Sandy remains a hurricane, slowly leaving the Bahamas

By: Angela Fritz , 9:28 PM GMT on October 26, 2012

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Reuters reports that the death toll from Sandy in the Caribbean is now up to 41 people as Hurricane Sandy continues its track toward the U.S. East Coast this afternoon, slowly leaving the Bahamas. States of Emergency have been declared in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and New York. The hurricane is just barely still a Category 1 with surface winds of 75 mph and a minimum central pressure of 971 mb. Ocean buoys off the coasts of Florida and the Carolinas are recording sustained winds of around 45 mph this afternoon, with gusts steadily increasing and now up to 60 mph. Sandy's rainfall, which is limited to the north and northeast parts of the storm, is reaching eastern Florida, though most of it is staying offshore.

Satellite loops show an asymmetric Sandy, with almost all of the thunderstorm activity on its north side. The hurricane still has a very clear center of surface circulation which you can see on visible and infrared loops. Though the hurricane is leaving the influence of an upper level low pressure area over western Cuba, water vapor imagery shows a large area of dry air being pulled into the storm from the south, which is leading to the lack of thunderstorm activity and contributing to the weakening that Sandy is experiencing right now. The hurricane's tropical storm-force winds now extend 240 miles from the center, and could grow to 400 miles from the center by the time it reaches the East Coast.


Figure 1. Visible/infrared satellite image of Sandy as it leaves the Bahamas this afternoon. The mid-latitude trough, which Sandy will interact with over the next few days, is seen approaching from the northwest. The cold front associated with this trough is draped from upstate New York south to Louisiana, and appears as a line of clouds draped across the Midwest and South in this image.

Forecast For Hurricane Sandy

As a tropical cyclone approaches land, the worst storm surge is almost always where the winds are blowing from ocean to shore, where the wind pushes the water toward and onto the shore. In the case of Sandy's potential track, this region is on the north side of the center. In this morning's GFS scenario, Sandy's center passes over eastern Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. This would result in the highest surge north of New York City: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and possibly Maine. The ECMWF forecast from this morning is a bit further to the south. It's suggesting Sandy's center will meet land in New Jersey. This scenario opens up New York City, Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and southern coastal Mass. to the largest surge. In general, the places that will avoid the largest storm surge are those that are south of where the center of the storm makes landfall. The National Hurricane Center's forecast is similar to the ECMWF, but most importantly, its forecast is also to not focus on the exact point of landfall because of the size of the storm, and that widespread impact is expected.

The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts should be prepared for a storm surge no matter their exact location. A large portion of the coast will feel the impact of up to 60 mph winds and heavy rain. According to the most recent H*Wind analysis from the Hurricane Research Division is that storm surge has a destructive potential of 4.8 out of 6.0, which is a slight increase from previous analyses. Wind damage potential is holding steady around 2.3 out of 6.0. NOAA's HPC is forecasting rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and possibly more in coastal locations close to the core of the storm. Widespread power outages from Maine south to Virginia are likely, due to the combination of long-lived gale-force winds, leaves on trees, and rain that will moisten the soil and possibly increase the chances of falling trees. Snow in the Appalachians is also possible as the intense moisture meets the cold air being pulled south by the mid-latitude trough.


Figure 2. Departure of sea surface temperature from average for the Atlantic shows a large area of unusually warm waters up to 9°F above average off the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast.

Sandy to feed off near-record warm waters off the mid-Atlantic coast
During September 2012, ocean temperatures off the mid-Atlantic coast in the 5x10° latitude-longitude box between 35 - 40°N, 65 - 75° W were 2.3°F (1.3°C) above average, according to the UK Met Office. This is the 2nd greatest departure from average for ocean temperatures in this region since reliable ocean temperature measurements began over a century ago (all-time record: 2.0°C above average in September 1947.) These unusually warm waters have persisted into October, and will enable Sandy to pull more energy from the ocean than a typical October hurricane. The warm waters will also help increase Sandy's rains, since more water vapor will evaporate into the air from a warm ocean. I expect Sandy will dump the heaviest October rains on record over a large swath of the mid-Atlantic and New England.

