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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1282. redux
i think the deepening the storm underwent caught people off guard.

but still it goes to show how ignorant people are of these things.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


This isn't Hurricane Camille or Hurricane Andrew. This isn't even exactly a typical, conceptual hurricane. It is far too soon to tell how different surge will be with slight variations in location and/or timing of landfall. Latest information from surge models run this afternoon still suggests peak surge between 6pm and 12am, with fastest rises occurring in the late afternoon/evening time. So far we are on track with that forecast.

Even with rain ended, the surge is still there. Its forward momentum will continue piling it up along the coast. A strong easterly component will create the worst surge for Raritan Bay, and a more southerly component will help surge reach Manhattan.


The area with no rain almost looks like the wind was so fierce it piled the rain on the landward side of the storm. Extraordinary to see that wall of cloud rising up with brown, dry air out to sea.
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I see the 5 PM wind radius covers a lot of easterb NC and part of SC....but when I call folks I know down their well-inside that orange-shading...they say its just breezy. Does that mean that orange shading is not 40 mph sustained? Does it even mean 40 mph gust?

By the way...my thoughts are with those in the NE who are absolutley getting clobbered right now...looks like Sandy is making landfall faster than thought...
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Quoting DataNerd:
Wow. Christie is really really mad at Langford. And at people who stayed.


Yeah, I don't blame him. I'm sure it's a mix of frustration at their stupidity and his not risking a rescue.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 173
1278. GBguy88
Quoting yonzabam:


Sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but when you're ordered to evacuate, what exactly is it that you're expected to do?

I could see some families getting in the car, driving out of town, and booking into a hotel somewhere. Some might have relatives they can board with.

But a lot of people live paycheck to paycheck, maybe don't have a car, and don't have the means to pay for what's involved in an evacuation.

If it's just a matter of walking a mile to a school that's been converted to a refugee center, fair enough. People ought to do that. But is that all that they have to do when an evacuation is ordered?


If you have the money to afford waterfront property, or close to it, in the northeast...you probably have the money to evacuate.
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1277. Dakster
Quoting Pirate999:


They were warned over and over and made the decision to stay. They now have no right to ask someone else to risk their lives to save them. Hard but true. Regardless, I'm sure the first responder will try since they are heroic type of folks.


Hopefully they get charged for the rescue. I like Arizona's stupid motorist laws. If you go past a warning or do not leave and get stranded, you get to pay for the total cost of the first responder response to save your butt.
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After Rita wiping out my friends house in Cameron LA and the destruction and lives lost in MS from Katrina storm surge, if I lived there I defintely would've evacuated when they said evacuate.
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The pressure is continuing to drop at Atlantic City which either means that Sandy hasn't passed by there yet or that she is deepening. First option sounds more likely to me.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11569
Quoting aislinnpaps:
It was people in Atlantic City who stayed and they are asking for help now.(NJ)


Sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but when you're ordered to evacuate, what exactly is it that you're expected to do?

I could see some families getting in the car, driving out of town, and booking into a hotel somewhere. Some might have relatives they can board with.

But a lot of people live paycheck to paycheck, maybe don't have a car, and don't have the means to pay for what's involved in an evacuation.

If it's just a matter of walking a mile to a school that's been converted to a refugee center, fair enough. People ought to do that. But is that all that they have to do when an evacuation is ordered?
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1273. falloch
'That is the multi-gazzilion $ One 57 building. That crane is 1300 feet above ground. If that thing snaps, something is getting crushed.'

The only comfort I could gain from that is if the building was owned by Donald Trump. But hope everybody runs away beforehand/
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1272. centex
Quoting CybrTeddy:


A serious situation unfolding, just as we knew it would, the surge has been following the surge forecast. Looks like it could peak at 12 feet.
Surge is so localized and hard to predict. A foot could make all the difference in the world.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


A serious situation unfolding, just as we knew it would, the surge has been following the surge forecast. Looks like it could peak at 12 feet.


Sandy hook is still climbing
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 173
Quoting airmet3:


I feel both bad and mad, however, the first responders should not be put in jeopardy at this time. Sometimes it is too dangerous for all, period.


They were warned over and over and made the decision to stay. They now have no right to ask someone else to risk their lives to save them. Hard but true. Regardless, I'm sure the first responder will try since they are heroic type of folks.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 173
1268. Dakster
Quoting DataNerd:
Bad news folks:

Flood level in the battery is 9.04


9.19'
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Latest Recon. Wind remains the same:

ime Coordinates Aircraft
Static Air Pressure Aircraft
Geopotential Height Extrapolated
Surface Pressure D-value Flight Level Wind (30 sec. Avg.) Air Temp. Dew Point Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind SFMR
Peak (10s Avg.) Sfc. Wind SFMR
Rain Rate Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor Peak Wind at Flight Level to
Est. Surface Reduction Factor
21:33:00Z 40.483N 73.800W 842.8 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,126 meters
(~ 3,694 feet) 963.3 mb
(~ 28.45 inHg) - From 83° at 78 knots
(From the E at ~ 89.7 mph) 9.8°C
(~ 49.6°F) 8.0°C
(~ 46.4°F) 79 knots
(~ 90.8 mph) - - - -
21:33:30Z 40.483N 73.783W 842.8 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,123 meters
(~ 3,684 feet) 963.2 mb
(~ 28.44 inHg) - From 84° at 77 knots
(From the E at ~ 88.5 mph) 9.8°C
(~ 49.6°F) 8.0°C
(~ 46.4°F) 79 knots
(~ 90.8 mph) - - - -
21:34:00Z 40.483N 73.750W 842.8 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,125 meters
(~ 3,691 feet) 963.2 mb
(~ 28.44 inHg) - From 84° at 77 knots
(From the E at ~ 88.5 mph) 9.8°C
(~ 49.6°F) 8.0°C
(~ 46.4°F) 78 knots
(~ 89.7 mph) - - - -
21:34:30Z 40.483N 73.733W 843.1 mb
(~ 24.90 inHg) 1,121 meters
(~ 3,678 feet) 963.1 mb
(~ 28.44 inHg) - From 87° at 79 knots
(From the E at ~ 90.8 mph) 9.9°C
(~ 49.8°F) 7.8°C
(~ 46.0°F) 80 knots
(~ 92.0 mph) - - - -
21:35:00Z 40.483N 73.717W 842.6 mb
(~ 24.88 inHg) 1,125 meters
(~ 3,691 feet) 963.0 mb
(~ 28.44 inHg) - From 88° at 79 knots
(From the E at ~ 90.8 mph) 10.0°C
(~ 50.0°F) 7.8°C
(~ 46.0°F) 80 knots
(~ 92.0 mph) 50 knots
(~ 57.5 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 49.4 knots (~ 56.8 mph)
Tropical Storm 62.5%
21:35:30Z 40.483N 73.700W 842.8 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,124 meters
(~ 3,688 feet) 963.0 mb
(~ 28.44 inHg) - From 87° at 78 knots
(From the E at ~ 89.7 mph) 10.0°C
(~ 50.0°F) 8.0°C
(~ 46.4°F) 78 knots
(~ 89.7 mph) 51 knots
(~ 58.6 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 51.0 knots (~ 58.6 mph)
Tropical Storm 65.4%
21:36:00Z 40.483N 73.667W 843.0 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,120 meters
(~ 3,675 feet) 962.9 mb
(~ 28.43 inHg) - From 89° at 77 knots
(From the E at ~ 88.5 mph) 9.8°C
(~ 49.6°F) 7.9°C
(~ 46.2°F) 78 knots
(~ 89.7 mph) 51 knots
(~ 58.6 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 50.3 knots (~ 57.9 mph)
Tropical Storm 65.4%
21:36:30Z 40.483N 73.650W 842.6 mb
(~ 24.88 inHg) 1,124 meters
(~ 3,688 feet) 962.9 mb
(~ 28.43 inHg) - From 89° at 77 knots
(From the E at ~ 88.5 mph) 9.9°C
(~ 49.8°F) 7.8°C
(~ 46.0°F) 78 knots
(~ 89.7 mph) 49 knots
(~ 56.3 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 48.4 knots (~ 55.6 mph)
Tropical Storm 62.8%
21:37:00Z 40.467N 73.633W 843.1 mb
(~ 24.90 inHg) 1,116 meters
(~ 3,661 feet) 962.6 mb
(~ 28.43 inHg) - From 90° at 76 knots
(From the E at ~ 87.4 mph) 9.7°C
(~ 49.5°F) 7.9°C
(~ 46.2°F) 77 knots
(~ 88.5 mph) 51 knots*
(~ 58.6 mph*) 2 mm/hr*
(~ 0.08 in/hr*) 50.3 knots* (~ 57.9 mph*)
Tropical Storm* 66.2%*
21:37:30Z 40.450N 73.617W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,117 meters
(~ 3,665 feet) 962.4 mb
(~ 28.42 inHg) - From 91° at 74 knots
(From the E at ~ 85.1 mph) 10.0°C
(~ 50.0°F) 7.7°C
(~ 45.9°F) 75 knots
(~ 86.2 mph) 50 knots
(~ 57.5 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 49.3 knots (~ 56.7 mph)
Tropical Storm 66.7%
21:38:00Z 40.433N 73.600W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,115 meters
(~ 3,658 feet) 962.1 mb
(~ 28.41 inHg) - From 93° at 74 knots
(From the E at ~ 85.1 mph) 10.0°C
(~ 50.0°F) 7.8°C
(~ 46.0°F) 75 knots
(~ 86.2 mph) 51 knots
(~ 58.6 mph) 1 mm/hr
(~ 0.04 in/hr) 50.3 knots (~ 57.9 mph)
Tropical Storm 68.0%
21:38:30Z 40.417N 73.583W 843.0 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,113 meters
(~ 3,652 feet) 962.0 mb
(~ 28.41 inHg) - From 94° at 73 knots
(From the E at ~ 83.9 mph) 10.0°C
(~ 50.0°F) 7.9°C
(~ 46.2°F) 73 knots
(~ 83.9 mph) 56 knots
(~ 64.4 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 56.0 knots (~ 64.4 mph)
Tropical Storm 76.7%
21:39:00Z 40.400N 73.567W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,110 meters
(~ 3,642 feet) 961.7 mb
(~ 28.40 inHg) - From 95° at 73 knots
(From the E at ~ 83.9 mph) 10.0°C
(~ 50.0°F) 8.0°C
(~ 46.4°F) 74 knots
(~ 85.1 mph) 49 knots
(~ 56.3 mph) 1 mm/hr
(~ 0.04 in/hr) 48.3 knots (~ 55.6 mph)
Tropical Storm 66.2%
21:39:30Z 40.400N 73.550W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,111 meters
(~ 3,645 feet) 961.5 mb
(~ 28.39 inHg) - From 96° at 71 knots
(From the E at ~ 81.6 mph) 10.0°C
(~ 50.0°F) 8.1°C
(~ 46.6°F) 72 knots
(~ 82.8 mph) 49 knots
(~ 56.3 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 48.3 knots (~ 55.6 mph)
Tropical Storm 68.1%
21:40:00Z 40.383N 73.533W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,108 meters
(~ 3,635 feet) 961.3 mb
(~ 28.39 inHg) - From 96° at 72 knots
(From the E at ~ 82.8 mph) 10.0°C
(~ 50.0°F) 7.9°C
(~ 46.2°F) 72 knots
(~ 82.8 mph) 49 knots
(~ 56.3 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 49.0 knots (~ 56.3 mph)
Tropical Storm 68.1%
21:40:30Z 40.367N 73.517W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,108 meters
(~ 3,635 feet) 961.1 mb
(~ 28.38 inHg) - From 97° at 70 knots
(From the E at ~ 80.5 mph) 10.4°C
(~ 50.7°F) 7.9°C
(~ 46.2°F) 71 knots
(~ 81.6 mph) 52 knots*
(~ 59.8 mph*) 2 mm/hr*
(~ 0.08 in/hr*) 51.3 knots* (~ 59.0 mph*)
Tropical Storm* 73.2%*
21:41:00Z 40.350N 73.500W 842.5 mb
(~ 24.88 inHg) 1,107 meters
(~ 3,632 feet) 960.8 mb
(~ 28.37 inHg) - From 96° at 68 knots
(From the E at ~ 78.2 mph) 10.5°C
(~ 50.9°F) 8.1°C
(~ 46.6°F) 70 knots
(~ 80.5 mph) 48 knots
(~ 55.2 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 46.6 knots (~ 53.6 mph)
Tropical Storm 68.6%
21:41:30Z 40.317N 73.500W 843.0 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,100 meters
(~ 3,609 feet) 960.3 mb
(~ 28.36 inHg) - From 96° at 69 knots
(From the E at ~ 79.3 mph) 10.5°C
(~ 50.9°F) 8.2°C
(~ 46.8°F) 69 knots
(~ 79.3 mph) 48 knots*
(~ 55.2 mph*) 1 mm/hr*
(~ 0.04 in/hr*) 48.0 knots* (~ 55.2 mph*)
Tropical Storm* 69.6%*
21:42:00Z 40.300N 73.517W 842.8 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,099 meters
(~ 3,606 feet) 959.7 mb
(~ 28.34 inHg) - From 95° at 67 knots
(From the E at ~ 77.0 mph) 10.8°C
(~ 51.4°F) 8.3°C
(~ 46.9°F) 68 knots
(~ 78.2 mph) 46 knots
(~ 52.9 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 45.3 knots (~ 52.1 mph)
Tropical Storm 67.6%
21:42:30Z 40.267N 73.533W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,092 meters
(~ 3,583 feet) 959.2 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) - From 94° at 65 knots
(From the E at ~ 74.8 mph) 11.0°C
(~ 51.8°F) 8.6°C
(~ 47.5°F) 66 knots
(~ 75.9 mph) 46 knots
(~ 52.9 mph) 1 mm/hr
(~ 0.04 in/hr) 45.3 knots (~ 52.1 mph)
Tropical Storm 69.7%
Time Coordinates Aircraft
Static Air Pressure Aircraft
Geopotential Height Extrapolated
Surface Pressure D-value Flight Level Wind (30 sec. Avg.) Air Temp. Dew Point Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind SFMR
Peak (10s Avg.) Sfc. Wind SFMR
Rain Rate Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor Peak Wind at Flight Level to
Est. Surface Reduction Factor
HDOB Observations
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DataNerd:
Bad news folks:

