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 reedzone:
Reading posts from Long Islanders, they are not taking this situation serious.. AT ALL..


What is that phrase about Mules and water ?? :-)
No one can claim that they have NOT been warned!

But I do understand the "power" of complacency due to so-called "false alarms" - not that Irene was necessarily a "false alarm" up there - some people suffered major damages!
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Teachers are not planning much for next week due to the fact that power will most likely be out... Im bringing wood inside for the fireplace and the store is still packed!!
Also Penn Dot has said that they have the salt prepared and ready for any snow Pennsylvania receives... They said everything SHOULD go as planned
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Quoting reedzone:
Reading posts from Long Islanders, they are not taking this situation serious.. AT ALL..

cause the media over-hyped Irene last year hence they think Sandy is over-hyped.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
Amazing...



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Quoting yoboi:


4 days without electricity in cool weather not as bad as in hott weather when it's hot ya cant strip past naked, when cold weather can always add clothes....



We don't really know yet if it will be warm or cold. I am thinking of extreme flooding, lack of basic supplies, no clean water, no heat or air conditioning, looting, basic anarchy in the nation's capitol... no, I don't think this will verify. I am only speculating what might happen in an extreme situation. You have to understand- there are several million people in the Baltimore-DC corridor who have NO idea what to do in a disaster situation without basic utilities. I'm glad I live in the boonies :) I was just talking to my Mom about floods in DC, and she can remember people abandoning cars and just walking off during a flood in the late 50's, I think Hurricane Hazel. There's a lot more people down there now.
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NASA ‏@NASA
Watch views of Hurricane #Sandy from the #ISS at 12:04p ET & 1:41p ET for 10 mins each live on #NASATV: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
1486. LargoFl
tips from FEMA................Before a Hurricane

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Know your surroundings.
Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
Make plans to secure your property:
Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
Determine how and where to secure your boat.
Install a generator for emergencies.
If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
Consider building a safe room.
Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) Web site,www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419. For more detailed information on how you can protect your property, view NFIP’s printer-friendly handout Avoiding Hurricane Damage.

Saffir-Sim
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1485. Skyepony (Mod)
LA highly flammable, radioactive sinkhole update. Those poor people are still put out of their homes.

A sharp tremor was recorded by USGS monitors just after 9 p.m. Wednesday at the site of the giant Louisiana sinkhole in Assumption Parish. The giant sinkhole appeared in August near the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou areas. The Assumption Parish Police Jury says the tremor was large enough that the body wave phases could easily be identified. A body wave travels through the interior of the earth. The preliminary location of the tremor was just SE of Oxy #3 cavern at a depth of 500m. There is no additional information specific to this seismic activity at this time. The sinkhole is now about four acres in size. Residents were forced from their homes on August third, two months after the bayous started bubbling. They are still evacuated from their homes.
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Reading posts from Long Islanders, they are not taking this situation serious.. AT ALL..
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Second P-3 mission into Sandy

The second mission into Hurricane Sandy took off around 4am Eastern 26 October. The plan is to gather Doppler radar and other data for assimilation into numerical models. The P3 will perform a rotated figure-4 pattern before returning to base around 8 h after takeoff.



Link
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749


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I'm honestly starting to feel like this thing will be a bust on Long Island, at least relative to what it could have been and what it will be farther south.

All the models keep trending south and we seem to be putting a lot of stock in an extraordinary intensification that obviously needs to happen to make this thing more than just a strong coastal storm.

I'm losing confidence in telling people that history could be upon us.
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1480. aevil2
Quoting uncwhurricane85:


no still not impressed as ive was in the eye of bertha, fran, boonie, floyd, and near isabel, and irene, all way better and stronger than this, although the wind field is going to be bigger, its just not going to compare, media brainwashes you all. i agree its better to be prepared but apocalypticane, frankinstorm...come on!


Have you looked at the animated track Sigh posted? I survived Hugo on St. Croix and I have a healthy respect for mother nature. Look at how that storm intensifies and then slams into a highly populated area, on a full moon, and with a higher sea level than down in Florida (sea levels have been rising faster between Boston and Hatteras than elsewhere...cause either unknown or unpublished). If this storm goes the way they're predicting, it's going to impact quite a lot of people and it's going to be very, very bad. Not to mention ruin the candy aspirations of many young children.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Did anyone just watch this? I recorded it and will upload it.