Hurricane rains and climate change
Hurricanes are expected to dump 20% more rain in their cores by the year 2100, according to modeling studies (Knutson et al., 2010). This occurs since a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, which can then condense into heavier rains. Furthermore, the condensation process releases heat energy (latent heat), which invigorates the storm, making its updrafts stronger and creating even more rain. We may already be seeing an increase in rainfall from hurricanes due to a warmer atmosphere. A 2010 study by Kunkel et al. "Recent increases in U.S. heavy precipitation associated with tropical cyclones", found that although there is no evidence for a long-term increase in North American mainland land-falling tropical cyclones (which include both hurricanes and tropical storms), the number of heavy precipitation events, defined as 1-in-5-year events, more than doubled between 1994 - 2008, compared to the long-term average from 1895 - 2008. As I discussed in a 2011 post "Tropical Storm Lee's flood in Binghamton: was global warming the final straw?", an increase in heavy precipitation events in the 21st Century due to climate change is going to be a big problem for a flood control system designed for the 20th Century's climate.


Figure 3. Time series of the 15-yr running average (plotted at the end point of the 15-yr blocks) of the tropical cyclone Heavy Precipitation Index (red) and the associated 15-yr total of U.S. landfalling hurricanes from Atlantic HURDAT hurricane data base, from 1895 - 2008 (blue). Note the steep rise in heavy precipitation events from tropical cyclones over the past 20 years, which has not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in landfalling hurricanes. Image credit: Kunkel et al., 2010, Geophysical Research Letters.

Angela Fritz and Jeff Masters

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If Baltimore, or NY had made it to the World Series they would be scheduled to play tonight, Sunday night and Monday night on the east coast.

With this storm the World Series could still have been in progress in mid november with all the weather delays!

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1354. Dsntslp
Quoting boatrentals:
wow the quality of this website has declined dramatically in the past year.owning a boat rental company in key west i had come to rely on wunderground but i see i need to seek info elsewhere
Self edit :) ;)
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Sandy's IKE (surge): 5.4 / 6. Hurricane Ike actually reached a peak of 5.4:

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I'm looking to find live news feeds from Philadelphia. Jersey or surrounding areas would be good too. I'd like to keep up with what's going on up there. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!
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getting windy with more frequent squalls/steady drizzle here in Kure Beach, NC. Some nice rollers with rooster tails showing up. Rollers can be seen on the ocean from acrss the street at our place so they are certainly building in the past 3 hours.

http://surfchex.com/kure-beach-web-cam.php

Canal Drive in Carolina Beach has some minor flooding (which happens even with thunderstorms up there)

High tide @18:37 4.32 coinciding with increasing wind to 38 and waves cresting estimated at 12 feet - will try for pics before dark if possible.

Love this weather! Brunswick stew & fresh buttermilk dinner rolls for supper after foray to beach followed by hot outdoor showers for all who venture out. Sweet potato hand pies in front of the tube for scary movies - generator with take us through when power goes out - Love this weather!

Of course we are prepared, above the flood zone, the outside cats are tucked up in one of the secured kayaks after a coveted wet catfood breakfast, blowables are secured, dogs are exercised & fed.
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1350. ncstorm
Quoting K8eCane:


Still drivable tho, right? new hanover county schools? what do you guess?



..depends on where she makes landfall and if the bottom half of convection fills in for Sandy..if around NYC, then I see school on but somewhere around VA, then I dont think so..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14250
1349. LargoFl
The weather guru's are going to have some work to do when this is over...a new designation for an atlantic storm,cold on the outside with a hot belly huh......along with new surge and wind estimates etc..a whole NEW animal in the atlantic..never seen before in weather history..and we HERE..are witness to it..amazing huh
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36667
1348. guygee
Quoting Progster:
For blocking you really want to look at 500 HPa (mb). Its the Rossby wave that really illustrates the zonal index (degree of blocking). Surface pressure is really a symptom of what is happening in the upper air, usually.
Good point, here is a better one to watch then:

Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3140
Link

Current blocking. Strong Rex block along 50W from Greenland to the S.
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All,

My "energetic particle" model for Hurricane Sandy shows her destination is near Albion, NY, the site of a massive sinkhole that shutdown the Erie Canal in August of this year. They also had an Earthquake near there yesterday, which supports my model. Until she reaches that area, there is a massive particle orbiting up from the earth/ocean through her eye, through the atmosphere and orbiting back into the ground near wear the sinkhole was formed in Albion, NY. This particle is bad for aircraft and will create a low pressure trough around itself. It is all on my blog @ darkmattersalot.com
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Quoting zoomiami:


Baha is a girl, by the way. Still very windy here in Port St Lucy. Thought it wouldbe calmer today.


