Superstorm Sandy intensifying, bringing record storm surges

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:54 PM GMT on October 29, 2012

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The final countdown to Hurricane Sandy's arrival has begun, and this extraordinary and historic storm is already causing havoc all along the U.S. coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts. The scale of this massive storm truly earns Sandy the title of "superstorm". Sandy's tropical storm-force winds span an area of ocean 940 miles in diameter, and both North Carolina and the island of Bermuda, 700 miles to the east, are under tropical storm warnings. The region of ocean covered by 12-foot high seas spans an area of ocean an incredible 1560 miles in diameter. Winds near hurricane force are expected to affect waters from Virginia to Massachusetts today. Record storm surge flooding has already occurred in regions along the New Jersey coast this morning, and the highest water levels recorded in over a century of record keeping are expected over much of the New Jersey and New York coasts this evening during the 8 - 9 pm EDT high tide cycle. Sandy brought sustained winds of 60 mph and waves 30 feet high early this morning to the buoy east of Cape Hatteras, NC. A wind gust of 58 mph occurred at New York City's La Guardia Airport at 9:51 am EDT, and a buoy at Robins Reef, NJ recorded sustained winds of 42 mph, gusting to 55 mph. As of 8 am EDT, Sandy has dumped heavy rains of 7.87" at Cape Hatteras, NC; 4.01" at Ocean City, MD; 3.12" at Dover, DE; and 3.22" at Virginia Beach, VA. As of 9 am EDT, peak storm surge values of 5" were observed at Lewes, Delaware, 4.2' at Cape May, NJ, 4' at Atlantic City, NJ, 2.9' at Philadelphia, and 3.9' at New York City.

Latest data from the Hurricane Hunters shows that Sandy is intensifying as its core traverses the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. At 8 am EDT, an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft found top winds of 98 mph in the heavy thunderstorms to the southwest of Sandy's center, at a point about 150 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, NC. A dropsonde released in the eye measured a central pressure of 945 mb, but observed winds of 19 knots at the surface, so Sandy is probably a 943 mb hurricane that is very close to Category 2 strength. The Hurricane Hunters did not observe an eyewall, and saw very little temperature difference from inside to outside the eye, so Sandy is not going to be able to undergo rapid intensification. The storm could still see an increase of 5 mph in its winds before landfall tonight between 6 pm - 10 pm EDT, due, in part, to interaction with the low pressure system to its west that is pulling the hurricane towards the coast. The new, higher winds of Sandy don't have a lot of time to pile up additional storm surge water, so the NHC storm surge forecasts will probably not change today. But it is clear that Sandy is not going to pull its punch, and this superstorm is going to deliver a punishing multi-billion dollar blow to a huge area of the Eastern U.S.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy already producing a record storm surge
The National Weather Service in Atlantic City, NJ said that isolated record storm surge flooding already occurred along portions of the New Jersey coast with this morning's 7:30 am EDT high tide cycle. As the tide goes out late this morning and this afternoon, water levels will fall, since the difference in water levels between low tide and high tide is about 5'. However, this evening, as the core of Sandy moves ashore, the storm will carry with it a gigantic bulge of water that will raise waters levels to the highest storm tides ever seen in over a century of record keeping, along much of the coastline of New Jersey and New York. The peak danger will be between 7 pm - 10 pm, when storm surge rides in on top of the high tide. The full moon is today, which means astronomical high tide will be about 5% higher than the average high tide for the month, adding another 2 - 3" to water levels. This morning's 9:30 am EDT H*Wind analysis from NOAA's Hurricane Research Division put the destructive potential of Sandy's winds at a modest 2.9 on a scale of 0 to 6. However, the destructive potential of the storm surge was record high: 5.8 on a scale of 0 to 6. This is a higher destructive potential than any hurricane observed since 1969, including Category 5 storms like Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Camille, and Andrew. The previous highest destructive potential for storm surge was 5.6 on a scale of 0 to 6, set during Hurricane Isabel of 2003. Sandy's storm surge will be capable of overtopping the flood walls in Manhattan, which are only five feet above mean sea level. On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene brought a storm surge of 4.13' and a storm tide of 9.5' above MLLW to Battery Park on the south side of Manhattan. The waters poured over the flood walls into Lower Manhattan, but came 8 - 12" shy of being able to flood the New York City subway system. According to the latest storm surge forecast for NYC from NHC, Sandy's storm surge is expected to be 10 - 12' above MLLW. Since a storm tide of 10.5' is needed to flood the subway system, it appears likely that portions of the NYC subway system will flood. The record highest storm tide at The Battery was 10.5', set on September 15, 1960, during Hurricane Donna.


