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 SFLWeatherman:
264HR GFS
Looks like Valerie forms south of Florida I am thinking from what it develops.
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The wind's started to come up here. There's not much rain right now.
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Quoting sullivanweather:
Anyone have the 18z gdfl they can post?


It just finished, comes in a little further south. Should start showing up on websites soon....


HOUR: 84.0 LONG: -73.61 LAT: 35.28 MIN PRESS (hPa): 937.96 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 79.84
HOUR: 90.0 LONG: -74.43 LAT: 36.63 MIN PRESS (hPa): 934.46 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 70.10
HOUR: 96.0 LONG: -76.43 LAT: 37.65 MIN PRESS (hPa): 929.32 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 63.11
HOUR:102.0 LONG: -77.95 LAT: 37.70 MIN PRESS (hPa): 939.96 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 47.03
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I think they just put a dropsonde right in the eye, it came back with 965mb, same thing they reported earlier.
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Everyone on the east coast stay safe. Hopefully the storm weakens but it looks to be packing a punch when it arrives.
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Dropsonde in eye just reported 965mb
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236. bwat
Quoting LargoFl:
yes stay safe up there and if you still have power please let us know how its going for you as she passes
Will do.
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 353
Good Evening... current steering:

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

They actually got it down to about 973mb this pass. I don't think they hit the center though, no way it would go from the 965 they reported in the earlier vortex message to 973 in less than an hour.


Rising nonetheless.
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Quoting bwat:
With the current forecast, we will get some gusty to gale winds, heavy rain, beach erosion, maybe some soundside flooding. I've been following the blog the last couple of days. For us here in NC, Sandy needs to be watched closely. I have never seen anything like this. I am not ruling out localized power outages depending on how large the wind-field grows. It is going to be an interesting few days.
yes stay safe up there and if you still have power please let us know how its going for you as she passes
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40845
Quoting AllStar17:
Latest pass through the center of Sandy indicated a pressure of 975 mb. If so, that is a pretty big rise in pressure since the last pass.

They actually got it down to about 973mb this pass. I don't think they hit the center though, no way it would go from the 965 they reported in the earlier vortex message to 973 in less than an hour.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I'm sure when I tune into the today show or GMA I'll see doom and glom headlines.
hopefully as they warn people..they will listen and prepare, sometimes that doom and gloom is a good thing, people stand up and take notice more than..tomorrow rain and some wind is in the forecast..stay tuned
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40845
230. bwat
Quoting AztecCe:
I havent been able to get on the internet for most of the day can somebody tell whats the situation with NC? the cone looks like is moved west more
With the current forecast, we will get some gusty to gale winds, heavy rain, beach erosion, maybe some soundside flooding. I've been following the blog the last couple of days. For us here in NC, Sandy needs to be watched closely. I have never seen anything like this. I am not ruling out localized power outages depending on how large the wind-field grows. It is going to be an interesting few days.
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 353
Only about 80 mph tops on SFMR so far.
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Latest pass through the center of Sandy indicated a pressure of 975 mb. If so, that is a pretty big rise in pressure since the last pass of about 9 mbs.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Very Heavy tropical rain with lightning and THUNDER again here on Provo...


Haven't had any thunder yet by Nassau.... but rain has certainly been abundant.
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NAEFS model at 102 hours.............
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40845
Someone refresh my memory- I will likely be on the southwest side, (if not directly under) the storm. So we expect winds from the north and west, correct? I''m trying not to worry about the river birch on the northwest corner of my yard. It's way too late to move it now :)

I will tell ya- I'd rather deal with a nor'easter than a hurricane. I know exactly what a big coastal snow storm can do- but this storm is baffling.

I do like the name, though, and I think people are beginning to listen for it. Stay safe, all!
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Quoting kanc2001:


its walking up the Bahama chain, if you will, will probably inch NNE after passing the chain
going to be a long rainy day for miami etc tomorrow
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40845
Quoting Methurricanes:
Looking more like a Mid Atlantic than Northeast storm.


