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 AllStar17:
Sandy looks quite poor on infrared images right now:



looks like it may starting to turn EXTRATROP soon
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I experienced no power on three seperate occassions this past summer.No heat with high humidity and 100 degree heat sucks monkey butt.


i was without ac when we got derecho'd.

i was rooting for that rain so bad. i knew it was going to be a fantastic storm, but when i got home and saw it WOW!
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Quoting waterskiman:

Hey Palm

Nope staying at the homestead. The boy is up in your neck of the woods doing a job at PB Atlantic. The crazy guy is going to try and drive in this monsoon tonight down here. Trying to talk him into staying in a hotel
Right now it's driveable......... Not too bad........Can't say what it will be in a few hours
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I experienced no power on three seperate occassions this past summer.no heat witrh high humidity and 100+ degree heat sucks monkey butt.


Stay informed, prepare, and stay safe...

More people get killed in the aftermath than during the actual event (typically), especially in the US. need to be really careful and not in a hurry during your cleanup.
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This week on the Barometer Bob Show (10-25-12), His guests will be Larry Cosgrove, he will talk about Hurricane Sandy and what implications it may have for the Northeastern United States.
Also, Storm Chaser Adam Lucio, We will talk about a new project called Storm Assist.
Storm Assist is a collaborative effort by storm chasers to provide aid to communities directly impacted by damaging weather events. Visit the website at: http://stormassist.org/
The show starts at 8PM/7C at www.barometerbobshow.com
Join us in Storm Chat at http://irc.barometerbob.net/ sign in with your WU handle.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
Quoting Dakster:


No power sucks - that is what I think could be the worst. 70mph winds and inches of rain should not cause catastrophic damage.... Things can be replaced either way. As long as people are not hurt or killed.
But, But, I have Lake Worth utilities..........Sigh
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85. wpb
big big trouble for northeast. residents need to get there storm plan in order.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I thought he was saying more NW than before... not headed TO the NW.... but maybe u read it right and I read it wrong...

This could be very good or very bad for us, depending on how far around those stronger storms wrap... looks like a weird kind of EWRC...

This was at 5:49....

This was at 6:04.... lol... false alarm... and most alarming it was.

I hope you are right... I already had the only taste of going without power that I want to experience... lol

Hey Baha! I only saw winds in excess of 50 mph, but it's likely that there were stronger winds along the eastern tip of Jamaica.
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I wonder if this low just to the west might be getting pulled east now and get absorbed in for a boost.
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Quoting Dakster:


No power sucks - that is what I think could be the worst. 70mph winds and inches of rain should not cause catastrophic damage.... Things can be replaced either way. As long as people are not hurt or killed.
I experienced no power on three seperate occassions this past summer.No heat with high humidity and 100 degree heat sucks monkey butt.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I'm sure it's nothing you south Floridians can't handle.But I am currently entertained by the recent model runs showing doom and gloom for my area like a bat out of hell.I'm sure the hollywood directors if it were to happen will try to find a true story out of it and make a movie called "The perfect storm two mid-atlantic style".Lol I can't even.


No power sucks - that is what I think could be the worst. 70mph winds and inches of rain should not cause catastrophic damage.... Things can be replaced either way. As long as people are not hurt or killed.
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Quoting wxchaser97:
The Mid Atlantic really got beat up this run, I am even getting decent impacts from Sandy this run. I also get a few inches of snow during this run while other areas get a high amount.

U know where u got that snow total map at?
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Quoting Dakster:


I am on the water down south... Not too bad, but every once in a while a nasty squall comes thru for about 3-5 minutes...


Same here in West Palm Beach. On and off heavy squalls. The heaviest is forecast for tomorrow.
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Quoting Grothar:


Geoff. I heard the Lake Worth Pier was closed. What did you do now?????
Yep.......Lake Worth pier was closed today at 2:00 PM... They re-engineered it after Wilma. There are panels that can be removed to lessen the pressure of the waves from the ocean.Hope it works.I am 1/2 mile from the pier.
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Quoting Dakster:


I am on the water down south... Not too bad, but every once in a while a nasty squall comes thru for about 3-5 minutes...
I'm sure it's nothing you south Floridians can't handle.But I am currently entertained by the recent model runs showing doom and gloom for my area like a bat out of hell.I'm sure the hollywood directors if it were to happen will try to find a true story out of it and make a movie called "The perfect storm two mid-atlantic style".Lol I can't even.
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Quoting Thrawst:
Baha, any ideas on how intense you believe our winds will be at max?

Hey Thrawst! Hopefully Sandy's Damage to the to the Bahamas will be limited.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Reports from the NOAA aircraft indicate Sandy's pressure has risen to 970mb. Strongest winds so far are 70mph but they're just starting.


