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 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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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...
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Quoting NOVArules:


Woodbridge here.


Hoooood-BRIIIIDGE.

Been there, done that.

Up in Baltimore now.
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16 miles south of Down Town Miami on US1, its quiet here. The streets are wet, but its not currently raining and the wind is not blowing. I was really expecting it to be really nasty out there. Guess I'll just have to wait till morning.
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Just walked outside (PSL) and we just had some very strong winds.
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Quoting NJcat3cane:
Correct me if im wrong i dont know about you people up there but snooki and the jersey shore crew is not what South NJ is really like!! LOL

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.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Nasty Day in Northeast Palm Beach County tomorrow.

Friday-Tropical storm conditions possible. Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a temperature rising to near 82 by 9am, then falling to around 76 during the remainder of the day. North wind 31 to 36 mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Friday Night-Tropical storm conditions possible. A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 2am, then a slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72. Northwest wind 32 to 37 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.



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.
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Funky Top Green
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
According to those coordinates that 59mph gust is almost right on the E Coast of FL, just offshore....
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Bryan Norcross

Isn't it strange that a hurricane in the Bahamas would somehow turn into a monster mega-storm and slam into the Northeast at the end of October? Aren't hurricanes supposed to weaken as they move north over cold water? What the hell is going on?

The answers are... yes, yes, and we're not completely sure. This is a beyond-strange situation. It's unprecedented and bizarre. Hurricanes almost always bend out to sea in October, although there have been some exceptions when storms went due north, but rarely. No October tropical systems in the record book have turned left into the northeast coast.

The strong evidence we have that a significant, maybe historic, storm is going to hit the east coast is that EVERY reliable computer forecast model now says it's going to happen. The only way we can forecast the weather four or five days days from now is with the aid of these super-complex computer programs run on supercomputers. The two best, the European and the U.S. GFS (Global Forecast System) run by NOAA, are now in reasonable agreement that there IS going to be an extraordinarily unusual confluence of events that results in a massive storm.

The upper-air steering pattern that is part of the puzzle is not all that unheard of. It happens when the atmosphere gets blocked over the Atlantic and the flow over the U.S. doubles back on itself. Sometimes big winter storms are involved.

The freak part is that a hurricane happens to be in the right place in the world to get sucked into this doubled-back channel of air and pulled inland from the coast.

And the double-freak part is that the upper level wind, instead of weakening the storm and simply absorbing the moisture - which would be annoying enough - is merging with the tropical system to create a monstrous hybrid vortex. A combination of a hurricane and a nor'easter.

At least that's what the models are saying. And since all of the independent models are saying something similar, we have to believe them and be ready.

For most people being ready means getting to the store and getting stuff before everybody else gets wise and gets the stuff first. The forecast is for an incredibly widespread and long-duration windstorm, meaning power will likely be out for an extended period of time in a lot of locations.

A transistor radio is your best friend in a situation like this. Get one and enough batteries to keep it going. Your cell phone may or may not be your friend after a big storm.

For people near the coast, it's critical that you pay attention to local evacuation orders and emergency information. This storm, as forecast, will create dangerous and potentially life-threatening storm surge along hundreds of miles of coastline north of where the center comes ashore. Big storms move a lot of water, and this one is about as big as they come.

Right now, it looks like the storm center will land between the Delmarva and New Jersey, which would put the entire Tri-State area of NJ, NY, and Connecticut on the bad side of the storm. The Jersey Shore, Long Island, and New York City itself would be exposed to the brunt of the storm surge due to the "L" in the coastline at NYC. The angle and duration of the wind will keep the water high for an extended period of time, if this comes together as forecast. This means transportation disruptions and widespread coastal damage.

If the storm comes in farther south, the Delmarva, Delaware Bay and maybe the Chesapeake will be at risk. A storm the size that's forecast would cause problems throughout New England as well, even if the center is south of New York. And then there is the threat from flooding rain and the extremely heavy snow well inland.

To make all this worse along the coast, the moon is full on Monday, meaning the high tides will be higher yet.

The hope we have is that the computer models are not handling this unusual situation well, and are predicting a stronger storm than we get. But, we can't bet of it. Even a weaker version will likely mean a nightmare for millions.
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00Z GFS FINAL 26 OCT hr 144 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting DrewE:
I'm very confused about the way the models are trending and even if I am looking at the most up to date runs.

Are the Euro and GFS still looking at making a sharp left and slamming into the Delmarva or going up the Chesapeake?

I'm in central VA, and I would like to know a little bit more before I go and stock up etc.


