Hurricane Sandy hits Jamaica, dumps heavy rains on Haiti

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:54 PM GMT on October 24, 2012

Share this Blog
48
+

Hurricane Sandy hit the southeastern tip of Jamaica near 3:20 pm EDT this afternoon, as a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds and a 973 mb pressure. According to NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website, Sandy is the thirteenth hurricane to make a direct hit on the island, and the first since Hurricane Gilbert of 1988. Kingston, Jamaica recorded sustained winds of 44 mph and a pressure of 972 mb in the west eyewall of Sandy at 4 pm EDT. The eastern tip of Jamaica will see the strongest winds of the right-front quadrant and the heaviest damage, though. A distorted eye is apparent on visible satellite loops, but Sandy is showing only minor disruption to its inner core structure as a result of hitting Jamaica. According to the Jamaica Observer, "Alligator Pond [in St Elizabeth] was inundated with the high waves that came ashore. We are now getting reports of impacts out in St. Catherine, Portland and St. Thomas as the ground becomes saturated. We are now seeing where light poles are toppling and landslides being reported and roadway being flooded to the point where there is impeded access in east St. Thomas." Heavy rains from Sandy are falling in Haiti. A NOAA forecast based on microwave satellite data predicts 12 inches of rain for the tip of Haiti's southwestern Peninsula, which will likely cause life-threatening flash flooding. Fortunately, much lighter rainfall amounts are predicted for the capital of Port-au-Prince, where 350,000 people still live in the open under tarps in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake. In August, flooding from Hurricane Isaac killed at least 29 people in Haiti.


Figure 1. Hurricane Sandy over Jamaica. The large 55-mile diameter eye hit the island at 3:20 pm EDT, and crossed over the eastern tip of the island. The eye has been distorted into an odd triangular shape, due to interaction with the land area of Jamaica.


Figure 2. Predicted 24-hour rain amounts from Hurricane Sandy for the period ending at 8 am EDT Thursday, October 25, 2012. The prediction is based on microwave satellite data of precipitation. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Near-term forecast for Sandy
Sandy doesn't have much time over water before it makes landfall on the southeastern coast of Cuba near 10 pm EDT this Wednesday night, 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 will likely destroy the hurricane's eyewall. It will be difficult for the storm to rebuild its eyewall and regain all of that lost strength, in the face of the high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots it will encounter Thursday and Friday. However, the loss of the eyewall will cause Sandy's radius of tropical storm-force winds to expand, spreading out the winds over a wider area of ocean, and increasing the storm surge threat. This large wind field will likely drive a storm surge of 5 - 8 feet in the Bahamas, which is more characteristic of a storm with winds 20 mph higher. I expect that Sandy will be a 65 - 70 mph tropical storm as it traverses the Bahamas, and the storm will make its closest pass by Nassau around 10 pm EDT Thursday.


Figure 3. This Maximum Water Depth storm surge image for the Bahamas shows the worst-case inundation scenarios for a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds, as predicted using dozens of runs of NOAA's SLOSH model. For example, if you are inland at an elevation of ten feet above mean sea level, and the combined storm surge and tide (the "storm tide") is fifteen feet at your location, the water depth image will show five feet of inundation. No single storm will be able to cause the level of flooding depicted in this image. Sandy's maximum storm surge may reach levels portrayed in this image for some islands in the Bahamas. See wunderground's storm surge pages for more storm surge info.

Sandy: a potential billion-dollar storm for the mid-Atlantic, New England, and Canada
The latest set of 12Z (8 am EDT) model runs are in, and they portray an increased risk to the U.S. and Canadian East Coasts for early next week. The GFS model, which had been showing that Sandy would head to the northeast out to sea, now has changed its tune, and predicts that Sandy will double back and hit Maine on Tuesday evening. The ECMWF model, which has been very consistent in its handling of Sandy, now has the storm hitting Delaware on Monday afternoon. These models are predicting that Sandy will get caught up by the trough approaching the Eastern U.S., which will inject a large amount of energy into the storm, converting it to a powerful subtropical storm with a central pressure below 960 mb and sustained winds of 60 - 70 mph. Winds of this strength would likely cause massive power outages, as trees still in leaf take out power lines. Also of great concern are Sandy's rains. Given that ocean temperatures along the Northeast U.S. coast are about 5°F above average, there will be an unusually large amount of water vapor available to make heavy rain. If the trough of low pressure approaching the East Coast taps into the large reservoir of cold air over Canada and pulls down a significant amount of Arctic air, as predicted, the potential exists for the unusually moist air from Sandy to collide with this cold air from Canada and unleash the heaviest October rains ever recorded in the Northeast U.S. Another huge concern is storm surge flooding. Sandy is expected to have tropical storm-force winds that extend out more than 300 miles from the center, which will drive a much larger storm surge than its winds would ordinarily suggest. The full moon is on Monday, which means astronomical tides will be at their peak for the month, increasing potential storm surge flooding.

