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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18L/PTH/S/CXX
NEARING LANDFALL
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting bappit:

Quote from the article:

"Though the formation of a hurricane in the center of a large extratropical low is unusual, it has happened several times before. Hurricane Karl formed in the center of a deep layer non-tropical cyclone in the central Atlantic on November 25, 1980 and was of hurricane strength until November 27, 1980. By their very nature, the centers of deep layer cyclones are areas of small temperature gradients and light vertical wind shear. Given sufficient heating from the sea surface below, tropical cyclone formation within the larger low pressure center is possible."
Thank you. I have read that article several times. The part that I found most interesting is that the NHC decided not to name the storm even though they were well aware of it. I was living in New Hampshire at the time, and although the effects inland were not that severe. mostly wind and rain or snow, the coastline was severely damaged by high tides and huge waves. I followed the storm on TWC and I remember that they noted and discussed the tropical cyclone that followed in footprint of the "Perfect Storm". It was no secret at the time to 'weather geeks', but the NHC only made it official to the general public after the season was over.
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folks new jersey has so many flood warnings on streets,creeks,streams etc its just too many to post here..you get the picture..local flooding is bad there now and will get worse over time
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Quoting sfranz:
Not sure Hybrid Thingie Sandy is making the grade for me. Maybe BFS Sandy?

Stay safe, everyone.



Frankenstorm Sandy.
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Quoting ncstorm:


May??..the blame game is not necessary right now..


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.
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There may be a bit of saving grace, if there is such a thing in this case, that this storm may make landfall well before the high tide, maybe even 3-4 hours earlier than previously thought. Seems like the center is being sling-shot to the north and west.
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11.2 reading at the Bridgeport tidal gauge
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12z GFS 10m Winds..







Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14595
1148 AM EDT MON OCT 29 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOUNT HOLLY NJ HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING FOR
THE RED CLAY CREEK AT WOODDALE.
* FROM THIS EVENING TO TUESDAY AFTERNOON...OR UNTIL THE WARNING IS CANCELLED.
* AT 11:45 AM MONDAY THE STAGE WAS MISSING.
* FLOOD STAGE IS 7.0 FEET.
* MAJOR FLOODING IS FORECAST.
* FORECAST...RISE ABOVE FLOOD STAGE BY THIS EVENING AND CONTINUE TO RISE TO NEAR
10.2 FEET BY AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. THE RIVER WILL FALL BELOW FLOOD STAGE BY
TOMORROW MORNING.
* IMPACT...AT 8.5 FEET...THE PARKING LOT AT AMATEK COMPANY FLOODS.

$$

FLD OBSERVED FORECAST
LOCATION STG STG DAY TIME CREST

RED CLAY CREEK
WOODDALE 7.0 MISSING 10.2 TUE 2 AM

&&
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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.
Especially not a wooden sailboat. You know, of the type littering the ocean floor.
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Quoting jeffs713:

It takes quite a bit of Darwin Award potential to sail a smallish sailboat VERY loaded down (17 people!) into the ocean with a hurricane nearby.

Unless there is an incredibly plausible story, they should be charged for their rescue effort.



I believe you are referenceing the 180ft BountyLink
Bounty sank of north carolina overnight with 17 persons on board 14 confirmed rescued.
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Quoting Matthias1967:


Hopefully zero.
Really? Hundreds I fear.


Yes, I would concur, hundreds is quite likely. A lot of people's survival and swimming skills are going to be put to the test in about eight hours if they don't seek high ground very soon.
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they have upped the rainfall predictions for the baltimore area..now 8-12 inches of rainfall...dont have to be near the coastline to get your house flooded with THAT much rain, any small lake or stream near you will go over also..adding to the flooding..not good news at all
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getting closer now
not much longer
it will be coming ashore
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting RitaEvac:


Go check the gauges and then tell me when the tide goes down 5' after this morning's high tide...

See the gauge at The Battery here.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5959
Quoting bwat:
Negative, rescue measures complete, all crew members rescued by Elizabeth City Coast Guard Air Station. (best in the nation :) ) Will post release when I see it.