Flood level in the battery is 9.04


A serious situation unfolding, just as we knew it would, the surge has been following the surge forecast. Looks like it could peak at 12 feet.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23015
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Near ChinaTown, NY.





Pretty much sums it up. Really nasty flooding, and the tide is coming in now (natural tide).
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I think that was Bloomberg's best speech as to Sandy, what's happening and what to do.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

They were told how dangerous this storm was going to be. If they did not evacuate, it's their own fault.


Lots of people don't understand how bad this stuff can get. There were folks insisting that this was all just hype _here_ not long ago, as I recall. It doesn't help that the media sensationalizes everything -- makes it hard for folks to tell what is actually serious, you know?

I mean, realistically, if you make that bad call, it's not always going to be possible for others to come save you from your own mistake; to some degree, you are on your own on a practical level, because you've made a decision that leaves your safety in the hands of nature and luck. Neither has much mercy; the ocean will never care whether it drowns you.

But I still have lots of sympathy for those folks. It's one thing to misjudge something and wind up miserable for a night and learn the lesson, and it's another to misjudge and wind up dead or seriously injured.

Hope they all make it through ok.
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Wow. Christie is really really mad at Langford. And at people who stayed.
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1261. ncstorm
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

They were told how dangerous this storm was going to be. If they did not evacuate, it's their own fault.


We dont know people's situation..a lot of people on this blog think people stay because they dont know any better..it could have been economic reasons or health..and even if they stayed due to selfish reasons..I still dont fault them..Its not my place to say so..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13481
Near ChinaTown, NY.


Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23015
Quoting ncstorm:
I really hope you guys are listening to Jim Cantore about landfall being sooner and farther south and helping with the surge for Battery Park..I think Battery Park wont be as extreme as predicted..


This isn't Hurricane Camille or Hurricane Andrew. This isn't even exactly a typical, conceptual hurricane. It is far too soon to tell how different surge will be with slight variations in location and/or timing of landfall. Latest information from surge models run this afternoon still suggests peak surge between 6pm and 12am, with fastest rises occurring in the late afternoon/evening time. So far we are on track with that forecast.

Even with rain ended, the surge is still there. Its forward momentum will continue piling it up along the coast. A strong easterly component will create the worst surge for Raritan Bay, and a more southerly component will help surge reach Manhattan.
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Bad news folks:

Flood level in the battery is 9.04
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how the whit house holding up? any damg reported from the whit house in DC?
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1256. bappit
From previous Dr. M blog on storm tide records at The Battery.

"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."

We are pushing past 9 foot storm tide now with high tide a few hours away.

Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5563
1255. vis0
Lets see how the tri-levels of the vortex split or stayt joined. Noticing the cold core trying to form its quasi closed circulation behind the warm core @201210-29-17:49EST

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1254. 900MB
Now we are getting some real kicking wind in NYC! Def pushing 60mph. Battery now +9 feet and climbing, 3 hours til high tide.
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On the Christie press con:

"Power company has decided to power down all substations on and supplying the barrier islands to avoid further damage to them. Barrier islands will be totally without power if they are not already."