Video will be ready in 20mins, just uploading now.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
1478. LargoFl
winds coming inland now.......
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1477. Grothar
Windfield map.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23727
1476. ncstorm
Quoting LargoFl:
looks to be expanding..........


yep!
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1475. bwat
Quoting uncwhurricane85:


no still not impressed as ive was in the eye of bertha, fran, boonie, floyd, and near isabel, and irene, all way better and stronger than this, although the wind field is going to be bigger, its just not going to compare, media brainwashes you all. i agree its better to be prepared but apocalypticane, frankinstorm...come on!
Been here all my life, been through them same storms, with Isabel being especially nasty for us in NE NC. Guess we will just have to agree to disagree.
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1474. MahFL
Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:


Are they meaning, unprecedented for this time of year? The mid-Atlantic (and the NE) has had category 1 hurricanes before, though they are rare.


It's unprecedented because the storm will go inland to the Great Lakes, they normally turn out to sea.
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Approaching 25 foot seas out ahead of Sandy.

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1472. LargoFl
looks to be expanding..........
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1471. sar2401
Quoting TomballTXPride:

sar2401 ~ I love your analysis, and you've seem to have had a relatively good handle on this storm for a while now. I do have a question; however, that I was hoping you can help me with. Was wondering if the earlier than anticipated transition from tropical entity to sub-tropical and eventually post-tropical along with the subsequent dry slot that will build into the system will ultimately have an affect on the intensity of the system upon landfall.

Thanks very much in advance for your response,

-Ainslie

Thank you. I think the dry air intrusion, combined with the incredible 50 to 80 knot shear ahead of Sandy, is going to seriously weaken her as a tropical cyclone. The real question at this time is how well she will phase with the trough that will be coming off the east coast. A couple of hundred miles further north or further south will have huge impacts. I'm not smart enough to know what will really happen, and people on the east coast should have been prepared for a hurricane since June 1. I do believe that the remnants of Sandy will have enough warm air wrapping into the trough that the forecasted snows just aren't going to happen. This could also mean more rain, and more flooding. It's going to be a bad storm, no doubt, but I don't think it's Frankenstorm.
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Man, y'all are posting some good stuff, thanks.

1397. AussieStorm 10:45 AM EDT on October 26, 2012
Great loops Aussie, thanks.

You too Skye, you always come through!


Where's Pat.. He must be going nutz missing this. I know this last year when I was too poor to join you here, I was testy and short because I was missing this place and y'all with it during storm events.
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1469. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting NJcat3cane:
this is for me.. Can u post the link so i can get to it later on


Click on the picture & it will take you to the station.

Those pics of the NE & MidAtlantic I posted, each square has a similar surge forecast.
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1468. LargoFl
Quoting ConnecticutWXGuy:


Nothing, most windows will survive Cat 1 winds.
yes i know but not things banging against them at 75+ mph..thats what the plywood helps prevent..but thanks anyway
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1466. Grothar
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23727
1465. LargoFl
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1464. suzi46
RE: Comment #1446

~~no still not impressed as ive was in the eye of bertha, fran, boonie, floyd, and near isabel, and irene, all way better and stronger than this, although the wind field is going to be bigger, its just not going to compare, media brainwashes you all. i agree its better to be prepared but apocalypticane, frankinstorm...come on!~~

hmmmmm...I'm glad he tagged that last little bit on the end..'better to be prepared'..etc!!
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I live in MA near CapeCod....anyone have any idea what type of impact I'm looking at for wind/rains? Looks like I'm out of the cone in the most recent updates.
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1462. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Wiebel:
Its preliminary but look at this; end tail of the graph.. walls arent that high there.



Look at the yellow line. That is just the surge & it is still going up at the end of the forecast.
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1461. DrewE
State of Emergency declared in Virginia.

Link
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Quoting LargoFl:
ok so for now it looks like its going to be a hurricane strength storm at landfall..i was wondering..all those millions of people living in apartment buildings..who cannot plywood their windows etc..what do THEY do to survive this?....this is going to be awful, damn i wish my daughter would listen and get the hell out of DC, fly down here where its safe..she wont listen and millions wont either..just a dad worrying..dont mind me


Nothing, most windows will survive Cat 1 winds.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Joe Bastardi ‏@BigJoeBastardi
Will be on Fox Business at top of the hour. How about that ECMWF nailed the turn more to the west!