Figure 2. Observed storm tide (red line) and predicted storm surge for Hurricane Sandy at The Battery on the south shore of Manhattan, New York City, from the experimental Extratropical Storm Surge model, run by NOAA"s Meteorological Development Laboratory (green line) and the NYHOPS model from the Stevens Institute of Technology (pink curve), which uses a highly detailed 3D ocean model and even includes rainfall and tributary inflows. These models have a storm surge of 5 - 6', which brings the maximum storm tide--the water level reached as a result of the combined action of the tide and the storm surge--to 11' above MLLW (Mean Lower Low Water.) Irene brought a storm tide of 9.5' above MLLW to The Battery in 2011. At a storm tide of 10.5', water will likely pour into the Lower Manhattan subway system, unless efforts to sandbag the entrances are successful. The NWS in NYC is predicting a 10 - 12' storm tide at The Battery during tonight's 9 pm high tide cycle.


Figure 3. Observed storm tide (red line) and predicted storm surge for Hurricane Sandy at Atlantic City, New Jersey, from the experimental Extratropical Storm Surge model, run by NOAA"s Meteorological Development Laboratory (green line) and the NYHOPS model from the Stevens Institute of Technology (pink curve), which uses a highly detailed 3D ocean model and even includes rainfall and tributary inflows. These models predict a maximum storm tide--the water level reached as a result of the combined action of the tide and the storm surge--of ' above MLLW (Mean Lower Low Water.) Irene brought a storm tide of 9.5' above MLLW to The Battery in 2011. At a storm tide of 10.5', water will likely pour into the Lower Manhattan subway system, unless efforts to sandbag the entrances are successful. The NWS in Atlantic City is predicting a 9.5' storm tide for the city during tonight's 8 pm high tide cycle, which would be the highest water levels ever observed in Atlantic City.

Links for Sandy
To find out if you need to evacuate, please contact your local emergency management office. They will have the latest information. People living in New York City can find their evacuation zone here or use this map. FEMA has information on preparing for hurricanes.

People with disabilities and caregivers seeking information on accessible shelter and transportation can contact portlight.org

Atlantic City beach cam

Ocean City, MD webcam

Statue of Liberty cam

An impressive 1-minute resolution satellite loop of Sandy today is at the CSU RAMMB website.

Our Weather Historian, Christopher C. Burt, has an excellent post on Late Season Tropical Storms that have affected the U.S. north of Hatteras. He also has a post, Historic Hurricanes from New Jersey to New England.

Hurricane Sandy info from NASA.

Joe Romm at climateprogress.org has a thoughtful piece called, How Does Global Warming Make Hurricanes Like Irene More Destructive?

For those of you wanting to know your odds of receiving hurricane force or tropical storm force winds, I recommend the NHC wind probability product.

Wunderground has detailed storm surge maps for the U.S. coast.

The National Hurricane Center's Interactive Storm Surge RIsk Map, which allows one to pick a particular Category hurricane and zoom in, is a good source of storm surge risk information.

Storm Surge prediction model from the Stevens Institute of Technology, which use a highly detailed 3D ocean model and even includes rainfall and tributary inflows.

Research storm surge model run by SUNY Stonybrook for New York City.

Climate Central has a nice satellite image showing which parts of New York Harbor are below five feet in elevation.

I'll have an update this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane Sandy 1 (gwegret)
Post-Hurricane Sandy waves pound the Deerfield Beach, FL fishing pier!
Hurricane Sandy 1
Hurricane Sandy Long Neck Delaware (mal247)
On Rehoboth Bay
Hurricane Sandy Long Neck Delaware

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Quoting ncstorm:
I may get bashed but I think NYC wont be as bad as was stated....

I feel the rain will be pretty much nothing. But that the wind will still be pretty powerful, but not for as long as originally forecast. I imagine the flooding is still going to get bad, but maybe not as bad if she makes landfall hours before high tide?
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 141
Since Sandy is hitting off tide now, will that mean no subway flood?




At this rate it will be ashore in 2 hours.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
580. dader
Quoting ncstorm:
I may get bashed but I think NYC wont be as bad as was stated....


The rain won't be as bad. The wind is really a crapshoot. But the flooding could be something people haven't seen in a long time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Moving: NW at 28 mph

Well that's it, aint coming in tonight, coming in now
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9677
Quoting ncstorm:
I may get bashed but I think NYC wont be as bad as was stated....


You'll almost certainly get bashed...but I happen to agree with you...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Chicklit:
2:00 PM EDT Mon Oct 29
Location: 38.3°N 73.1°W
Moving: NW at 28 mph
Min pressure: 940 mb
Max sustained: 90 mph



Wow, 940 is just historic.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I may get bashed but I think NYC wont be as bad as was stated....
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16214
2:00 PM EDT Mon Oct 29
Location: 38.3°N 73.1°W
Moving: NW at 28 mph
Min pressure: 940 mb
Max sustained: 90 mph

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 PM EDT.
TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATES WILL BE ISSUED AT 300 AND 400 PM EDT.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting dader:
Winds really starting to pick up here in Babylon on Long Island. Gusts have to be in the 50 kt area. Second floor of house is shaking


Just experienced the highest wind gust so far by far here near Franklin Square. This one actually startled me A LOT. The doors in the house are opening and closing on their own.
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 141
May not ever really get much rain in NYC, northern Jersey

Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9677
Quoting yonzabam:
Professor Mark Saunders, Department of Space and Climate Physics at University College London, describes the two most unusual features of Hurricane Sandy: its track direction and curvature, and its relative strength.