There remains a lot of model uncertainty on where Sandy might go, and I still give a 30% chance that the storm will have a minimal impact on the U.S. An extra set of balloon-borne radiosondes is going to be launched at 2 pm EDT on Thursday all across the U.S., which should help tomorrow evening's model runs make better forecasts of where Sandy might go. Extra radiosondes will be launched every 6 hours through Saturday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

Hurr Sandy staring down (Jewelsblues)
Looking onto Caribbean Sea, from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Hurr Sandy staring down

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: 2206 - 2156

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45Blog Index

2206. BahaHurican
3:30 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Good morning again...

I went out for about an hour to see what conditions were like especially on the north side. I took a few pictures and I'm going to try to get a blog entry up within the next hour or so.

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20742
2205. MahFL
3:19 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Hmm, the cdo is exploding to the NW, towards Florida.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 2912
2204. US1Mile10
3:05 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Windy and rainy here. Tide extremely high.
Member Since: October 10, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 13
2203. Bayside
2:53 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
This is what the surge+tide did in the Chesapeake Bay was during Irene.



This is from Nor'Ida (2009 Nor'easter)


And finally Hurrican Isabel
Member Since: September 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 65
2202. JRRP
2:45 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting 7544:
maybe the nam see the high above sandy as its building in and could push her more west while in the bahammas notice new convection forming to the west side at this hour hmmmm could the nam be right? tia

for now.... NO
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5085
2201. JRRP
2:44 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting kwgirl:
Where is that?
Quoting kwgirl:
Where is that?

Santo Domingo
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5085
2200. 7544
2:44 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
maybe the nam see the high above sandy as its building in and could push her more west while in the bahammas notice new convection forming to the west side at this hour hmmmm could the nam be right? tia
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6618
2199. CybrTeddy
2:40 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
No one has mentioned TS Tony in almost a day, hats off for this little under-appreciated warrior that got us to 19 named.
AL, 19, 2012102512, , BEST, 0, 307N, 373W, 35, 1000, TS

This is what the NHC is thinking for Sandy at 11am.
AL, 18, 2012102512, , BEST, 0, 216N, 755W, 90, 966
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23016
2198. kwgirl
2:40 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting JRRP:
Link
look at this
Where is that?
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
2197. Bluestorm5
2:40 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
I hate it when media is overhyping the storm... yes, it could be bad, but not on "epic" level.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 23 Comments: 7506
2196. washingtonian115
2:40 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting ncstorm:
.

Hello everyone. I agree wash
Good morning ncstorm.The euro shows quite the Hollywood horror storm for my area.lol
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15738
2195. originalLT
2:40 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
I'm up here in the NYC metro area (Actually in SW CT) and listening to NYC all news radio stations , and there is no yalk as of now of any evacuations anywhere in our try-state area. Don't think there would be any talk of that until Sat. if the models still show a Northeast hit.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7081
2194. biff4ugo
2:39 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Aussie's link has a very optimistic forecast for the windspeed. No increses anymore.
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 113 Comments: 1501
2193. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
2:39 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
2192. GTcooliebai
2:39 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
The High above Sandy is starting to build from the lower levels to the Upper Levels:

400 mb. level:



300 mb. level:

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
2191. LargoFl
2:39 PM GMT on October 25, 2012

(NECN) - People across New England are bracing for Hurricane Sandy's potential impact.