I would be pretty surprised if Sandy was still a 105 mph storm.
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Reports from the NOAA aircraft indicate Sandy's pressure has risen to 970mb. Strongest winds so far are 70mph but they're just starting.
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Quoting oracle28:


But, if someone is claiming a NW heading when it's really North, then isn't that inaccurate and worthy of correction, especially when combined with the other biases?
I thought he was saying more NW than before... not headed TO the NW.... but maybe u read it right and I read it wrong...

Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Latest microwave.

This could be very good or very bad for us, depending on how far around those stronger storms wrap... looks like a weird kind of EWRC...

Quoting BahaHurican:
I'm starting to see some 50+ mph gusts here...

Great... power just went out.... from one of those gusts, it seems. :o( Geez... and we are barely in the TS wind zone...

I have battery backup, but I want that to last as long as possible, so I'll get off now.

More later as Sandy progresses...

This was at 5:49....

Quoting BahaHurican:
Ok... it just came back on... do you think they were giving us the heads up???

[I better go find my flashlight.... lol]
This was at 6:04.... lol... false alarm... and most alarming it was.

Quoting androsann:


We are OK heavy rain squall passing through right now and a little wind, some trees have been reported down earlier but so far we have kept electricity and phones although cable was out most of the day but is back now.

I expect the worst that we will get will happen later this evening/tonight unless there is a significant shift to the west over the next few hours.
I hope you are right... I already had the only taste of going without power that I want to experience... lol
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18Z gfs FINAL 25 OCT hr 144 TILL 144


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Quoting washingtonian115:
Doesn't look bad for you guys.My local news station did show some web cams from in Miami with some pretty good gust and modest rain.


I am on the water down south... Not too bad, but every once in a while a nasty squall comes thru for about 3-5 minutes...
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Looks like a trip to Dillons skiman

Hey Palm

Nope staying at the homestead. The boy is up in your neck of the woods doing a job at PB Atlantic. The crazy guy is going to try and drive in this monsoon tonight down here. Trying to talk him into staying in a hotel
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Better start preparing in all of Mid Atlantic/North East. This is an epic situation unfolding
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im one of those city rats who eats popcorn and watches the other storms as they come on shore with the fascination of someone with a geography degree.

now its the country rats turn to eat popcorn.

i don't think we will lose electricity in the city, but i have a a flashlight.
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18Z gfs INIT 25 OCT hr 135 TILL 144


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Quoting Dakster:


Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. You cannot go wrong by being prepared...

Waiting for a rain gap to get some generator fuel just in case....
Doesn't look bad for you guys.My local news station did show some web cams from in Miami with some pretty good gust and modest rain.
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Baha, any ideas on how intense you believe our winds will be at max?
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Geoff. I heard the Lake Worth Pier was closed. What did you do now?????
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26416
Quoting washingtonian115:
I'm not currently beleiving the doom and gloom scenario the GFS and Euro are showing.But I'll prepare.Better safe than sorry I guess.


Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. You cannot go wrong by being prepared...

Waiting for a rain gap to get some generator fuel just in case....
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18Z gfs INIT 25 OCT hr 129 TILL 144


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Sandy looks quite poor on infrared images right now:
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The Mid Atlantic really got beat up this run, I am even getting decent impacts from Sandy this run. I also get a few inches of snow during this run while other areas get a high amount.

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I'm not currently beleiving the doom and gloom scenario the GFS and Euro are showing.But I'll prepare.Better safe than sorry I guess.
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I think and hope that this is the worst for south Florida... I also hope that the rest of the east coast fairs just as well...
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55. SuzK
When we start seeing impossible rainfall numbers and low mbs, remember Tallahassee and Pensacola earlier this year. No one could believe the numbers were right, even the seasoned. But they were.
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Quoting AllStar17:


Thank you very much for the report.

Yeah, no problem.
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Quoting waterskiman:
We are getting some of the strongest winds today so far in Tavernier in the upper keys, 31 gusting to 37 but some gusts I swear are higher, boat is be bopping around in the slip alot more than for Issac got to be wind direction NE right now. Seems like it's getting stronger.
Looks like a trip to Dillons skiman
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18Z gfs INIT 25 OCT hr 120 TILL 144


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Mid Atlantic storm looking more likely... 18z GFS landfall now near Jersey & Euro landfall Delmarva.
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18Z gfs INIT 25 OCT hr 114 TILL 144


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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
I think a landfall in the DC area is looking more and more likely.

120:



Bad news for Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, etc.

Somewhat better news for points north of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
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We are getting some of the strongest winds today so far in Tavernier in the upper keys, 31 gusting to 37 but some gusts I swear are higher, boat is be bopping around in the slip alot more than for Issac got to be wind direction NE right now. Seems like it's getting stronger.
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Our local mets still not taking the threat serious.They think we'll be all reight.
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Drinking water in Hialeah contaminated. Residents urged to boil water or use bottled water.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/25/3067586/hia leah-under-water-warning-after.html

Link
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What is scary is that I spoke with one of my girlfriends late last night and told her about the impending storm heading to New England......She was oblivious. Like many thousands of others........ Very scary.
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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.