Track direction and curvature. From a location well offshore at a latitude of 35°-40°N the storm turns to the northwestward to strike the US mid-Atlantic coast. There is no precedent in hurricane records extending back to 1851 of a storm at this latitude taking this path. All historical hurricanes located well offshore at this latitude have followed the jet stream and tracked in a direction between north and east.

Relative strength. Its strength for a hurricane striking the US mid-Atlantic coast in late October. Sandy's central pressure is currently forecast to be 945-950mb at landfall late on Monday. A pressure this low would exceed the previous record low pressure of 955mb for a hurricane landfall in this region at this time of year. It would also be close to the record low pressure of 946mb for any hurricane landfall north of Cape Hatteras; this record-holder being the 'New England' hurricane which occurred in September 1938.


Would not be shocked if we learn from future reports that the anomalous blocking high pressure over Greenland is attributed to warmer temps in the Artic, and thus changing climatic patterns at the north pole.

Sandy's unusual path may not be that unusual over the next 50 years.
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The pressure dropped 3 millibars.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
000
WTNT33 KNHC 291757
TCPAT3

BULLETIN
HURRICANE SANDY INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 29A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182012
200 PM EDT MON OCT 29 2012

...SANDY MOVING MORE QUICKLY TOWARD SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY...
...LANDFALL EXPECTED EARLY THIS EVENING...


SUMMARY OF 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...38.3N 73.1W
ABOUT 110 MI...180 KM SE OF ATLANTIC CITY NEW JERSEY
ABOUT 175 MI...285 KM SSE OF NEW YORK CITY
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...90 MPH...150 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 28 MPH...44 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...940 MB...27.76 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* NORTH OF SURF CITY TO DUCK NORTH CAROLINA
* PAMLICO AND ALBEMARLE SOUNDS

IN ADDITION...HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED ALONG PORTIONS OF
THE COAST BETWEEN CHINCOTEAGUE VIRGINIA AND CHATHAM MASSACHUSETTS.
THIS INCLUDES THE TIDAL POTOMAC FROM COBB ISLAND TO SMITH POINT...
THE MIDDLE AND UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY...DELAWARE BAY...AND THE COASTS
OF THE NORTHERN DELMARVA PENINSULA...NEW JERSEY...THE NEW YORK CITY
AREA...LONG ISLAND...CONNECTICUT...AND RHODE ISLAND.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED NORTH OF CHATHAM TO
MERRIMACK RIVER MASSACHUSETTS...THE LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY...AND
SOUTH OF CHINCOTEAGUE TO DUCK NORTH CAROLINA...THE NORTHERN
ENDPOINT OF THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING.

OTHER COASTAL AND INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT FOR
THESE AREAS. PLEASE SEE STATEMENTS FROM LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE FORECAST OFFICES.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY
YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE SANDY WAS LOCATED
BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT AND NOAA DOPPLER
WEATHER RADARS TO BE NEAR LATITUDE 38.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 73.1
WEST. SANDY IS NOW MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 28 MPH...
44 KM/H. THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH THIS
AFTERNOON AND EVENING UNTIL LANDFALL OCCURS...FOLLOWED BY A TURN
TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST TONIGHT. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE
CENTER OF SANDY IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL ALONG OR JUST SOUTH OF
THE SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY COAST BY EARLY EVENING.

REPORTS FROM THE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 90 MPH...150 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
SANDY IS EXPECTED TO TRANSITION INTO A FRONTAL OR WINTERTIME LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEM LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT. HOWEVER...THIS TRANSITION
WILL NOT BE ACCOMPANIED BY A WEAKENING OF THE SYSTEM...AND LITTLE
CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS EXPECTED PRIOR TO LANDFALL. SANDY IS FORECAST
TO WEAKEN AFTER MOVING WELL INLAND.

HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM...
MAINLY SOUTHWEST OF THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS
EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 485 MILES...780 KM. SUSTAINED WINDS TO
TROPICAL STORM FORCE ARE OCCURRING FROM SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND THROUGH
LONG ISLAND AND LONG ISLAND SOUND...AND SOUTHWARD ALONG THE COASTS
OF NEW JERSEY...DELAWARE...AND EASTERN VIRGINIA...AND INCLUDING ALL
OF THE CHESAPEAKE AND DELAWARE BAYS. A WEATHERFLOW INSTRUMENT
RECENTLY REPORTED A SUSTAINED WIND OF 54 MPH...87 KM/H...WITH A
GUST TO 63 MPH...102 KM/H...ON LONG ISLAND AT EATONS NECK NEW YORK.
ALSO...A UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT BUOY LOCATED IN WESTERN LONG
ISLAND SOUND RECENTLY REPORTED A SUSTAINED WIND OF 38 MPH...61
KM/H...WITH A GUST TO 54 MPH...87 KM/H...AT A HEIGHT OF 10 FEET
ABOVE THE WATER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE BASED ON REPORTS FROM
RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS 940 MB...27.76 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...GALE/TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE ALREADY
OCCURRING OVER PORTIONS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES FROM NORTH
CAROLINA NORTHWARD TO SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND. GALE-FORCE WINDS ARE
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO SPREAD OVER OTHER PORTIONS OF THE
MID-ATLANTIC STATES OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS.
HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS COULD REACH THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES...
INCLUDING NEW YORK CITY AND LONG ISLAND...BY LATE THIS AFTERNOON.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT WINDS AFFECTING THE UPPER FLOORS OF
HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY STRONGER THAN THOSE NEAR
GROUND LEVEL.

