Hurricane Sandy remains a Category 2, continues on its track toward the East Coast

By: Angela Fritz , 9:48 PM GMT on October 25, 2012

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Hurricane Sandy is tracking north through the Bahamas this afternoon as a Category 2 hurricane. Maximum wind speeds in the hurricane are 105 mph, with a minimum central pressure of 963 mb. Sandy's center is moving through the eastern Bahamas, about 100 miles southeast of Nassau. The hurricane's eye is still not apparent on satellite nor was it clear in the data from today's Hurricane Hunter mission. Gusts in Nassau have reached 39 mph so far today as the hurricane approaches from the south. Buoys west of Nassau have been recording surface winds up to 39 mph, as well. On Abaco Island, just over an inch of rain has fallen today, and almost an inch of rain has fallen in Miami, where rain started last night.

Sandy's appearance on satellite is a bit ragged this afternoon as it approaches very high wind shear (40-50 knots). The hurricane is obviously already undergoing structural changes this afternoon, caused in part by an upper level low over western Cuba. This low is prohibiting Sandy's outflow on the west side, and as a result, the storm appears asymmetrical with a large area of outflow and circulation to the north, and only a tail of circulation on the southeast of the hurricane. Visually, Sandy is a huge storm. Based on clouds alone, Sandy stretches from Jacksonville, Florida, east to Bermuda, and south to the southern Caribbean Sea. Sandy's radius of outer closed isobar is 350 miles, though tropical storm-force winds only extend around 200 miles from the center.


Figure 1. High resolution MODIS visible satellite imagery of Hurricane Sandy early this morning.

Forecast For Hurricane Sandy
As Sandy moves north, it will grow larger and the hurricane's energy will spread out even more, which will lead to a slight decrease in maximum wind speed. Models agree on this steady decrease in intensity over the next few days, though beyond that, the intensity forecast is still in question since Sandy could begin to gain non-tropical energy as it transitions into a non-tropical storm. The track through Saturday evening remains well understood by the models: Sandy will move north with a slight turn to the west before being yanked north-northeast again by the approaching mid-latitude trough. It's at this point in the forecast that the models diverge, though all but the HWRF are forecasting the unfortunate turn back to the west and into the Northeast U.S. Furthest south along the East Coast is the ECMWF, which forecasts a turn into Maryland/North Carolina on Monday. The GFS forecast is a bit further north than the ECMWF, pushing Sandy onshore near Long Island late Tuesday night. However, this represents a large shift south from earlier GFS runs, and puts the Mid-Atlantic into play more than it was in earlier forecasts. The forecast from the National Hurricane Center appears to be a compromise between the ECMWF and the GFS. The Center is forecasting Sandy to approach the New Jersey coast on Tuesday afternoon.

There are many questions surrounding this hurricane and its forecast, but I find it important to convey that Sandy's impacts will be widespread, no matter the location of "landfall." Risk to the Mid-Atlantic seems higher this afternoon, and as Jeff noted in his morning blog, Sandy will be a very large and possibly non-tropical storm as it approaches the coast, with gale-force winds extending up to 300 miles from its center. This increases the probability of storm surge extending far from the center of the storm, which, combined with the timing of a full moon tide, is a big concern, along with freshwater and river flooding from heavy, extended periods of rain.

Angela


Figure 2. Today's "extra" 18Z (2pm EDT) weather balloon launched from the Peachtree City office of the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service is launching extra weather balloons all over the country to improve the quality of forecasts as Sandy approaches. Thanks to NWS Meteorologist Alex Gibbs for snapping this shot just before launch!

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Quoting KoritheMan:


No kidding.

btw Steve, I hope you haven't tried texting me lately. I lost my phone at work, and won't be able to buy another one until I get paid again.

Hey Kori, I see that the outflow with Sandy is very huge. If this is the case, why isn't she strengthening? I also noticed some very deep convection near the center. This reminds me of several storms we have seen in recent years that are large in size, have very deep associated convection, low pressures that are not reflective of the category they are stated to be (ex: Ike, Alex, Irene, Isaac, and several others)It just seems too coincidental that we are seeing more of these types of hurricanes.
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Winds are also in the process of switching from N to NW in Jupiter now. Strongest winds will be from now till Fri night.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5449
890. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting NJcat3cane:
Can someone explain to me how to post like a radar loop? i cant fiqure out how to make it so its not just a link


If you are using WUndernexrad on the bottom left there is a view/save this image button to click first, then right click on the next image that comes up for the image location.
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Rain bands on the increase again. It's been rather tranquil here the past hour or so.

Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5449
Quoting Jedkins01:



You really don't believe that 70 mph wind gust wording will verify right? This event will not be nearly what Isaac was for southeast Florida.


You obviously missed my statement that I would buy pizza for the whole blog if we got a 70mph gust here?
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5449
Quoting LostTomorrows:


Irene, and even though it isn't New England, Igor nearly became a category 2 hurricane when i crashed into Newfoundland because of the unusually tropical ingredients in play at that particular time. Good examples.