I was wondering, sound like they were left behind with no word on the situation
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Sandy GOES Rapid Scan:

Link

Sandy Radar:

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
Quoting SSideBrac:


I may sound callous and uncaring - I am NOT - they have been repeatedly warned and chose to ignore warnings - in essence if things continue to go downhill from now - they are on their own - and in a "cruel aside" - it is all down to them!!


May??..the blame game is not necessary right now..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14595

Quoting washingtonian115:
I wonder how high the death toll could be excluding the caribbean?.Hopefully low.
not low at all.  many souls crossing over in the next few days.  it's a year of great change.
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..SANDY LOCAL STATEMENT...

...SANDY TO BRING NEAR HURRICANE FORCE WINDS AND FLOOD-PRODUCING
HEAVY RAINFALL TO MUCH OF THE REGION THROUGH TUESDAY...

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR THE GREATER BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON
METROPOLITAN AREAS, INCLUDING THE MARYLAND PORTION OF THE
CHESAPEAKE BAY, TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER, MARYLAND FROM THE WESTERN
SHORE OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY TO GARRETT COUNTY, NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
AND EXTREME EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA. THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS STATEMENT IS
TO PROVIDE A SINGLE PRODUCT THAT INTEGRATES THE WARNING PRODUCTS
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON
WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE.

SANDY LOCAL STATEMENTS WILL BE RELEASED EVERY 6 HOURS THROUGH
WEDNESDAY MORNING AT THE FOLLOWING RELEASE TIMES: 11 PM...5 AM...
11 AM...AND 5 PM.

AT 11 AM EDT...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE SANDY WAS LOCATED NEAR
LATITUDE 37.5N...LONGITUDE 71.5W. THIS WAS ABOUT 315 MILES EAST
OF WASHINGTON DC. SANDY WAS MOVING NORTHWEST AT 18 MPH...WITH
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS OF 90 MPH. SANDY IS FORECAST TO MAKE
LANDFALL ALONG THE SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY COAST EARLY TONIGHT...WITH
A LITTLE STRENGTHENING POSSIBLE BEFORE LANDFALL. SANDY WILL
SEVERELY IMPACT THE REGION WELL BEFORE IT COMES ASHORE.

SUMMARY OF THREATS
------------------
* THE MAIN IMMEDIATE THREATS FOR SANDY WILL BE STRONG WINDS
RESULTING IN WIDESPREAD DOWNED TREES AND POWER/COMMUNICATIONS
OUTAGES...AND HEAVY RAINS WHICH WILL RESULT IN EXTENSIVE
FLOODING OF LOCAL STREAMS AND CREEKS.
* BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST IN THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS AT
ELEVATIONS ABOVE 2000 FEET WHERE 18 TO 24 INCHES ARE FORECAST.
* MAJOR RIVER FLOODING IS LIKELY TO OCCUR...STARTING THIS
AFTERNOON ON SMALLER WATERSHEDS WHICH WILL LEAD TO FLOODING ON
THE MAIN-STEM RIVERS SUCH AS THE POTOMAC AND THE SHENANDOAH.

CHANGES SINCE LAST LOCAL STATEMENT
----------------------------------
* THE TIMING OF THE PEAK WINDS FROM SANDY ARE NOW EXPECTED FROM
LATE THIS AFTERNOON TO DAYBREAK ON WEDNESDAY.
* RAINFALL AMOUNTS HAVE BEEN INCREASED. THE GREATER BALTIMORE
METRO AREA IS NOW FORECAST TO RECEIVE 8 TO 12 INCHES OF
RAIN...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS.
* THE POTOMAC RIVER IS LIKELY TO GO INTO FLOOD STAGE BEGINNING
AROUND WEDNESDAY AND LASTING THROUGH FRIDAY.