STORM SURGE...THE COMBINATION OF AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM SURGE
AND THE TIDE WILL CAUSE NORMALLY DRY AREAS NEAR THE COAST TO BE
FLOODED BY RISING WATERS. THE WATER COULD REACH THE FOLLOWING
DEPTHS ABOVE GROUND IF THE PEAK SURGE OCCURS AT THE TIME OF HIGH
TIDE...

NC NORTH OF SURF CITY INCLUDING PAMLICO/ALBEMARLE SOUNDS...4 TO 6 FT
SE VA AND DELMARVA INCLUDING LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY...2 TO 4 FT
UPPER AND MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY...1 TO 3 FT
LONG ISLAND SOUND...RARITAN BAY...AND NEW YORK HARBOR...6 TO 11 FT
ELSEWHERE FROM OCEAN CITY MD TO THE CT/RI BORDER...4 TO 8 FT
CT/RI BORDER TO THE SOUTH SHORE OF CAPE COD INCLUDING BUZZARDS
BAY AND NARRAGANSETT BAY...3 TO 6 FT
CAPE COD TO THE MA/NH BORDER INCLUDING CAPE COD BAY...2 TO 4 FT
MA/NH BORDER TO THE U.S./CANADA BORDER...1 TO 3 FT

SURGE-RELATED FLOODING DEPENDS ON THE RELATIVE TIMING OF THE SURGE
AND THE TIDAL CYCLE...AND CAN VARY GREATLY OVER SHORT DISTANCES.
GIVEN THE LARGE WIND FIELD ASSOCIATED WITH SANDY...ELEVATED WATER
LEVELS COULD SPAN MULTIPLE TIDE CYCLES RESULTING IN REPEATED AND
EXTENDED PERIODS OF COASTAL AND BAYSIDE FLOODING. IN ADDITION...
ELEVATED WATERS COULD OCCUR FAR REMOVED FROM THE CENTER OF SANDY.
FURTHERMORE...THESE CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR REGARDLESS OF WHETHER
SANDY IS A TROPICAL OR POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE. FOR INFORMATION
SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE SEE PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE.

RAINFALL...RAINFALL TOTALS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER FAR
NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 8
INCHES POSSIBLE. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED
OVER PORTIONS OF THE MID ATLANTIC STATES...INCLUDING THE DELMARVA
PENINSULA...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES POSSIBLE.
RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF
5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE FROM THE SOUTHERN TIER OF NEW YORK STATE
NORTHEASTWARD THROUGH NEW ENGLAND.

SNOWFALL..SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 3 FEET ARE EXPECTED IN THE
MOUNTAINS OF WEST VIRGINIA WITH LOCALLY HIGHER TOTALS TODAY THROUGH
WEDNESDAY. SNOWFALL OF 1 TO 2 FEET IS EXPECTED IN THE MOUNTAINS OF
SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA TO THE KENTUCKY BORDER...WITH 12 TO 18 INCHES
OF SNOW EXPECTED IN THE MOUNTAINS NEAR THE NORTH CAROLINA/TENNESSEE
BORDER AND IN THE MOUNTAINS OF WESTERN MARYLAND.

SURF...DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE FROM FLORIDA THROUGH
NEW ENGLAND FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 PM EDT.
TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATES WILL BE ISSUED AT 300 AND 400 PM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART

Still 90 mph? would think it's a cat 2.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24548
Quoting ncstorm:
Hampton Roads

People..please do NOT drive through water





I'm sure they will all see your post.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
I see a forward speed of 30-35 mph now, and the center is only 80 miles from the coast. At this speed, the center will be inland within 3 hrs, or near 4:30pm EDT, which is closer to low tide than high tide.
I hope so, that would be some good news.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
And when I said we might be spared I mean maybe it won't be as bad as we expected.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
WTNT33 KNHC 291757
TCPAT3

BULLETIN
HURRICANE SANDY INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 29A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182012
200 PM EDT MON OCT 29 2012

...SANDY MOVING MORE QUICKLY TOWARD SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY...
...LANDFALL EXPECTED EARLY THIS EVENING...