What are you going all the way up here Zoo?
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1344. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1343. hydrus
Quoting zoomiami:


Baha is a girl, by the way. Still very windy here in Port St Lucy. Thought it wouldbe calmer today.
Baha is a woman...cool..:)
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Quoting indianrivguy:


Geritol?


Oh, man! You get a Gold Star!
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worried about nigel and baha
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2290
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
yep and at the 72 hr mark warm core is still there as landfall occurs just sw of NYC



12Z GFS keeps it warm core untill it reaches your neck of the woods.....



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1339. hydrus
Quoting presslord:


I'm hunkered down in my pilothouse on my recliner...with a bottle of something pottery would find appealing...
I have never felt jealous before. Then I read your post...sniffle....
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Quoting pottery:

He has not been around here for 2 days....


Baha is a girl, by the way. Still very windy here in Port St Lucy. Thought it wouldbe calmer today.
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1337. LargoFl

...THE EVOLUTION OF TROPICAL CYCLONE SANDY INTO A POWERFUL STORM
CROSSING THE NEW JERSEY COAST MONDAY EVENING WILL MEAN AT LEAST
TWO TIDE CYCLES OF POTENTIALLY MODERATE TO MAJOR FLOODING...

.A COASTAL FLOOD OF RECORD IS POSSIBLE IN THE NORTHERN NEW JERSEY
WATERS IF THE TIMING OF SANDY COINCIDES WITH THE MONDAY EVENING
HIGH TIDE CYCLE AND THE CYCLONE PASSES ACROSS THE NEW JERSEY COAST
BETWEEN ATLANTIC CITY AND BELMAR.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36667
1336. pottery
Quoting presslord:


I'm hunkered down in my pilothouse on my recliner...with a bottle of something pottery would find appealing...

I dont drink Milk, thanks.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23903
Quoting presslord:


I'm hunkered down in my pilothouse on my recliner...with a bottle of something pottery would find appealing...


Geritol?
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1333. 7544
for se fl

...WIND ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING...

* TIMING...TODAY.

* WINDS...NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS IN EXCESS OF
40 MPH.

* IMPACTS...LOOSE ITEMS CAN GET BLOWN AROUND ALONG WITH A FEW
TREES GETTING UPROOTED. THERE COULD ALSO BE SOME POWER
OUTAGES. HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES CAN ALSO GET BLOWN AROUND
ESPECIALLY ON OVERPASSES AND BRIDGES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT SUSTAINED WINDS OF AT LEAST 30 MPH OR
FREQUENT GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 35 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS
STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT...ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE
VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION. MAKE SURE TO SECURE LOOSE OBJECTS AS
THEY CAN BE BLOWN AROUND BY WINDS THIS STRONG.
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1332. LargoFl
Quoting aspectre:
Oughtta get ready
Or better, get out!
Keep your nerves steady
While the media shout,
"Sandy's claws are coming to town"
LOL good one
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36667
Quoting yonzabam:


I just hope there aren't any George Clooney character types out fishing swordfish.


I'm hunkered down in my pilothouse on my recliner...with a bottle of something pottery would find appealing...
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1330. LargoFl
Quoting guygee:
I am surprised too. I am thinking that there will be at least local pockets with much higher amounts, especially in areas favored by orographic lifting.
just remember..they are predictions..and how many times have predictions been wrong in the past?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36667
1329. 900MB
NYC checking in. I've been out of the loop for the last 3 hours. Is see NHC has shifted to S Jerz/Del landfall and it looks from appearances much better organized that I would have guessed.

What else did I miss?
Max winds fr HH?
Min pressure fr HH?
synopsis?
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1328. pottery
Quoting presslord:


"He" is a "she"

OH !
How embarrassing.
For me, that is.

Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23903
1327. LargoFl
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Sandy is looking more and more like the Perfect Storm...



sure is, geez those poor people up there
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36667
1326. guygee
Quoting SyriboTigereyes:
You know what surprises me about all of the models and maps? The amount of rain totals predicted for Long Island. It seems much lower than I thought it would be considering how close she will most likely make landfall and how long she will be around.

Granted, the rainfall totals are still high, of course, but I'm still surprised by predicted totals.
I am surprised too. I am thinking that there will be at least local pockets with much higher amounts, especially in areas favored by orographic lifting.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3140
Quoting guygee:
The fact that Sandy still has such a deep warm core really stands out. She is still very tropical.


Ya, AMSU shows it also, ~6:30 AM EDT this morning:


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1324. LargoFl
Quoting pottery:

Nowhere else for the water to go, really.
Could get real nasty in there.
and if i read right the tides will be above normal anyway with full moon etc..whew going to be alot of flooding from surge, then throw in all the rainfall etc..yes not going to be good there
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36667
Wow that is a substantial pressure drop already since yesterday already.
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Sandy is looking more and more like the Perfect Storm...



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Quoting guygee:
As the forecast unfolds we will definitely want to watch the polar analysis such as this one to verify if the predicted massive blocking high is building over the far North Atlantic through NE Canada.


For blocking you really want to look at 500 HPa (mb). Its the Rossby wave that really illustrates the zonal index (degree of blocking). Surface pressure is really a symptom of what is happening in the upper air, usually.
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Quoting winter123:


It really is a hurricane within a noreaster, just like the forecast said.


I just hope there aren't any George Clooney character types out fishing swordfish.
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1319. K8eCane
Quoting ncstorm:


improvement of rain but not wind..


Still drivable tho, right? new hanover county schools? what do you guess?
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1318. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting guygee:
The fact that Sandy still has such a deep warm core really stands out. She is still very tropical.
yep and at the 72 hr mark warm core is still there as landfall occurs just sw of NYC

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Oughtta get ready
Or better, get out!
Keep your nerve steady
While the media shout,
"Sandy's claws are coming to town"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting indianrivguy:


the Electric Boat shipyard there must be a bustle of prep. My sub was in a floating drydock there during tropical storm Carrie 1972. A LARGE pain in the fanny.


my daughter's boyfriend is a submarine officer...apparently they're all workin' double time right now...
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1315. pottery
Quoting LargoFl:
so when sandy comes ashore..she is going to push the ocean in front of her..up these inlets here?

Nowhere else for the water to go, really.
Could get real nasty in there.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23903
Quoting SyriboTigereyes:
You know what surprises me about all of the models and maps? The amount of rain totals predicted for Long Island. It seems much lower than I thought it would be considering how close she will most likely make landfall and how long she will be around.

Granted, the rainfall totals are still high, of course, but I'm still surprised by predicted totals.


Me too!
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Sandy is looking much better now that convection is over the center, if that persists I think she could strengthen some
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Quoting pottery:

He has not been around here for 2 days....


"He" is a "she"
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1311. Thrawst
10-15 footers crashing beach front properties

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You know what surprises me about all of the models and maps? The amount of rain totals predicted for Long Island. It seems much lower than I thought it would be considering how close she will most likely make landfall and how long she will be around.

Granted, the rainfall totals are still high, of course, but I'm still surprised by predicted totals.
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1309. ncstorm
Quoting K8eCane:


my news in wilmington said improvement by monday


improvement of rain but not wind..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14250
1308. LargoFl
so when sandy comes ashore..she is going to push the ocean in front of her..up these inlets here?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36667
1307. guygee
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 27th day of the month at 16:55Z
...
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 17°C (63°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,525m (5,003ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 24°C (75°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,532m (5,026ft)

...
The fact that Sandy still has such a deep warm core really stands out. She is still very tropical.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3140
Quoting barbamz:


Sure ... but the COC of Sandy seems to head way East in a hurry now. Maybe she doesn't want to mate with the ferocious trough, lol? Anyway she's right on the projected path.

oh wow, talk about ending the hurricane season with a bang and then unfortunately a whimper.
looks grave.
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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.