Sandy looking better still, she may attain category 2 status again.


Very doubtful
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Looking at the recon data, they just found a large patch of 70-mph surface winds 120 miles out on the NE side.

Talk about wind field expanding!
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if she doesn`t weaken maybe she might be able to re strength to cat 2.
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Can someone explain to me how to post like a radar loop? i cant fiqure out how to make it so its not just a link
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Quoting SavannahStorm:


Pretty amazing the scope of this thing. You can see all the major players in this frame, too.


A perfect setup for a Perfect Storm.
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882. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Flyairbird:
Thanks..I was concerned about sailing out of Charleston SC , I think that it will still be very messy on SAT afternoon. THe longer for the turn the messier that it will be!


The waves are going to be huge then.. This in meters..

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Quoting KoritheMan:
The thing about New England hurricanes? They tend to not be purely tropical, meaning baroclinic processes can help the system to thrive/strengthen even after the cyclone begins to lose its associated warm core.


Irene, and even though it isn't New England, Igor nearly became a category 2 hurricane when i crashed into Newfoundland because of the unusually tropical ingredients in play at that particular time. Good examples.

Sandy looking better still, she may attain category 2 status again.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


The southern half of her circulation is exposed. That's obvious by the low cloud lines.


Which is caused by the dry air punch from her little upper level low friend. Dry air +shear= a pain in Sandy's a$$.
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Quoting HurricaneKing:


Sandy is starting to go through some structural changes tonight. CDO beginning to elongate east west and shift into the northern half of her circulation. It's being caused by the upper level low off the north coast of Cuba.


The southern half of her circulation is exposed. That's obvious by the low cloud lines.
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Sandy is starting to go through some structural changes tonight. CDO beginning to elongate east west and shift into the northern half of her circulation. It's being caused by the upper level low off the north coast of Cuba.
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Quoting charlottefl:
The outflow on this storm is just phenomenal...


its the only thing keeping it alive because the shear is also phenomenal
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Quoting charlottefl:
The outflow on this storm is just phenomenal...


I'll say- it's the dominant feature on the entire Western Hemisphere.



Click to embiggin.
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Quoting charlottefl:
The outflow on this storm is just phenomenal...


No kidding.

btw Steve, I hope you haven't tried texting me lately. I lost my phone at work, and won't be able to buy another one until I get paid again.
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The outflow on this storm is just phenomenal...
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Quoting Mamasteph:
..ty..well flyairbird..we might as well head in now..gonna be a long watch..good luck to you and thank you all..see you tomorrow...
YOu too!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



thats the best depiction ive seen....thanks!!!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


She should turn in about 24 hours, give or take. There is a trough to her west, and a ridge to the east. Without a full blown ridge over the top of her, she's not going to just randomly slam into Florida. 0z upper air data (which is gathered by actual radiosondes) also supports the current motion and eventual turn toward the northeast. The current north-northwestward motion was not unexpected.
Thanks..I was concerned about sailing out of Charleston SC , I think that it will still be very messy on SAT afternoon. THe longer for the turn the messier that it will be!
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Pretty amazing the scope of this thing. You can see all the major players in this frame, too.
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Quoting Mamasteph:
TWC is looping the "prepardness/precautionary" warnings at the bottom of their program now here in North Central Fla..warning us of susstained winds of 30 and some squalls with 50 in them starting tonight..into tomorrow and tapering off on Sat. as Sandy paralells our coast. This is the time I can't sleep until I see it make that NNE turn away from us..backflashes of "Andrew" has made me not complacent ..when it was supposed to turn..and didn't. Your turn is coming in a few days Njcat3..and I wouldn't trade places with you for anything!Lived in Fla for 40 yrs now..and hate this "calm " before the storm..stay safe all of you up there...
Thanks!.. My family is already putting the hurricane plans into effect that we came up with last year. All the cars except the truck goes into casino garages high up everyone goes inland and i stay with the dog haha and a few friends do the same thing and stay at my house. Calm before the storm is right alteast today was
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Quoting will40:


should start a nne turn Sat morning
..ty..well flyairbird..we might as well head in now..gonna be a long watch..good luck to you and thank you all..see you tomorrow...
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Quoting Flyairbird:
When do we think she will turn? If for some reason she doesn't then what?


She should turn in about 24 hours, give or take. There is a trough to her west, and a ridge to the east. Without a full blown ridge over the top of her, she's not going to just randomly slam into Florida. 0z upper air data (which is gathered by actual radiosondes) also supports the current motion and eventual turn toward the northeast. The current north-northwestward motion was not unexpected.
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Quoting Mamasteph:
Thank you..we wanted to know when it would stop the nnw "jog" and head nne..glad you're still up my friend!


should start a nne turn Sat morning
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


That massive ULL over the North Atlantic is enhancing Sandy's outflow like nothing I've ever seen before.
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Things are already blowing around here in St. Lucie County, FL. We can hear stuff hit the house every once in a while. It doesn't sound bad out there though. No howling wind or anything. Just the occasional thud. I haven't looked at wind speed/gusts for here yet though.