SUMMARY OF 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...38.3N 73.1W
ABOUT 110 MI...180 KM SE OF ATLANTIC CITY NEW JERSEY
ABOUT 175 MI...285 KM SSE OF NEW YORK CITY
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...90 MPH...150 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 28 MPH...44 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...940 MB...27.76 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* NORTH OF SURF CITY TO DUCK NORTH CAROLINA
* PAMLICO AND ALBEMARLE SOUNDS

IN ADDITION...HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED ALONG PORTIONS OF
THE COAST BETWEEN CHINCOTEAGUE VIRGINIA AND CHATHAM MASSACHUSETTS.
THIS INCLUDES THE TIDAL POTOMAC FROM COBB ISLAND TO SMITH POINT...
THE MIDDLE AND UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY...DELAWARE BAY...AND THE COASTS
OF THE NORTHERN DELMARVA PENINSULA...NEW JERSEY...THE NEW YORK CITY
AREA...LONG ISLAND...CONNECTICUT...AND RHODE ISLAND.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED NORTH OF CHATHAM TO
MERRIMACK RIVER MASSACHUSETTS...THE LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY...AND
SOUTH OF CHINCOTEAGUE TO DUCK NORTH CAROLINA...THE NORTHERN
ENDPOINT OF THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING.

OTHER COASTAL AND INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT FOR
THESE AREAS. PLEASE SEE STATEMENTS FROM LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE FORECAST OFFICES.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY
YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE SANDY WAS LOCATED
BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT AND NOAA DOPPLER
WEATHER RADARS TO BE NEAR LATITUDE 38.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 73.1
WEST. SANDY IS NOW MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 28 MPH...
44 KM/H. THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH THIS
AFTERNOON AND EVENING UNTIL LANDFALL OCCURS...FOLLOWED BY A TURN
TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST TONIGHT. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE
CENTER OF SANDY IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL ALONG OR JUST SOUTH OF
THE SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY COAST BY EARLY EVENING.

REPORTS FROM THE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 90 MPH...150 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
SANDY IS EXPECTED TO TRANSITION INTO A FRONTAL OR WINTERTIME LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEM LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT. HOWEVER...THIS TRANSITION
WILL NOT BE ACCOMPANIED BY A WEAKENING OF THE SYSTEM...AND LITTLE
CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS EXPECTED PRIOR TO LANDFALL. SANDY IS FORECAST
TO WEAKEN AFTER MOVING WELL INLAND.

HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM...
MAINLY SOUTHWEST OF THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS
EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 485 MILES...780 KM. SUSTAINED WINDS TO
TROPICAL STORM FORCE ARE OCCURRING FROM SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND THROUGH
LONG ISLAND AND LONG ISLAND SOUND...AND SOUTHWARD ALONG THE COASTS
OF NEW JERSEY...DELAWARE...AND EASTERN VIRGINIA...AND INCLUDING ALL
OF THE CHESAPEAKE AND DELAWARE BAYS. A WEATHERFLOW INSTRUMENT
RECENTLY REPORTED A SUSTAINED WIND OF 54 MPH...87 KM/H...WITH A
GUST TO 63 MPH...102 KM/H...ON LONG ISLAND AT EATONS NECK NEW YORK.
ALSO...A UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT BUOY LOCATED IN WESTERN LONG
ISLAND SOUND RECENTLY REPORTED A SUSTAINED WIND OF 38 MPH...61
KM/H...WITH A GUST TO 54 MPH...87 KM/H...AT A HEIGHT OF 10 FEET
ABOVE THE WATER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE BASED ON REPORTS FROM
RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS 940 MB...27.76 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...GALE/TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE ALREADY
OCCURRING OVER PORTIONS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES FROM NORTH
CAROLINA NORTHWARD TO SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND. GALE-FORCE WINDS ARE
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO SPREAD OVER OTHER PORTIONS OF THE
MID-ATLANTIC STATES OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS.
HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS COULD REACH THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES...
INCLUDING NEW YORK CITY AND LONG ISLAND...BY LATE THIS AFTERNOON.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT WINDS AFFECTING THE UPPER FLOORS OF
HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY STRONGER THAN THOSE NEAR
GROUND LEVEL.

STORM SURGE...THE COMBINATION OF AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM SURGE
AND THE TIDE WILL CAUSE NORMALLY DRY AREAS NEAR THE COAST TO BE
FLOODED BY RISING WATERS. THE WATER COULD REACH THE FOLLOWING
DEPTHS ABOVE GROUND IF THE PEAK SURGE OCCURS AT THE TIME OF HIGH
TIDE...

NC NORTH OF SURF CITY INCLUDING PAMLICO/ALBEMARLE SOUNDS...4 TO 6 FT
SE VA AND DELMARVA INCLUDING LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY...2 TO 4 FT
UPPER AND MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY...1 TO 3 FT
LONG ISLAND SOUND...RARITAN BAY...AND NEW YORK HARBOR...6 TO 11 FT
ELSEWHERE FROM OCEAN CITY MD TO THE CT/RI BORDER...4 TO 8 FT
CT/RI BORDER TO THE SOUTH SHORE OF CAPE COD INCLUDING BUZZARDS
BAY AND NARRAGANSETT BAY...3 TO 6 FT
CAPE COD TO THE MA/NH BORDER INCLUDING CAPE COD BAY...2 TO 4 FT
MA/NH BORDER TO THE U.S./CANADA BORDER...1 TO 3 FT

