have a question..If Sandy makes a huge impact on the North-east(like some of the crazy a__ model runs are showing) could it be retired?


Most likley
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
The wind is howling!!!!!!!!! Sandy is here!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon. I'm not exactly liking this, lol:



I'm under the top part of the "L", the top part of the bloody "L"!

If this pans out, I'm going to get LOTS of beer and be a stereotypical Canadian in preparation for the end of the world.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bayside:


Been watching, in fact can't seem to take my eyes off of it right now. Chesapeake Bay water front in SE VA.

NOAA surge model starting to show things to come, this is where it starts to get real nerve racking!



Hey there fellow Virginian! I'm watching this storm NW of you here in Richmond. As for me, I am not looking for another Isabel or Irene, I'm ready for that four letter word that begins with S and ends with W.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This whole situation about Sandy hitting the northeast with winds, snow, and crap, reminds me of that move The Day After Tomorrow
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
Hey Levi What are the chances that Sandy gets pulled west by Cuba like what happened with Isaac??
Quoting Levi32:


Debby? Isaac?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon. I'm not exactly liking this, lol:



I think this is gonna resemble the Hurricane of 1804 in a lot of ways for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic states(wouldn't doubt it if someone gets 3-4 feet of snow)!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Currently, Broward Schools have canceled outdoor activities for Thursday, they are off for a Teacher Workday on Friday already. No word on Dade schools as of yet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42036
I have a question..If Sandy makes a huge impact on the North-east(like some of the crazy a__ model runs are showing) could it be retired?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
SE FL!



the pattern of the track ensembles combined look like a ? symbol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Articuno:
From a Local Meteorologist here where I live.
FYI his name is Justin Berk.

"The Perfect Storm? It looks like The Day After Tomorrow here on the latest GFS model. FOR THE RECORD- many of you know I don't want to hype anything and with this storm have been trying to down play it. I am not certifying this model hitting between Boston and Portland with the equivalent of a Cat 2 hurricane, or the European hit on New York City... but the atmosphere is going to do something special. I see the storm curving out to sea and then pulling west (like I said yesterday). How far west is the question. This indicates a loop into NY State and then a little south. The arctic air reaches the coast of North Carolina... and throw in a clipper storm in Missouri??? Crazy, huh?
*I can support strong winds spread up and down the east coast... as for how much rain or will it snow- let's not go there yet. There are more important things sort out like the track first. Like I said the past few days, Thursday is when I will start to feel more confident in doing that. I hope you are here with me to follow it together, and beware of anyone hyping this. There are many other mets hesitant to approach this too soon, with good reason. For now, I am just sharing what I see with you :-)"


a link to the image because for some reason I can't post it.
https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/15649 5_10151206793378476_1519025376_n.jpg

In what part of Maryland do you live again?.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Jamaica's getting pounded:



They are in the eye right now!
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
Jamaica radar anyone, link?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Debby? Isaac?


I mean the storm's general direction.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893

Viewing: 771 - 721

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
28 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron