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 NorthernVADoS:


Leesburg


My fiance is working in Leesburg right now! Luckily he's off Sunday and Monday.
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I still think it is interesting to watch the simple B/W Atlantic water vapor loop. It looks as if the mid-level circulation in the straits that was pushing Sandy more to the north is now pulling on Sandy back towards the west. To me it looks a little like a Fujiwara effect. I wonder if this is what the NAM saw or it's just the predicted track.
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Quoting bwat:
Letting the blog roll by, watching the comments posted.....
Lol.As the doom rolls by followed by the gloom...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
Quoting Trixie1984:



Toms River...Everyone I have spoken to balks at the idea this event could ever materialize.
They feel it's all hype... They obviously are unaware of the wealth of knowledge people on this site share... and to all of you, I thank you!


Trixie, you can't help what other people think. Just listen carefully to your local news. I am not one of the hypers, but this could be very serious. I hope it changes, but if it doesn't.....
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25392
Quoting Trixie1984:



veryone I have spoken to balks at the idea this event could ever materialize.
They feel it's all hype...


Same here in northern Virginia, but I can understand why. We've had a couple of false alarms in the two years I've lived here; the natives tell me that we get them pretty frequently. We've seen predictions of major damage and then just got some light rain.

As far as I'm concerned, though, it never hurts to have some extra non-perishable food and bottled water around.
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What's bothered me over the past 5 days is the inconsistancy of the GFS and the reaction by many meteorologists due to it's finkle nature. I've seen many comments claiming that meteorologists need to be quiet until we get within 72 hours of a solution and model agreement. I think it's every meteorologist's duty to use the models as they were designed as guidance versus reality.
The timing of the inconsistancy of the GFS isn't by any stretch of the imagination coincidental and the exotic solutions being presented by the GFS all revolve around one theme. Limit the cold air coming out of Canada. Why? Simple the costs to the US economy in terms of energy speculation will outweigh giving meteorologists accurate information to save property and lives along the Mid-Atlantic and North East Coast. The GFS's issued ended at 18Z on Friday and had several consistant runs until right on cue at 18Z Sunday poof, right back to exotic solutions that revolved around limiting cold air into the US from Canada. The Energy Futures markets closed at 18Z Friday and opened on 18Z Sunday. Coincidence, doubtful. This irreguarity has been taking place on a consistant basis dating back to 2007.
Most likely the correct solution is the Mid-Atlantic one that pulls most of the cold air out of Central and Eastern Canada deep into the Southern US. Thank God for the European Models, where there isn't a demand to fool speculators on the energy markets and where life and property still matter. Bring on the most powerful storm in modern history for the North East and hopefully I receive some snow in Eastern WV!!!
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Levi - Thanks for you tropical tidbit. Truly seems like a remarkable storm is in process. For the sake of people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, I hope that it isn't as bad as the models are predicting.

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Quoting LesBonsTemps:


As bad as the wind will be, your chief problem will be rain. Match off.

Doubt it will be raining by 9:30 just north of Daytona.
These women are craven players.
It's just more problematic to crush them under these dicey conditions.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Maybe you should direct them to here then they might take more notice.


I do :-)!!
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Quoting LurkyMcLurkerson:


Yep a million times. There's something with a lot of people where they're horrified by the idea of looking like they got duped by some kind of hype, but you know what, it is _way_ cooler to sort of feel like a dupe and have some extra supplies hanging out than it is to have the thing hit and be totally unprepared.

The "oh, that won't happen pfft" thing is really going to bite a lot of people over the next while, I think.



As Nea said earlier, it's human nature. I would rather be ready and have nothing happen, myself.
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Extrap. Sfc. Press: 971.8 mb (~ 28.70 inHg)

Just came in from the third HH-Pass.

Second pass failed with the pressure reading of the dropsonde.
Stay safe all, esp. with Sandy, and good night!
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36983
Quoting Levi32:


Haven't really had the time to chill on the blog lately. I'm sad I have exams during an event like this.

Yeah the thermodynamic energy transfer looks insane. With the blocking over SE Canada, this is a setup that would produce a very powerful October nor'easter anyway, without a hurricane in the vicinity. The fact that there is one just adds so much more heat to the situation, and the interaction with sub-freezing air just causes the floor to fall out from under everything.


Tell them to hold off on the exams. It is an emergency and you are needed elsewhere.

You know me well enough that I have never hyped or wishcast any storm, but this one has me baffled. I keep looking at certain models (you know which ones) and it doesn't make sense, but there it is. You think we are off on this one? Seriously.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25392
Quoting ThatGuyAgain:




NOVA people? Whereabouts?


Woodbridge here.
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Recon says Sandy's eye has become a little bit better defined over the past hour. Still open to the southeast.
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Quoting Trixie1984:



Toms River...Everyone I have spoken to balks at the idea this event could ever materialize.
They feel it's all hype... They obviously are unaware of the wealth of knowledge people on this site share... and to all of you, I thank you!
Brigantine/Atlantic city here!..its gonna be a very long few days for us..its not gonna be good here..mass flooding from surge,wind and waves if its to our south near capemay
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Oh oh oh lucky people in the Bahamas...Florida and East Coast!
Hope for a big one...one day in the northern leewards...
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36983
372. bwat
Quoting washingtonian115:
My god how did I get here!?.
Letting the blog roll by, watching the comments posted.....
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Quoting Chicklit:
As of now my tennis match set for 9:30 Friday morning on a barrier island along the east coast of Central Florida is still ON.

What it takes to play tennis in wind gusts is patience, perseverence, and strong legs.
Fortunately, I have two out of three.

Yeah, I understand. I'm not very patient myself.
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Quoting ThatGuyAgain:




NOVA people? Whereabouts?


Leesburg
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Quoting NOVArules:
Oh man, I hope this isn't another Isabel.


Quoting NorthernVADoS:
I read somewhere that the thermal gradient has a significant impact on pressure falls. With a tropical system coming out of the Caribbean merging with a continental trough in LATE OCTOBER, I can't imagine a greater temperature gradient. Also, the water is still warm off the coast. Any thoughts?


NOVA people? Whereabouts?
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Quoting Levi32:


Haven't really had the time to chill on the blog lately. I'm sad I have exams during an event like this.

Yeah the thermodynamic energy transfer looks insane. With the blocking over SE Canada, this is a setup that would produce a very powerful October nor'easter anyway, without a hurricane in the vicinity. The fact that there is one just adds so much more heat to the situation, and the interaction with sub-freezing air just causes the floor to fall out from under everything.
weather history in the making this week
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36983
Quoting jerseybreakfast:
North Jersey here, and I'm watching this storm VERY closely.

We were without power and without safe drinking water for a week after Irene. Fortunately my house didn't sustain any damage, but homes and businesses in my immediate area suffered. If the media hadn't "hyped" Irene so much, I wouldn't have taken it as seriously, and I might not have been so well prepared. I lugged a lot of bottled water home from the store, thinking I wouldn't need it, and it served us well when the tap would only produce a brownish-orange trickle. I filled up a lot of big containers of water beforehand, thinking I wouldn't need them, but it saved the day when we didn't have enough water pressure to flush the toilet!

Tomorrow we're heading to the store to replace and supplement some of our stores of canned food and water jugs. We have lots of batteries, books, and a little radio. I'm hoping against all hope that I don't end up with extended power outages or inland flooding. However, no matter what happens, at this point it looks like I WILL be affected somehow by this storm. If you're ANYWHERE near a coast, it never hurts to have that extra food and water on hand.

I'm no expert on getting through a storm. I'm not a meteorologist and I don't live in an area that gets frequent strong hurricanes. But I have been on this planet long enough to know when to take a storm seriously, and this is one of those times. Please, please be prepared.


Yep a million times. There's something with a lot of people where they're horrified by the idea of looking like they got duped by some kind of hype, but you know what, it is _way_ cooler to sort of feel like a dupe and have some extra supplies hanging out than it is to have the thing hit and be totally unprepared.

The "oh, that won't happen pfft" thing is really going to bite a lot of people over the next while, I think.
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366. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #33
TROPICAL STORM SON-TINH (T1223)
9:00 AM JST October 26 2012
====================================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon In South China Sea

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Son-Tinh (990 hPa) located at 14.6N 115.6E has 10 minute sustained winds of 45 knots with gusts of 65 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 9 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T3.0

Gale Force Winds
================
210 NM from the center in southeastern quadrant
150 NM from the center in northwestern quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
========================

24 HRS: 16.1N 110.8E - 60 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm) South China Sea
48 HRS: 17.7N 106.0E - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm) Overland Vietnam
72 HRS: 19.1N 101.9E - Tropical Depression Overland Laos
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Looks like Sandy put on the breaks @ 25N 75W
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5043
Meanwhile, good old Henry Margusity posts this:

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Quoting Trixie1984:



Toms River...Everyone I have spoken to balks at the idea this event could ever materialize.
They feel it's all hype... They obviously are unaware of the wealth of knowledge people on this site share... and to all of you, I thank you!

Maybe you should direct them to here then they might take more notice.
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Quoting Grothar:


Have you ever come across one? I know you may have seen some of my posts and thought I was loosing it, but I was up late looking at everything and it looks like the hurricane will actually be inside the other low. The pressure fall could be phenomenal. Any ideas?


Haven't really had the time to chill on the blog lately. I'm sad I have exams during an event like this.

Yeah the thermodynamic energy transfer looks insane. With the blocking over SE Canada, this is a setup that would produce a very powerful October nor'easter anyway, without a hurricane in the vicinity. The fact that there is one just adds so much more heat to the situation, and the interaction with sub-freezing air just causes the floor to fall out from under everything.
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Quoting popartpete:
I'm in Ocean County as well! I'm taking it seriously. Seaside here. Where are you?



Toms River...Everyone I have spoken to balks at the idea this event could ever materialize.
They feel it's all hype... They obviously are unaware of the wealth of knowledge people on this site share... and to all of you, I thank you!
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Quoting guygee:
I posted a similar run a couple of blogs ago and this run shows basically the same thing, a Rossby wave breaking that sets the stage for Sandy's potential superstorm appearance along the metro-east coast corridor.


Not a classical Rossby wave breaking event that leaves behind a big ULL, but a very weird and atypical non-linear wave breaking event with the wave in the northern jetstream breaking and transferring energy into the southern jetstream.


Very interesting, I wonder how this relates to the extremely negative NAO/AO right now.
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Quoting jonelu:

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...


almost as good as, 'it is what it is.'

If you do what you can to take care of your self, your neighbors, your family and friends and just send the message and warnings and helpful advice, that's the best you can do.
And then we watch what unfolds from the relative safety of our respective homes.
night all.
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Quoting jonelu:

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...
My god how did I get here!?.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
I posted a similar run a couple of blogs ago and this run shows basically the same thing, a Rossby wave breaking that sets the stage for Sandy's potential superstorm appearance along the metro-east coast corridor.


Not a classical Rossby wave breaking event that leaves behind a big ULL, but a very weird and atypical non-linear wave breaking event with the wave in the northern jetstream breaking and transferring energy into the southern jetstream.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3141
Quoting Chicklit:
As of now my tennis match set for 9:30 Friday morning on a barrier island along the east coast of Central Florida is still ON.

What it takes to play tennis in wind gusts is patience, perseverence, and strong legs.
Fortunately, I have two out of three.


As bad as the wind will be, your chief problem will be rain. Match off.
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cant see wind being a giant problem but rain and surge watch out
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We're getting a really good gust here now... increase in winds seems to be coinciding with the approach of the most intense part of the CDO... wonder why....
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Quoting NorthernVADoS:
I read somewhere that the thermal gradient has a significant impact on pressure falls. With a tropical system coming out of the Caribbean merging with a continental trough in LATE OCTOBER, I can't imagine a greater temperature gradient. Also, the water is still warm off the coast. Any thoughts?

Looks like Sandy is going to make a name for herself.
Will catch a lot of people by surprise, hype and all.
that's my thought.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Here comes the once in a life time comments.Reminds me of the talking heads and the song called once in a life time.

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...
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349. flsky
Update from my FEMA contractor employer:

This update is to alert you that Hurricane Sandy is a Potentially Dangerous Storm!