In response to a question. Also mentions they have a school, which was going to be a shelter, the shelter is now under water.
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1252. ncstorm
Quoting acl8610:

I appreciate your opinion on that and hopefully you're correct but I think there is still a substantial threat, especially with the baroclinic circulation strengthening attm. The winds should increase (esp gusts) over the open waters and will continue to do so for the next several hours. This should be enough time to increase the surge along the NY and NE coast this evening around the time of high tide...


there will be flooding but not as extreme as thought..at least thats what I took away from the conversation..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13481
1251. lhwhelk
Quoting aislinnpaps:


If I understood it correctly, some officials and people stayed on Barrier Island and now want help. Christie said go to the highest place you can and they won't be there to help until at least tomorrow.
"No-one has ever gone broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." Reputed to have been said by H.L. Mencken, and still true, whether or not he said it.
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1250. airmet3
Quoting ncstorm:


I feel so bad for them..the coast guard cant assist? Gov Christie just seemed a little cold in that briefing..


I feel both bad and mad, however, the first responders should not be put in jeopardy at this time. Sometimes it is too dangerous for all, period.
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1249. acl8610
Quoting ncstorm:
I really hope you guys are listening to Jim Cantore about landfall being sooner and helping with the surge for Battery Park..I think Battery Park wont be as extreme as predicted..

I appreciate your opinion on that and hopefully you're correct but I think there is still a substantial threat, especially with the baroclinic circulation strengthening attm. The winds should increase (esp gusts) over the open waters and will continue to do so for the next several hours. This should be enough time to increase the surge along the NY and NE coast this evening around the time of high tide...
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Quoting DataNerd:


I am wondering what the heck he means by "many"


A couple hundred or a couple thousand? How many people stayed???!?

Really a bad deal with this surge still going up, and your going to get pounding wave action as well.....


Smacks of another crystal beach.


From media reports and the governor's tone it seems like there were more than just a few. I'll never really understand it. If you are in an evacuation zone and a mandatory evacuation is issued...get out of there. Ignoring safety orders from emergency officials is gambling without holding the cards.
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1247. Dakster
MySecondHandle - Yes-- and glad it will hopefully fall short...

Still could be a record breaking flood stage height though.
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1246. bappit
Quoting Wiebel:
To those posting tide data / surge levels:

Please note difference in reference level.

Tide gauges can have 0 at MSL, Low Water Level or any local value. Surge predictions are referenced to Low Water or chart datum.

Its the difference between a 9 and 10 feet surge.

The chart clearly shows 0 at MLLW since it also plots the daily tides.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5563
Quoting ncstorm:


I feel so bad for them..the coast guard cant assist? Gov Christie just seemed a little cold in that briefing..

They were told how dangerous this storm was going to be. If they did not evacuate, it's their own fault.
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Sandy hook station is reporting more then 10 feet.


Looking like we may see 10 foot in battery as well. Crossing my finger it crests and 9.5
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Powering going on and off here in Fairfax, Virginia. Each time it lasts a little longer.
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1242. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
AccuWeather.com ‏@breakingweather
RT @samir: 348,500 people without power in NJ right now per @GovChristie.
Expand
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Quoting aislinnpaps:


If I understood it correctly, some officials and people stayed on Barrier Island and now want help. Christie said go to the highest place you can and they won't be there to help until at least tomorrow.


Darwin Award candidates.. Sheesh.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 173
Strong gusts of wind (maybe 30mph) around Albany, NY. Losing some small limbs, but we don't have too many leaves left which is good. We may have seen 1/10th of an inch of rain so far, and it doesn't look like more is coming.



Edit: Here's a cool map with wind shown by moving lines!
http://hint.fm/wind/
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When the boats a'rockin, don't come a'knockin:
https://www.dropcam.com/p/xsIXNn

AC Boardwalk, reposted with clickable link:
http://twitter.com/twcMariaLaRosa/status/26302802 3463391232/photo/1
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9.03' rising quick
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Bloomberg apparently having a seperate press conference at the same time as christie.

Link
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1235. Dakster
The difference keeps getting bigger, 6.69' residual difference at battery park.

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NEW YORK — A construction crane atop a $1.5 billion luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan collapsed in high winds Monday and dangled precariously, prompting plans for engineers and inspectors to climb 74 flights of stairs to examine it as a huge storm bore down on the city.

The harrowing inspection task was being undertaken by experts who are “the best of the best,” city Buildings Department spokesman Tony Sclafani said

via Washington Post
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Judging by the wind field showing up in the base radial .5 degree radar, it's not on shore quite yet.
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The water levels at Battery Park would be 6.68 feet above only the predicted tidal levels. As far as the comparison with predicted water levels that include the winds and pressure, it would appear to be running fairly close or slightly below the predictions, currently.
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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.