Yes.
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Quoting Dovienya7:


Checking in from Fairfax!
Hey Fairfax, I'm checking in from Annapolis
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Looking more like a Mid Atlantic than Northeast storm.
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Quoting ThatGuyAgain:


Thanks for the welcome. Anyone else from around the DC area? I think I remember some guy VAWXNerd or something like that before I made an account was from nearby, what happened to him, he hasn't been around in a while...?


Checking in from Fairfax!
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Quoting LargoFl:
Nam might not have been far off..right hand corner...


its walking up the Bahama chain, if you will, will probably inch NNE after passing the chain
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looks like sandys getting her shape back that she had last night.. not saying the strengh but the look of it..could just mean its finding its groove for the long run up the coast
Member Since: August 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 50
I'm sure when I tune into the today show or GMA I'll see doom and glom headlines.
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I havent been able to get on the internet for most of the day can somebody tell whats the situation with NC? the cone looks like is moved west more
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I see they have extended tropical storm warnings up to south carolina now?...looks like it
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40845
Am I understanding that if it hits around the Delaware or DC area, the damage would go from NC to Boston but if it lands around NYC, damage wouldn't go very far south but up into Canada?If so, why?
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211. Skyepony (Mod)
UStream from Bahamas. There is some recorded video showing at the moment.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 191 Comments: 38626
Quoting wxchaser97:

I know it won't do that and a East Coast hit is likely but I tried...


:)
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So is Cantore going to be in Ocean City or New York City? I would want to know to stay away.
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Highest SFMR measurement so far for Sandy has been in the 75-80 mph range.
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Quoting Dakster:


Dreamer... Although I do not blame you for trying.

I know it won't do that and a East Coast hit is likely but I tried...
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Very Heavy tropical rain with lightning and THUNDER again here on Provo...
stay safe down there, power still on?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40845
Quoting LargoFl:
aussie might know when he logs on tonight..well morning for him
thanks
Member Since: August 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 50
Quoting nigel20:
Kingston, Jamaica. All schools in Kingston, St Andrew, St Mary, Portland and St Thoma will remain closed tomorrow.


Nigel..Hope you faired ok during the storm passage.Any other reports from Kingston / your area? I note the evening flight just took off ( G.C.M to Norman Manley), we are coming over on the weekend to visit some friends
SP
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Go LBAR, now that is the most likely track.
alot of folks are wishing it was that track for sandy
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40845
Quoting wxchaser97:

Go LBAR, now that is the most likely track.


Dreamer... Although I do not blame you for trying.
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Very Heavy tropical rain with lightning and THUNDER again here on Provo.

(the white blob on our triangular shaped island.)
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6064
not a sprinkle all day long by me here....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40845
Quoting ScottLincoln:


I think it is in this plot somewhere...

Go LBAR, now that is the most likely track.
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Quoting LargoFl:
dunno about snow, but flooding and days without power surely might happen, and by the looks of the current models she might still be a hurricane all the way up to virginia
Lol I was being sarcastic and referring to the movie "Day after tomorrow" when I was talking about 20 feet of snow.
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Quoting NJcat3cane:
can anyone tell me how someone would get a live stream up and running the ones you see these storm chasers in the Wpac use?
aussie might know when he logs on tonight..well morning for him
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40845
Quoting sullivanweather:
Anyone have the 18z gdfl they can post?


I think it is in this plot somewhere...
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....................looks like below cuba they are still watching
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40845
Looks to be a due north motion on 76W, at least for now

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can anyone tell me how someone would get a live stream up and running the ones you see these storm chasers in the Wpac use?
Member Since: August 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 50
Quoting LargoFl:
yes she huge alright,scary thing is, she is supposed to expand even more as she goes up the coast


As long as she does not become the typhoon tip of the Atlantic!
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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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