Forecasters say that Sandy has the potential to be a multibillion dollar disaster greater than last year's Hurricane Irene. *********** is not taking this storm lightly. And neither is FEMA. The preliminary forecasted states to be affected are Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. FEMA has stated that it is their intent to place each contractor on standby to assist FEMA with recovery efforts. ***** is preparing its operations and team to respond to FEMA’s needs.

Hurricane Sandy, a Major Threat to the U.S.

· The greatest threats to southeast Florida will be near the immediate coast on late Thursday and Friday. Dangerous surf, beach erosion from battering waves, and minor coastal flooding are the primary impacts. Tropical storm force winds (winds of at least 39 mph), especially in gusts, could reach the Florida coastal waters by as early as tomorrow afternoon.

· Sandy will move northward through the northwest Bahamas on Friday and essentially parallel the southeast U.S. coast this weekend. As it does so, its wind field will expand tremendously. Whether or not Sandy turns back toward the northeast U.S., its effects will be far-reaching, with growing confidence in a high-impact event to the northeast U.S. by early next week.

· Concerns for North Carolina, especially the Outer Banks … a long period of tropical storm force winds will drive the ocean onshore and with each high tide, the water levels will just go up and up. Wind is not a big factor here; though it will cause its share of issues … the biggest concern will be from ocean and sound side flooding. This region was heavily impacted by hurricane Irene last season … it looks like Sandy will cause additional flooding concerns particularly in the usual spots where over wash takes place … people in the region need to prepare for what could be a significant storm surge/wave event.

· What happens with Sandy along the mid-Atlantic and Northeast? The official forecast aims Sandy right at the New Jersey coast.

· Potential impacts from the mid-Atlantic through the northeast include widespread wind damage, long-duration power outages, battering waves, and coastal flooding from storm surge. Inland flooding and heavy snow accumulations over the central Appalachians are also possible.
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Quoting jerseybreakfast:
North Jersey here, and I'm watching this storm VERY closely.

We were without power and without safe drinking water for a week after Irene. Fortunately my house didn't sustain any damage, but homes and businesses in my immediate area suffered. If the media hadn't "hyped" Irene so much, I wouldn't have taken it as seriously, and I might not have been so well prepared. I lugged a lot of bottled water home from the store, thinking I wouldn't need it, and it served us well when the tap would only produce a brownish-orange trickle. I filled up a lot of big containers of water beforehand, thinking I wouldn't need them, but it saved the day when we didn't have enough water pressure to flush the toilet!

Tomorrow we're heading to the store to replace and supplement some of our stores of canned food and water jugs. We have lots of batteries, books, and a little radio. I'm hoping against all hope that I don't end up with extended power outages or inland flooding. However, no matter what happens, at this point it looks like I WILL be affected somehow by this storm. If you're ANYWHERE near a coast, it never hurts to have that extra food and water on hand.

I'm no expert on getting through a storm. I'm not a meteorologist and I don't live in an area that gets frequent strong hurricanes. But I have been on this planet long enough to know when to take a storm seriously, and this is one of those times. Please, please be prepared.
some good advice there..ty for that..and good luck to you and yours..stay safe up there
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36983
I read somewhere that the thermal gradient has a significant impact on pressure falls. With a tropical system coming out of the Caribbean merging with a continental trough in LATE OCTOBER, I can't imagine a greater temperature gradient. Also, the water is still warm off the coast. Any thoughts?
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Oh man, I hope this isn't another Isabel.
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Thanks for that article. I'm actually writing a term paper on methane hydrates right now. I'll definitely use that Nature paper.
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

Definitely the models are overdoing this. 920 and 930MB ain't gonna happen. More like 948, 950MB, not 929MB! I agree. I think we'll see them swing a bit back northward up to Long Island, Rhode Island in the coming days.

Time will tell!


You've been wrong this entire time with Sandy lol, why should anyone listen to anything you spit out of ur mouth.
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Here comes the once in a life time comments.Reminds me of the talking heads and the song called once in a life time.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
From Jeff Masters last year:

The best source of [surge] information is the National Hurricane Center's Interactive Storm Surge Risk Map, which allows one to pick a particular Category hurricane and zoom in to see the height above ground level a worst-case storm surge may go. If you prefer static images, use wunderground's Storm Surge Inundation Maps.

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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.