Did anyone just watch this? I recorded it and will upload it.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
Quoting uncwhurricane85:


Im in N.C. which is exactly why im not complacent because i have been through actualy cat 3 hurricanes not some extrtropical cluster****


Well then, you can't speak for anyone else who's in the cone, because you're not even going to get the worst of it. Also, extra-tropical cyclones can be just as bad as hurricanes.
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1457. ncstorm
Quoting uncwhurricane85:


Im in N.C. which is exactly why im not complacent because i have been through actualy cat 3+ hurricanes not some extrtropical cluster****


LOL,UNCW we have had our share and know first hand experience from hurricanes..but because this wont be a hurricane or tropical when it nears us is what is making the forecast complex and unusual..be prepare just in case..
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1456. LargoFl
ok so for now it looks like its going to be a hurricane strength storm at landfall..i was wondering..all those millions of people living in apartment buildings..who cannot plywood their windows etc..what do THEY do to survive this?....this is going to be awful, damn i wish my daughter would listen and get the hell out of DC, fly down here where its safe..she wont listen and millions wont either..just a dad worrying..dont mind me
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1455. BDAwx
The Bermuda Weather Service has a tropical storm watch in effect for Bermuda that doesn't show up on the NHC advisory- weird.
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1454. DrewE
Quoting hurricanejunky:
Dry air is just killing Sandy. The Kryptonite of hurricanes...


The dry air is actually what is going to make Sandy stronger in the long run as it transitions to extra-tropical and takes on the baroclinic influences.

Is it me or is the NHC official track shifting farther and farther south with each update?
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Quoting Skyepony:
Looks like the full moon high tide might peak before the surge. Not the surge is still going up & the end of the forecast.

this is for me.. Can u post the link so i can get to it later on
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1452. Skyepony (Mod)
Settlement Point, Grand Bahama Island.. kind of impressive for hourly reports.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Believe what you will, but being complacent about this isn't a smart idea. The last few nor'easter, take for example the Halloween Nor'easter last year, only had pressures around 971mb. Even then, I used to live in the Northeast, Connecticut and Rhode Island, Nor'easters aren't a joke, or a POS. This could have pressures sub 950mb, and might not even be a Nor'easter, more like a hybrid system. Also the saving grace for you guys was the fact that you had Virgina and North Carolina help weaken the storm. It could have been much worse.


Im in N.C. which is exactly why im not complacent because i have been through actualy cat 3+ hurricanes not some extrtropical cluster****
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Human nature being what it is, here's my own prediction:

Good commentary of people Nea - my family enjoyed this!
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Quoting indianrivguy:


seawalls are a very ineffective at energy dissipation and most often cause the loss of whatever is seaward if waves can break on the wall.. A natural sloped beach is much more effective, the problem with beach is longshore currents can strip them away. lose lose, mother nature wins again.

Has anyone heard discussions about storm surge. The wind field is HUGE and will be packing a lot of shoreline long before arrival... like Ike.
i agree 100%
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we didn't get much out of Sandy here in South Florida. some rain, tiny bit of wind, and I mean not much above 15 miles per hour where I live. Palm fronds down, but heck, that happens when it's sunny and dry. I live a bit inland, so can't tell you about beach erosion though.
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Dry air is just killing Sandy. The Kryptonite of hurricanes...
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Quoting bwat:
True, but the wind-field size and duration is going to me extreme. Guessing you're in NC also. When we have had recent storms we had 24 hours of >39 mph winds, getting to the 80-90 mph range for 6 hours in the middle, lots of rain, and then it was over. Now, imagine a 60mph wind and drenching rains sitting over top of you for 36 hours. I don't know about you, but I'm impressed.


no still not impressed as ive was in the eye of bertha, fran, boonie, floyd, and near isabel, and irene, all way better and stronger than this, although the wind field is going to be bigger, its just not going to compare, media brainwashes you all. i agree its better to be prepared but apocalypticane, frankinstorm...come on!
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1445. ncstorm
The Doc must be writing up a lengthy post..not good..
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1444. Wiebel
Its preliminary but look at this; end tail of the graph.. walls arent that high there.

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1442. sigh
Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:


Are they meaning, unprecedented for this time of year? The mid-Atlantic (and the NE) has had category 1 hurricanes before, though they are rare.


This event is not going to be an ordinary hurricane. In fact, Sandy may not even technically be a hurricane (i.e., a tropical cyclone) when it makes landfall.

This loop shows what's going to happen, and it is indeed unprecedented -- we have never seen this type of megastorm hit the United States.

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About JeffMasters

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