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
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 572
Quoting sigh:
Why do you and so many other people keep posting these animated loops of Sandy from 24 or 48 hours ago? Why do we care what Sandy looked like yesterday, south of Cuba?
I thought it was an obvious hint at getting the convo back to the weather (TY TY BTW), but I am likely wrong...
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00Z GFS INIT 26 OCT hr 138 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting TomTaylor:
80 knot intensity for Sandy is generous considering SFMR is only finding 65knot winds and the dropsonde only found 70 knot winds. Flight level winds are 90 knots which supports the 80 knot intensity, but it is clear that winds are not fully mixing down to the surface.


Yeah...probably more like 80-85 mph would be accurate.
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825. DrewE
I'm very confused about the way the models are trending and even if I am looking at the most up to date runs.

Are the Euro and GFS still looking at making a sharp left and slamming into the Delmarva or going up the Chesapeake?

I'm in central VA, and I would like to know a little bit more before I go and stock up etc.
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Ustream (free)also has a chat window you can activate (free) on your Ustream page so people can ask you questions (pan left etc...) as you are broadcasting and viewers can comment to each other. HTH
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00Z GFS INIT 26 OCT hr 132 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
I can say pretty sure that if sandy packs a 8 foot surge plus waves all of the island i live on and all barrier islandS in new jersey will be under water almost completely..last time it happened here was the Perfect storm and the ocean meet the bay for almost a full day...this is SOO MUCH DIFFERENT THEN IRENE!
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821. sigh
Why do you and so many other people keep posting these animated loops of Sandy from 24 or 48 hours ago? Why do we care what Sandy looked like yesterday, south of Cuba?
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80 knot intensity for Sandy is generous considering SFMR is only finding 65knot winds and the dropsonde only found 70 knot winds. Flight level winds are 90 knots which supports the 80 knot intensity, but it is clear that winds are not fully mixing down to the surface.
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00Z GFS INIT 26 OCT hr 126 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
well im out. to the good people in the bahamas stay safe and watch for down power lines when you do venture out.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1093
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00Z GFS INIT 26 OCT hr 120 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Correct me if im wrong i dont know about you people up there but snooki and the jersey shore crew is not what South NJ is really like!! LOL
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Whoa, I didn't notice that the death toll went from 3 to 21+ from Sandy. That's sad, and I fear it will rise much further, but hopefully not if people heed the warnings. Everyone's in charge of their own well-being, so don't willingly put yourself in harm's way because you refuse to believe just what these types of storms are capable of. The forecasters and rescue workers are what they are for a reason, if they tell you to take something seriously, then DO it.

I think people like to think they will be safe from a catastrophe in their lifetime. You never think something so bad could ever happen to you, but it always could. And the ingredients are there for just that, and now we just have to perk our ears up and be on alert, because we rarely ever get warning when something bad happens, and when we do, consider it a blessing.

Sorry, got on a tangent there. I'm listening to ambient music so maybe that is why. Case in point, though, is stay safe. If you're thinking of precautions that you can take, then take them. It's better to be overcautious in scenarios such as these, than to not take any caution at all.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 617
Quoting NewYork4Life:
Picked up chips and beer here 50 mi. north of Manhattan just in case. Hope it bangs a left and takes out Snooki on the Jersey Shore!

Snooki hasn't been here since June.
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00Z GFS INIT 26 OCT hr 111 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
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00Z GFS INIT 26 OCT hr 099 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Its not a big deal if i cant do it anyway cuz ill just upload them to here and youtube as i get them
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Quoting popartpete:
When Sandy does hit, I intend to post live updates for as long as I can. Since there's only a few Jersey posters, it might be up to us!
I just bought a real nice wind gauge a few months ago and now im gonna get to use it.. combo that with a durango and ill be on the beach with my pooch and another crazy friend or two lol im trying to stream that live somehow haha
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Quoting NJcat3cane:
ME TOO! I am trying to fiqure out how to get a live stream working? If anyone know how these other storm chasers and people get the live stream running let me know please... and yah there gonna evacuate us here but i didnt leave last year and wont this year.. really live in brigantine if u know where that is.. we did get anything from irene but this ones gonna be bad i got a feeing
Try Ustream. There are other sites you can broadcast from as well. I am sure a techie here can give you more and probably better ideas than I can though.
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00Z GFS INIT 26 OCT hr 099 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting Flyairbird:
I am insured out the wazoo! Carnival wont post their next update until Noon and I will be at Columbus Ohio ( CMH) @ 9:30!
Well, Charleston is a nice place to visit, and we have some wonderfully welcoming blog members there [ruthlessly volunteering Presslord and StormJunkie] .... lol


And since I am headed for trouble, I think this is a good time to get out of the blog...

Our power's not back on yet anyway, so I'll conserve my battery power and my battery backup in case I need it to check in tomorrow...

Ya'll stay safe, now, and I'll be doing my best to stay safe too...