In Scituate, Mass., crews are hard at work repairing a seawall that was damaged in a 2010 Nor'easter that caused severe flooding throughout the town.

Utility companies are preparing for the storm, as well.

At this time last year, a Nor'easter caused hundreds of thousands of power outages in New England.

One of the hardest hit communities was Foxboro, Mass. The majority of the town lost power.

Earlier this year, utility company NSTAR said it was better prepared, thanks to improvements in communication.

A new web portal enables customers to go online for up-to-date storm information.

NSTAR says it has community liasons knocking on doors to get the word out about the new web portal.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33473
2190. goldenpixie1
2:38 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Fort Lauderdale cam (Windjammer Resort)
http://www.windjammerresort.com/webcam.html cam

Member Since: January 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 70
2189. ncstorm
2:37 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
When the storm is two days out I'll start being way more alert but the models can't agree and is being a little aggressive.
.

Hello everyone. I agree wash
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13481
2188. RitaEvac
2:37 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Next few days are going to be very, very interesting. Interests from Florida to New York need to watch Sandy, this could become quite the nor'easter.


Florida to Canadian maritimes
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
2187. FunnelVortex
2:36 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Sandy is officialy impacting Florida.

Link
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2866
2186. CybrTeddy
2:36 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Next few days are going to be very, very interesting. Interests from Florida to New York need to watch Sandy, this could become quite the nor'easter.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23016
2185. 7544
2:35 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
maybe the nam is seeing the high above sandy that could push her more west ?
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6618
2184. RitaEvac
2:35 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
The winds continued to climb while it hit Jamaica and Cuba and never weakened. Total opposite of what tropical systems are supposed to do
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
2183. LargoFl
2:35 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
857 AM EDT THU OCT 25 2012

AMZ550-552-555-570-572-575-FLZ041-044>047-053-054 -058-059-064-141-
144-147-251600-
COASTAL VOLUSIA-FLAGLER BEACH TO VOLUSIA-
BREVARD COUNTY LINE 20 NM TO 60 NM OFFSHORE-FLAGLER BEACH TO VOLUSIA-
BREVARD COUNTY LINE OUT TO 20 NM-INDIAN RIVER-INLAND VOLUSIA-MARTIN-
NORTHERN BREVARD-NORTHERN LAKE-OKEECHOBEE-ORANGE-OSCEOLA-
SEBASTIAN INLET TO JUPITER INLET 20 NM TO 60 NM OFFSHORE-
SEBASTIAN INLET TO JUPITER INLET OUT TO 20 NM-SEMINOLE-
SOUTHERN BREVARD-SOUTHERN LAKE-ST. LUCIE-VOLUSIA-
BREVARD COUNTY LINE TO SEBASTIAN INLET 20 NM TO 60 NM OFFSHORE-
VOLUSIA-BREVARD COUNTY LINE TO SEBASTIAN INLET OUT TO 20 NM-
857 AM EDT THU OCT 25 2012

.NOW...
OCCASIONAL SQUALLS WILL MOVE QUICKLY FROM THE ATLANTIC AND ONTO THE
COAST TODAY. THROUGH THE MORNING HOURS THE GREATEST CHANCE WILL BE
SOUTH OF CAPE CANAVERAL. CELL MOTION WILL BE TO THE WEST AND
SOUTHWEST AT 30 TO 35 MPH. A BRIEF BURST OF HEAVY RAIN AND GUSTY
WINDS TO 35 MPH WILL ACCOMPANY THE STRONGER SQUALLS.

&&

ADDITIONAL DETAILS...INCLUDING GRAPHICS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT:
HTTP://WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/MLB/BLOG.PHP

$$
RL
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33473
2182. JRRP
2:33 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
for now the UKM is the best
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5085
2181. IFuSAYso
2:33 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Article about Sandy on Yahoo.

"Cisco said the chance of the storm smacking the East jumped from 60 percent to 70 percent on Wednesday. Masters was somewhat skeptical on Tuesday, giving the storm scenario just a 40 percent likelihood, but on Wednesday he also upped that to 70 percent. The remaining computer models that previously hadn't shown the merger and mega-storm formation now predict a similar scenario."