HIGH WINDS
----------
* WINDS WILL INCREASE STEADILY TODAY...WITH THE MAXIMUM WIND GUSTS
OCCURRING LATE THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING.
* GENERALLY...SUSTAINED WINDS OF 30 TO 50 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 60 MPH
CAN BE EXPECTED ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION.
* HURRICANE FORCE WIND GUSTS OF 70 AND POSSIBLY 80 MPH ARE
EXPECTED TO IMPACT A REGION LOCATED BETWEEN BEL AIR MD...POINT
LOOKOUT MD...AND HAGERSTOWN MD BETWEEN 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM
TUESDAY. THIS INCLUDES THE GREATER BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON
METROPOLITAN AREAS.
* COUPLED WITH HEAVY RAINS FROM SANDY...THE HIGH WINDS WILL RESULT
IN SIGNIFICANT TREE DAMAGE AND POWER LINE DAMAGE.

RAINFALL AND FLOODING
---------------------
* 8 TO 12 INCHES OF RAIN IN NORTHEAST AND NORTH CENTRAL MD
INCLUDING THE BALTIMORE METRO AREA AND ALONG THE WEST SHORE OF
THE BAY.
* 5 TO 10 INCHES OF RAIN IS EXPECTED ACROSS THE FREDERICK...
WASHINGTON AND FREDERICKSBURG METRO AREAS.
* 3 TO 6 INCHES OF RAIN IS EXPECTED FOR EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA AND
VIRGINIA...WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE DC METRO COUNTIES...AS WELL
AS WESTERN MARYLAND WEST OF HANCOCK MD.
* THIS AMOUNT OF RAIN WILL LIKELY RESULT IN EXTENSIVE AND DANGEROUS
FLOODING OF LOCAL STREAMS AND CREEKS STARTING THIS AFTERNOON AND
LASTING INTO WEDNESDAY.

MAIN-STEM RIVER FLOODING
------------------------
* THE POTOMAC RIVER WILL LIKELY START FLOODING TUESDAY NIGHT AND
CONTINUE THROUGH THE END OF THE WEEK.
* THE MONOCACY RIVER IS FORECAST TO FLOOD LATER TODAY AND CONTINUE
TO BE IN MAJOR FLOOD THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY. LEVELS FORECAST
HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE AGNES IN 1972.

COASTAL FLOODING
----------------
* WITH THE FULL MOON ON MONDAY...ASTRONOMICAL TIDES ARE ALREADY
HIGHER THAN NORMAL. COUNTER TO THE HIGHER THAN NORMAL
ASTRONOMICAL TIDES...STRONG NORTH AND NORTHWESTERLY WINDS
TODAY WILL CAUSE A BLOW-OUT TIDE ALONG THE WESTERN SHORE OF THE
CHESAPEAKE AND THE TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER TODAY. EAST FACING BEACHES
ALONG THE TIDAL POTOMAC WILL EXPERIENCE WIND-DRIVEN WAVES THAT
WILL GIVE THE APPEARANCE OF TIDAL FLOODING AND RESULT IN SIMILAR
IMPACTS.
* AS WINDS BECOME SOUTHWESTERLY TUESDAY...WATER WILL RETURN BACK
INTO THE BAY AND TIDAL POTOMAC AND BEGIN TO PILE UP IN THE BAY
NORTH OF POOLES ISLAND AND IN THE UPPER REACHES OF THE TIDAL
POTOMAC AND ALONG SOUTH FACING SHORES.
* THE HIGHEST TIDES FOR MOST WILL BE WITH THE HIGH TIDES TUESDAY.