We did put up some of the shutters in the bedroom windows. Debating whether to do the rest of them tomorrow or not. We'll see, watch and wait, monitor etc... Will probably put the rest up and bring all of the rabbits (10) and fish (30)(aquaponics) in tomorrow just to be safe if it looks like we will get any major wind. 125 Gal indoor tank for just this purpose. I bought the tank last week for $50, deal I could not refuse right? I had no idea we would need it so quickly though! :)

The plants in the aquaponics system are planted in hydroton. Hydroton is an expanded clay based media that is approximately 3/8 (?) of an inch and is round. Perfect large BB's to go flying, ugh. The best I can do with that is lay plywood over the 1/2 barrels and secure the wood to the barrel - smashing the plants. Hopefully they will recover but at least all of my neighbors windows won't get broken from it. Not exactly a good way to stay on the neighbors good side if that stuff starts flying, eh?
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Sorry. What's your question?
When do we think she will turn? If for some reason she doesn't then what?
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A freaking storm in october UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Sorry. What's your question?
Thank you..we wanted to know when it would stop the nnw "jog" and head nne..glad you're still up my friend!
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Quoting NJcat3cane:
Absolutly! North jersey is a world apart from south jersey too. we should be different states haha

That's what we say about north Louisiana and coastal Louisiana, lol!
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With another year of down income you know the casinos are gonna try to stay open this year during this storm even though its gonna be way worse then irene. They closed last year for the first time ever since opening for irene
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Quoting Mamasteph:
I know!! I tried asking along with you my friend..levi and Grothar are aleep..don't see skypony or patrap either....KOG...Largo? ..how's about it?Anyone want to put some minds at ease out there?


Sorry. What's your question?
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The thing about New England hurricanes? They tend to not be purely tropical, meaning baroclinic processes can help the system to thrive/strengthen even after the cyclone begins to lose its associated warm core.
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Quoting Flyairbird:
YEp been there.. BTW no one answer my "when is it going to turn " question! I cant sleep and have to be up at 7
I know!! I tried asking along with you my friend..levi and Grothar are aleep..don't see skypony or patrap either....KOG...Largo? ..how's about it?Anyone want to put some minds at ease out there?
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CDO is still VERY strong!
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0Z GFS 120 hours.......NO COMMENTS!!!!!

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The new GFS puts southern New England in the worst case scenario
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Quoting DrewE:


Well when the derecho came through, we had terrible winds and trees and power outages everywhere. I was in the Lynchburg area at the time but now I'm living smack dab in the middle of Richmond City.

You're saying we could/will have those winds for hours on end? If that is the case, then this is going to be really, really bad.



its possible but thats worst case senerio which is not likely the storm has steadily decreased in intensity, but the energy from the low coming from the midwest is suppost to give it more energy after it moves north of N.C. so its a wait and see right now until saturday right now
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Quoting uncwhurricane85:


it will be no worse than the derecho that happened this summer, just alot longer lasting....the center will be so big the winds are going to spread out hundreds of miles from the center, which in turn will make them weaker all around and the difference between the high and low pressure center will really be what is makeing the wind, not the actual center
that derecho was the most epic crazy insane storm i ever went threw in AC. was driving seen it on radar coming stopped and watched it go threw it was amazing.. had to be 80+ mph winds being i was right on the ocean it was insane!
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Quoting hahaguy:
Just walked outside (PSL) and we just had some very strong winds.


Just had a 40mph gust in Indian River...
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Quoting Mamasteph:
TWC is looping the "prepardness/precautionary" warnings at the bottom of their program now here in North Central Fla..warning us of susstained winds of 30 and some squalls with 50+ in them starting tonight..into tomorrow and tapering off on Sat. as Sandy paralells our coast. This is the time I can't sleep until I see it make that NNE turn away from us..backflashes of "Andrew" has made me not complacent ..when it was supposed to turn..and didn't. Your turn is coming in a few days Njcat3..and I wouldn't trade places with you for anything!Lived in Fla for 40 yrs now..and hate this "calm " before the storm..stay safe all of you up there...
YEp been there.. BTW no one answer my "when is it going to turn " question! I cant sleep and have to be up at 7
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The 0z operational run seems way off, most 18z ensemble models take Sandy inland at Delmarva.
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843. DrewE
Quoting uncwhurricane85:


it will be no worse than the derecho that happened this summer, just alot longer lasting....the center will be so big the winds are going to spread out hundreds of miles from the center, which in turn will make them weaker all around and the difference between the high and low pressure center will really be what is makeing the wind, not the actual center


Well when the derecho came through, we had terrible winds and trees and power outages everywhere. I was in the Lynchburg area at the time but now I'm living smack dab in the middle of Richmond City.

You're saying we could/will have those winds for hours on end? If that is the case, then this is going to be really, really bad.
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Quoting NOLA2005:

Agreed. Ex's family had a couple of nice "cottages", as they called them, on Beach Avenue in Cape May. A world apart from Snooki.
Absolutly! North jersey is a world apart from south jersey too. we should be different states haha
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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