SURGE-RELATED FLOODING DEPENDS ON THE RELATIVE TIMING OF THE SURGE
AND THE TIDAL CYCLE...AND CAN VARY GREATLY OVER SHORT DISTANCES.
GIVEN THE LARGE WIND FIELD ASSOCIATED WITH SANDY...ELEVATED WATER
LEVELS COULD SPAN MULTIPLE TIDE CYCLES RESULTING IN REPEATED AND
EXTENDED PERIODS OF COASTAL AND BAYSIDE FLOODING. IN ADDITION...
ELEVATED WATERS COULD OCCUR FAR REMOVED FROM THE CENTER OF SANDY.
FURTHERMORE...THESE CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR REGARDLESS OF WHETHER
SANDY IS A TROPICAL OR POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE. FOR INFORMATION
SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE SEE PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE.

RAINFALL...RAINFALL TOTALS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER FAR
NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 8
INCHES POSSIBLE. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED
OVER PORTIONS OF THE MID ATLANTIC STATES...INCLUDING THE DELMARVA
PENINSULA...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES POSSIBLE.
RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF
5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE FROM THE SOUTHERN TIER OF NEW YORK STATE
NORTHEASTWARD THROUGH NEW ENGLAND.

SNOWFALL..SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 3 FEET ARE EXPECTED IN THE
MOUNTAINS OF WEST VIRGINIA WITH LOCALLY HIGHER TOTALS TODAY THROUGH
WEDNESDAY. SNOWFALL OF 1 TO 2 FEET IS EXPECTED IN THE MOUNTAINS OF
SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA TO THE KENTUCKY BORDER...WITH 12 TO 18 INCHES
OF SNOW EXPECTED IN THE MOUNTAINS NEAR THE NORTH CAROLINA/TENNESSEE
BORDER AND IN THE MOUNTAINS OF WESTERN MARYLAND.

SURF...DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE FROM FLORIDA THROUGH
NEW ENGLAND FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 PM EDT.
TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATES WILL BE ISSUED AT 300 AND 400 PM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART
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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:
I am getting SO annoyed by certain people on FB with their "Bring it on Sandy, nothing is happening here. This is so boring. This storm is all hype". Are you kidding me? My father just talked to the owner of our boat dock. The water already is up above two cinder blocks high that the boats out of the water are on. They are all on THREE cinder blocks. So tonight, they are going to be floating all over. Into his house, into other boats, into the open water.

Towns are already flooded and she is still not here yet. It's so frustrating. Just like during Irene. "I didn't even lose power, this storm was just hype". Really? Because 500,000 other people on Long Island lost power.. but I guess since you didn't, the storm wasn't a big deal at all. It seems so selfish to think that just because you didn't have damage to your property or power outage, that the storm was "nothing".


I believe New Yorkers have a word for people like that, but I don't think I can post it here.
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Brookland, NY.


Already worse than Irene.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24548
Quoting presslord:


read a book on that...was a great read...forget the title...
"The Phantom" Very chilling account of what happened and what likely happened to the ship and crew. Scary!
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Quoting yonzabam:


Surprised to see so many green leaves on the tree. If that's typical, there will probably be record numbers of downed trees.

Here in Scotland, the trees have shed their leaves.


Strangely enough, our trees have a lot of foliage on them still. Well.. not so much now. Yesterday the ground was clear, but now it's covered in leaves. I think most trees will be bare after this. But it definitely is going to be much worse because of that.
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 141

URNT15 KNHC 291753
AF308 2418A SANDY HDOB 12 20121029
174300 3817N 07256W 6969 02621 9413 +147 +068 193027 029 021 002 00
174330 3817N 07259W 6970 02618 9403 +151 +066 197025 027 017 003 03
174400 3818N 07301W 6967 02613 9399 +154 +068 200021 024 018 001 00
174430 3818N 07303W 6965 02613 9396 +150 +071 196014 019 006 002 00
174500 3819N 07305W 6965 02612 9404 +140 +075 194007 012 005 002 00
174530 3819N 07307W 6967 02608 9407 +136 +078 019001 003 007 002 00
174600 3819N 07310W 6971 02610 9403 +147 +073 024004 005 010 003 03
174630 3821N 07311W 6969 02610 9403 +144 +077 084005 007 /// /// 03
174700 3822N 07309W 6961 02612 9406 +135 +089 122007 010 032 004 03
174730 3823N 07308W 6970 02596 9402 +134 +091 130016 017 032 004 00
174800 3825N 07306W 6959 02614 9413 +121 +096 129018 019 034 005 00
174830 3826N 07304W 6973 02594 9415 +121 +097 123022 023 035 003 00
174900 3827N 07303W 6958 02613 9411 +126 +092 129024 025 037 003 00
174930 3828N 07301W 6970 02601 9413 +128 +092 132031 033 041 005 00
175000 3830N 07259W 6974 02602 9412 +133 +090 136037 040 047 004 00
175030 3831N 07258W 6959 02621 9415 +133 +088 138046 050 049 005 00
175100 3832N 07256W 6969 02612 9424 +129 +080 140055 058 051 004 00
175130 3833N 07254W 6955 02637 9424 +135 +076 142059 060 051 003 00
175200 3834N 07253W 6969 02624 9435 +132 +077 143062 063 052 004 00
175230 3836N 07251W 6974 02626 9441 +133 +073 141063 063 052 004 00