SNOWFALL
--------
* IN THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS ABOVE 2000 FEET HEAVY WET SNOW IS
EXPECTED. * THE COMBINATION OF STRONG WIND AND HEAVY WET SNOW WILL
DOWN TREE LIMBS AND POWER LINES. BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE
FORECAST WITH VISIBILITY NEAR ZERO IN PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOW. * THE
HIGHEST ELEVATIONS OVER 3000 FEET ARE EXPECTED TO SEE 18 TO 24
INCHES BETWEEN LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND WEDNESDAY MORNING. SOME
ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATION IS EXPECTED THROUGH FRIDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS
----------------------------------
* BE PREPARED FOR EXTENDED POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS OUTAGES.
* IF YOU LIVE NEAR LARGE TREES...REMAIN IN THE LOWER LEVEL OF YOUR
HOME OR SEEK SHELTER ELSEWHERE IF POSSIBLE AND RIDE SANDY OUT.
* REFRAIN FROM ANY UNNECESSARY TRAVEL.
* ENSURE LOOSE ITEMS ON YOUR PROPERTY ARE SECURED.
* IF POWER LINES ARE DOWN...STAY AWAY FROM THEM AND REPORT IT TO YOUR
LOCAL ELECTRICAL UTILITY COMPANY.
* IF YOU SHOULD HAVE EMERGENCY TRAVEL...IF YOU COME UPON FLOODED
ROADWAYS DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS SUBMERGED ROADWAYS. TURN AROUND
AND DON`T DROWN.
* IF YOU USE A PORTABLE POWER GENERATOR...PLEASE FOLLOW
MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTIONS AND ENSURE THAT IT IS PROPERLY
VENTILATED.
* DO NOT USE CHARCOAL GRILLS IN ENCLOSED AREAS.
* MARINERS SHOULD ENSURE THAT THERE IS ENOUGH SLACK LINE IN THEIR
BOAT`S MOORINGS TO ACCEPT A BLOW OUT TIDE TODAY AND HIGH TIDES
TUESDAY.
* PERIODICALLY CHECK ON YOUR ELDERLY NEIGHBORS AND FAMILY MEMBERS
TO ENSURE THEY ARE SAFE.

FOR ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONARY AND PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION...
PLEASE REFER TO THE DETAILED RECOMMENDATIONS RELATIVE TO YOUR
LOCATION AS FURTHER DESCRIBED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE OFFICE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE.

&&

.NEXT UPDATE...
THE NEXT LOCAL STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE AT 5 PM EDT
TODAY OR SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.

$$

LEE
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Quoting bappit:

Storm surge gets funneled up the inlets.
and amplified as the inlet/bay decreases in width...
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President Obama to make a statement on Hurricane Sandy at 12:45 p.m. ET, after getting situation room briefing on storm.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14595
New Jersey area

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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:
The pictures I'm getting from a friend in East Rockaway that I posted some of? I have to say it looks like there are people home in almost every other house. Looking out the windows, taking pictures. And this is right on the shore in Evacuation Zone A. People standing out in the street in it.


I may sound callous and uncaring - I am NOT - they have been repeatedly warned and chose to ignore warnings - in essence if things continue to go downhill from now - they are on their own - and in a "cruel aside" - it is all down to them!!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


As a matter of fact, I did. This is a totally different situation, as it's clear it's an active tropical cyclone. Even then, in post season when they did upgrade it to a cyclone, they recognized it was a hurricane, because there was evidence to suggest such.

Hurricane Dolly is a prime example of exactly this, as it was approaching the coast of Texas, the hurricane hunters found 100mph winds, and trust me there was plenty of news attention on Dolly, and the NHC upgraded it to a Category 2 at it was approaching the coast. If they don't upgrade it to a Category 2, with it being so close to a landfall, they have good reason to do so, and it's not to avoid 'hype'. There is no need to be hostile.
Sorry if I gave the impression I was being hostile, that was not my intention. I have read that the primary mission of the NHC is the public safety, so they will make announcements based on what they perceive is best for the safety of the people that are in danger. This is only common sense. The re-analysis and scientific aspects can be postponed for a few days if the NHC believes that is what is best to preserve lives.

I guess they saw no problem with upgrading Hurricane Dolly. I do not think they will upgrade Sandy unless they do it in the post-season analysis. We will shortly see, right?
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Quoting air360:


it was a 180ft long boat...thats pretty big....obviously still shouldnt be there...but it wasnt THAT small

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.
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Quoting sfranz:
Not sure Hybrid Thingie Sandy is making the grade for me. Maybe BFS Sandy?

Stay safe, everyone.



What is your "grade", you set the bar to high.
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Quoting HurricaneCamille:


not very high, single digits i would think.

hopefully 0


Hopefully zero.
Really? Hundreds I fear.
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Shouldn't these animated satellite graphics and such be put on links instead of posted? They really tend to lag the board down when people are posting multiple animated pictures.
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300. bwat
Quoting RitaEvac:


Those folks are basically left to die, it's crazy
Negative, rescue measures complete, all crew members rescued by Elizabeth City Coast Guard Air Station. (best in the nation :) ) Will post release when I see it.
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Quoting Xandtar:


Here at the windwards-leewards border, I say, no thanks, I don't want anything like Sandy hitting my island.