Link
Member Since: March 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 154
2180. TampaSpin
2:33 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting LargoFl:
im wondering if in eastern long island they are considering evacs..this is a powerful storm



Bro..i would certainly hope so....If these models are correct on Intensity....WOW! Sure hope NHC is more correct than these models are showing CURRENTLY!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
2179. washingtonian115
2:32 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
When the storm is two days out I'll start being way more alert but the models can't agree and is being a little aggressive.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15738
2178. RitaEvac
2:32 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
We could be witnessing a multi-billion dollar disaster in the making
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
2177. LargoFl
2:32 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting floridastorm:
When is this westward drift going to happen? It seems like it's going to cross 75W far from Florida. What are the chances that it misses us all together?
probably the more concern should be how Large in area she becomes,if she is 240 miles wide and she come 150 miles from florida's coast..well..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33473
2176. AussieStorm
2:31 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Sandy slams Cuba, could hit US as 'Nor'easter on steroids'
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15750
2175. floridastorm
2:30 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
When is this westward drift going to happen? It seems like it's going to cross 75W far from Florida. What are the chances that it misses us all together?
Member Since: May 20, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 147
2174. LargoFl
2:30 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33473
2173. LargoFl
2:29 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting TampaSpin:


If it is broken....it will smash that 1 billion dollar loss if it comes into LONG ISLAND! JUST SAYN
im wondering if in eastern long island they are considering evacs..this is a powerful storm
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33473
2172. LargoFl
2:28 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting Bayside:
Sure don't like these surge models going up every few hours, sure makes it look like it's going to be closer than the NHC forecast
one thing is for sure, up the whole coast going to be alot of coastal flooding, water surging into those inlets etc
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33473
2171. DFWjc
2:26 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting LargoFl:
Boca beach on the east coast of florida


Here's another cam from Palm Beach
http://www.earthcam.com/usa/florida/palmbeach/

Link
Member Since: July 19, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 1006
2169. BillyG60
2:24 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Surf conditions at Indialantic,FLA at 10 am.
Wind is picking up.

http://youtu.be/qr5XGkVQtrM
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 10
2168. 7544
2:24 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
strange but fun to watch lol

Link
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6618
2167. JRRP
2:24 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Link
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5085
2166. TampaSpin
2:24 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting TomballTXPride:

Don't scare me, Spin!!!


Dont mean to do that....but those that know me know i post as i see it.....ya know!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
2164. Grothar
2:23 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting reedzone:
Wait, didn't the 1938 Long Island Express turn Extratropical before hitting Long Island?

That's something to consider with Sandy...


Where did you hear that? I believe it hit as a Cat 3 hurricane. It was moving over 60 mph.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
2163. TampaSpin
2:23 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting reedzone:
Wait, didn't the 1938 Long Island Express turn Extratropical before hitting Long Island?

That's something to consider with Sandy...


Funny you said that....i posted on here about 5am that Sandy just might stay tropical much longer than expected.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
2161. npalmwatcher
2:22 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting catastropheadjuster:
I was just wondering has anyone heard where they might be sending Jim Cantore? I know someone said he had to cut his vacation short because of Hurricane Sandy. I was just wondering.

sheri


I heard on the radio this morning that he is on Singer Island in Palm Beach County.
Member Since: August 16, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 10
2160. Bayside
2:22 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Sure don't like these surge models going up every few hours, sure makes it look like it's going to be closer than the NHC forecast
Member Since: September 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 65
2159. Grothar
2:22 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Large flareup beginning on the western side.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
2158. TampaSpin
2:21 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Quoting Chapelhill:
That is a record that could have a chance of being broken.


If it is broken....it will smash that 1 billion dollar loss if it comes into LONG ISLAND! JUST SAYN
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
2157. reedzone
2:19 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Wait, didn't the 1938 Long Island Express turn Extratropical before hitting Long Island?

That's something to consider with Sandy...
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
2156. GeorgiaStormz
2:19 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
The Bahamas Department of Meteorology says Hurricane Sandy could produce storm surges of 5 to 8 feet on some islands.




What damage will that do down there?

I suppose if not for the greater antilles, the bahamas would have been in trouble.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9467

Viewing: 2206 - 2156

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45Blog 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.