Extrapolated SLP: 940 mbs
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No one cares about Valley ball at this time on the blog.
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Good evening, at least as much as possible with Sandy. I just found this video on CNN from a cruise ship affected by Sandy (name of the ship isn't mentioned). Sorry if this link has already been posted. I just came back from work and there are so many posts to read.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Where you live?.Because my lights are beginning to flicker just a little from some of these strong gust.

Mine are flickering too. I live in Pasadena MD. Green Haven to be exact.
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I see a forward speed of 30-35 mph now, and the center is only 80 miles from the coast. At this speed, the center will be inland within 3 hrs, or near 4:30pm EDT, which is closer to low tide than high tide.
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554. dader
Winds really starting to pick up here in Babylon on Long Island. Gusts have to be in the 50 kt area. Second floor of house is shaking
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Quoting MontanaZephyr:


Only weather nerds really follow the weather, particular commercial interests aside maybe. For most people, keeping up with 'the weather' is about as high priority as keeping up with the Tiawanese Girls' volleyball standings.


well...that depends...beach or court volleyball?
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While waiting for the 6pm ATCF... Cheap Trick, or Treating with Geometry: 3points define a circle.
One can draw a circle and only one circle through any 3 given positions... which means that one can also find the center and radius of that circle
All times in GMT. Derived from NHC_ATCF data for HurricaneSandy @ 29Oct.12pm

WAL-WallopsIsland :: 31E-EagleswoodTownship :: 31E-CapeHatteras

The dot east of CapeHatteras (HNC) is the center of the circle that runs thru H.Sand's last 3 positions.
If H.Sandy follows the curvature of that circle, it will pass over southAssateagueIsland(nearWAL)Virginia
The longest line is a straightline projection through H.Sandy's 2 most recent positions to its closest approach to an inhabited coastline.If H.Sandy follows that straightline, it will pass over Amaganset(nearHTO)LongIsland,NewYork
So I'll put my bet on landfall near NorthBeach(near31E)NewJersey, the closest ocean community exactly midway between the two.

Click this link to the GreatCircleMapper for a larger map with more info
And the previous mapping for comparison

BTW: Wallops is home to the GlobalHawk HS3 Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel
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Quoting Articuno:
I think we will be spared of this storm. Imagine if there was actually another side to the storm?
Where you live?.Because my lights are beginning to flicker just a little from some of these strong gust.
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The winds are creating an "instant autumn" in south-central MA. Tree branches should be next.

Last night my yard was totally cleaned up.


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Quoting Articuno:
I think we will be spared of this storm. Imagine if there was actually another side to the storm?


Where are you located?
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Despite all the reports in the media about flooding, the biggest surge won't happen until the next tide cycle.

Well, that tide cycle is starting right now in eastern Long Island due to extreme wind offshore. In New London CT, the low tide appears to be happening 3 hours or more earlier than normal. Which means that there could be a 9 hour tidal rise, peaking around 11pm:

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547. DrewE
Quoting tropicfreak:


Cool Drew where are you? Southern Chesterfield?


Yes sir! Are you on the south side?

I hate to be the a negative nancy, but the chances of us losing power are getting higher and higher as this is progressing.

Check this out. It's an outage map from Dominion Power. Link
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I think we will be spared of this storm. Imagine if there was actually another side to the storm?
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Quoting MontanaZephyr:


Only weather nerds really follow the weather, particular commercial interests aside maybe. For most people, keeping up with 'the weather' is about as high priority as keeping up with the Tiawanese Girls' volleyball standings.

I thought I was the only one wot did that. :):))

Re: the Bounty.
They lost power and in a ship like that in those conditions, you are gone.....

Had the engine kept running they would probably been fine.
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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:


A friend sent me this from Levittown. We are "only" getting gusts around 40mph and the trees are already coming up in Nassau County in places. Wow.


Surprised to see so many green leaves on the tree. If that's typical, there will probably be record numbers of downed trees.

Here in Scotland, the trees have shed their leaves.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2993
Quoting Sfloridacat5:
I still say the East side of Sandy is basically rain free. Radar shows very little precipitation on the East side of the center.
Center is only a few hours from landall. Sandy is really moving quickly now.