Yes we want, and I sincerely hope that 2013 season will be more interesting and generous with us, because 2012 was a mess !
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Quoting jeffs713:

I'd be more interested to see insured losses. Not extended financial losses due to the subway system getting flooded (which by one estimate, could be $55B, but nigh impossible to accurately measure).
i think i read somewhere that only one in two hundred homeowners buy flood insurance, folks up there today will be finding out how costly not getting it will be..shame really whats going on up there..places that never flood, may today and tomorrow
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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:
The pictures I'm getting from a friend in East Rockaway that I posted some of? I have to say it looks like there are people home in almost every other house. Looking out the windows, taking pictures. And this is right on the shore in Evacuation Zone A. People standing out in the street in it.


I'm afraid a lot of people who don't really understand what is happening are facing their last day on this earth. Nobody near any body of tidal water should go to sleep tonight until they are at least 20 feet above sea level, even if it's in a tree.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
Sandy's center is starting to come into view from radar:



Still looks tropical as well, as you can clearly see an eyewall.
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Sandy's offshore rain field seems to be expanding.
Even a little filling in of the cloud field.
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Not sure Hybrid Thingie Sandy is making the grade for me. Maybe BFS Sandy?

Stay safe, everyone.

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281. 1900hurricane 12:17 PM EDT on October 29, 2012 1
Sandy's center is starting to come into view from radar:


And trying to build up some convection around the core on the way in.
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Quoting icmoore:
"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." Dr. Masters

And just think of all the development and people added to the mix in the last century.


Go check the gauges and then tell me when the tide goes down 5' after this morning's high tide...
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Quoting dogsgomoo:
I.. I don't get that?

Why waste the manpower/sand/bags to do that? The doors to the stone building are up steps higher than the bags. Why not just block the doors and street level windows with sheeting/bags instead of some random zig-zag out in the street? Am i missing something?

Those stairs are for show. Buildings have a lot of stuff underground, pipes and conduits going in and out, stairs leading to below ground entrances.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5959
Quoting bappit:

Or we could stop using it and just give the facts.


Possibly, but things like "4-6 foot surge" and "pressure down to 940" really don't mean much to a person with no weather experience, whereas the category system is pretty widely understood. It just needs to be updated to better account for danger.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
Getting error screens on and off trying to post. Looks like the server is handling all it can and then some at times.
i'm not sure it's not the internet as a whole.  all sorts of sites are slow at the moment.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting ncstorm:
I will say this in describing Sandy..MONSTER!!

that storm would cover the whole gulf, and whack..the whole gulf coast..at once omg
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Things are getting worse here, with an increasingly wind driven light rain, still nothing too bad, but a big tree limb that was actually knocked almost down by Irene last year finally came down today, it took out a birdhouse :(
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Those folks are basically left to die, it's crazy


LAWD..they have been rescued..two are supposedly still missing..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14595
Quoting zawxdsk:


A million times agreed. Both Sandy and Isaac this year were 'Category 1' on the Saffir-Simpson scale, but they were more worthy than that of recognition because of their size and the water potential. The scale is obsolete.

It is obsolete, but easy to understand. It is very difficult to create a scale that shows threat from wind, rain, and surge and still make it easy to understand. You could have a cat 1 for wind, cat 4 for rain, and cat 2 for surge. Or cat 1 wind, cat 2 rain, cat 4000 for surge. Also, since surge is variable not only on size of the storm, but also topography and angle of approach, it doesn't do much when a storm is at sea.

IMO, the system should be simply based on threat level overall. With that in mind, Sandy could be a cat 3/4 on a scale of 5. And Irene would have been a 2/3. But a system like Bonnie would be a 1.
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first time i've watched twc in many years.  they don't seem very hype prone at the moment, and watching a meteo getting angry, standing 30 yards back while a guy did gangnam style behind him and people frolicked at the seawall, i don't think their tone is alarmist at all but very , very reasonable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXMU2qwCVag
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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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