G'night!
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22728
Quoting lat25five:
Have ? for those of you in N.E. has there been any discusion up your way in the event that afterwards with the very real possibility of 100,000s or millions without power for an extended period and the perfect storm scenerio of snow and freezing temp. on the backside sliding down from the GLs. Looking at exposure issues ,hypotherma, not speak of broken pipes etc.

Was just trying tonight to hammer this point home to my friend in Bridgeport, CT.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
The comment about 22 inch rims and those about rednecks are the same comments directed at different groups. The point is to label the "outsiders" so you don't have to consider differences. Life is so much easier that way. It's that attitude that tees me off when some brash American runs up in the blog and insults the entire island blogging community [really the rest of the whole tropical world] by acting as if storms only matter if they are going to impact the US. "I don't have to care about you; you're not one of us, so disrespect is not only appropriate but de rigeur...


It seems everybody hates the Jersey Shore as well. Everytime I mention it, especially that I live where the show is filmed, I get beat up on the blog. I don't understand why people are so mean! Just ignore it.
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Quoting popartpete:
When Sandy does hit, I intend to post live updates for as long as I can. Since there's only a few Jersey posters, it might be up to us!
ME TOO! I am trying to fiqure out how to get a live stream working? If anyone know how these other storm chasers and people get the live stream running let me know please... and yah there gonna evacuate us here but i didnt leave last year and wont this year.. really live in brigantine if u know where that is.. we did get anything from irene but this ones gonna be bad i got a feeing
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00Z GFS INIT 26 OCT hr 090 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
801. 7544
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
27.617N 79.883W
SFMR 52 knots
(~ 59.8 mph)

Maybe I should rethink my Pizza thing, lol. That is really far from the center to the NW.


ilmao good one
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6874
POSTING FROM CARNIVAL at 7 PM EST tonight.

Too long of an interval between postings...GRR>>>

HURRICANE SANDY UPDATE – 7:00PM (EDT)
We continue monitoring the forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy and keeping in close contact with port officials. As always, the safety of our guests is our number one concern and our ships will maintain a safe distance from the storm at all times.
If you have not done so already, we strongly suggest guests complete their online check-in as soon as possible. Please ensure to provide your email, as well as sign up for text alerts for updates on any changes to your cruise.
10/26/12 & 10/27/12 DEPARTURES:
CARNIVAL IMAGINATION, CARNIVAL DREAM, & CARNIVAL ECSTASY
At this time, no changes have been made and our itinerary remains as scheduled. We're keeping our fingers crossed the weather will not impact our plans.
There are no changes expected for any other sailings departing this weekend. In the event we need to make a deviation to a future itinerary, we will update our guests.
Please continue to monitor this page for updates. Next update at 12:00PM on Friday
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
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00Z GFS INIT 26 OCT hr 084 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059


Not good for Hispaniola, with the storms stacking up there... but it looks like perhaps Sandy is losing that long "tail". Sometimes I find the long tails like that have a sting to them.
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
Quoting Clearwater1:
Quoting Flyairbird:
I am still holding my breath for my flight to Myrtle Beach @ 11 AM Tomorrow and the cruise out of Charleston on Sat afternoon for the Bahamas..lol

I'm sure your flight in to Charleston will be fine. Just don't see you taking a cruise south. Hope you bought the travel in insurance. Sorry for the bad luck and your vacation plans.
I am insured out the wazoo! Carnival wont post their next update until Noon and I will be at Columbus Ohio ( CMH) @ 9:30!
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Quoting NJcat3cane:
i agree! im in AC where you at?
When Sandy does hit, I intend to post live updates for as long as I can. Since there's only a few Jersey posters, it might be up to us!
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Quoting Flyairbird:
Wee?..lol Now when is this sucker gonna steer right for a little bit?


seriously.....is it still on the NNW heading?
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 572
Quoting popartpete:
Seaside Heights. I was at the Showboat and The Revel for the last two nights.
NICE what did u think of revel? and any luck? lol
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00Z GFS INIT 26 OCT hr 078 TILL 144


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting BahaHurican:
The comment about 22 inch rims and those about rednecks are the same comments directed at different groups. The point is to label the "outsiders" so you don't have to consider differences. Life is so much easier that way. It's that attitude that tees me off when some brash American runs up in the blog and insults the entire island blogging community [really the rest of the whole tropical world] by acting as if storms only matter if they are going to impact the US. "I don't have to care about you; you're not one of us, so disrespect is not only appropriate but de rigeur...

Nobody needs to live this way, and everybody loses with this kind of attitude.

Thank you x1000... I'm the loopy zombie, it seems... lol

U'd be OK in Nassau on Sunday, but getting here from there might present a wee challenge... lol



im sorry! didnt think it was that serious...maybe you should watch eddie murphy raw one time...no one set of people were being subjected...it was just a silly comment because in general a 22 inch rim driver would typically be an obama supporter whether they are in the bahamas or montana
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 572

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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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