I think you are right about parts of Sandy lacking rain. Could be very interesting that whoever gets the largest storm surge may not see a whole lot in terms of rain. The good news is Sandy is going to make landfall much earlier than expected and avoid high tide
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542. Skyepony (Mod)
Level Geo. Height Air Temp. Dew Point Wind Direction Wind Speed
972mb (28.70 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 15.0°C (59.0°F) 13.4°C (56.1°F) 275° (from the W) 57 knots (66 mph)
1000mb -237m (-778 ft) This level does not exist in this area of the storm above the surface level.
925mb 420m (1,378 ft) 10.4°C (50.7°F) 10.0°C (50.0°F) 275° (from the W) 81 knots (93 mph)
850mb 1,119m (3,671 ft) 5.8°C (42.4°F) 4.2°C (39.6°F) 275° (from the W) 81 knots (93 mph)
700mb 2,694m (8,839 ft) 1.8°C (35.2°F) 1.2°C (34.2°F) 325° (from the NW) 40 knots (46 mph)

Information About Radiosonde:
- Launch Time: 17:08Z
- About Sonde: A descending radiosonde tracked automatically by satellite navigation with no solar or infrared correction.

Remarks Section...

Dropsonde Location: Dropped in maximum wind band.

Splash Location: 36.9N 73.67W
Splash Time: 17:12Z
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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:


A friend sent me this from Levittown. We are "only" getting gusts around 40mph and the trees are already coming up in Nassau County in places. Wow.


Same here in Levittown, PA
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.THE FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 430 PM EDT FOR
CALVERT...ANNE ARUNDEL AND EASTERN ST. MARYS COUNTIES...

AT 1213 PM EDT...MARYLAND ROUTE 450 WAS REPORTED TO BE FLOODED EAST
OF CROFTON. THE HEAVIEST RAIN HAS MOVED WEST OF THE BAYSHORE
COMMUNITIES...BUT ADDITIONAL RAIN WILL CONTINUE THROUGH TONIGHT. THE
FLOOD WARNING MAY HAVE TO BE EXTENDED OR RE-ISSUED LATER.

A FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR HAS BEEN REPORTED.
STREAM RISES WILL BE SLOW AND FLASH FLOODING IS NOT EXPECTED.
HOWEVER...ALL INTERESTED PARTIES SHOULD TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS
IMMEDIATELY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IN HILLY TERRAIN THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF LOW WATER CROSSINGS WHICH ARE
POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS IN HEAVY RAIN. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRAVEL ACROSS
FLOODED ROADS. FIND ALTERNATE ROUTES. IT TAKES ONLY A FEW INCHES OF
SWIFTLY FLOWING WATER TO CARRY VEHICLES AWAY.

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF FLOOD WATERS. ONLY A FEW INCHES OF
RAPIDLY FLOWING WATER CAN QUICKLY CARRY AWAY YOUR VEHICLE.
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Professor Mark Saunders, Department of Space and Climate Physics at University College London, describes the two most unusual features of Hurricane Sandy: its track direction and curvature, and its relative strength.

Track direction and curvature. From a location well offshore at a latitude of 35°-40°N the storm turns to the northwestward to strike the US mid-Atlantic coast. There is no precedent in hurricane records extending back to 1851 of a storm at this latitude taking this path. All historical hurricanes located well offshore at this latitude have followed the jet stream and tracked in a direction between north and east.

Relative strength. Its strength for a hurricane striking the US mid-Atlantic coast in late October. Sandy's central pressure is currently forecast to be 945-950mb at landfall late on Monday. A pressure this low would exceed the previous record low pressure of 955mb for a hurricane landfall in this region at this time of year. It would also be close to the record low pressure of 946mb for any hurricane landfall north of Cape Hatteras; this record-holder being the 'New England' hurricane which occurred in September 1938.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2993
I still say the East side of Sandy is basically rain free. Radar shows very little precipitation on the East side of the center.
Center is only a few hours from landall. Sandy is really moving quickly now.
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Winds are really picking up. It's hard to believe this storm is so far away. Lights flickering, UPS battery backups beeping. When the power goes out I'm unplugging everything to keep the battery backups charged, so we can keep the phones and maybe even a computer going. I've got my own portable wi-fi. Good luck everybody. I'm going to power down to keep my electronics safe.
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Quoting Swede38:


My daughter is in Middletown.
How bad is it?
Cheers

Wind is picking up now, shaking our little old house a bit and rattling the windows. The wild birds are still out on the feeders in our yard though ;)
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 141
I really hope people who needed to do so evacuated.... Katrina was bad enough, but water rescues in WAY colder water and air temps may not be able to happen quickly enough to save lives.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Ok... it was a typo. But still... you shouldn't be taking anything into a hurricane if you could avoid it. Especially not a sailboat.
Most large ships set sail in a storm to ride it out at sea rather than be pushed against the dock. Maybe that is why "The Bounty" sailed.
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533. Kumo
Quoting CloudGatherer:
That pic of the Tomb of the Unknowns is from September. This is what it looks like today.


Aye, rain or shine they'll be out there. Many thanks to The Old Guard for what they sacrifice for our Army and our Nation.
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Quoting SSideBrac:


Not at all a blame game - their behaviour and ignorance could very well put Rescuers and 1st Responders lives at risk.
Somehow, the message has to be pushed home to such people.


Only weather nerds really follow the weather, particular commercial interests aside maybe. For most people, keeping up with 'the weather' is about as high priority as keeping up with the Tiawanese Girls' volleyball standings.
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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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