Superstorm Sandy delivers a devastating blow to the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:23 PM GMT on October 30, 2012

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In a stunning spectacle of atmospheric violence, Superstorm Sandy roared ashore in New Jersey last night with sustained winds of 90 mph and a devastating storm surge that crippled coastal New Jersey and New York. Sandy's record size allowed the historic storm to bring extreme weather to over 100 million Americans, from Chicago to Maine and from Michigan to Florida. Sandy's barometric pressure at landfall was 946 mb, tying the Great Long Island Express Hurricane of 1938 as the most powerful storm ever to hit the Northeast U.S. north of Cape Hatteras, NC. New York City experienced its worst hurricane since its founding in 1624, as Sandy's 9-foot storm surge rode in on top of a high tide to bring water levels to 13.88' at The Battery, smashing the record 11.2' water level recorded during the great hurricane of 1821. Damage from Superstorm Sandy will likely be in the tens of billions, making the storm one of the five most expensive disasters in U.S. history.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Superstorm Sandy taken at 10 am EDT Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Image credit: NASA GSFC.


Figure 2. Sandy's storm surge (green line) at New York City hit 9' near 9 pm EDT, right when water levels due to high tide (blue line.) The total storm tide (red line) reached 13.88 above Mean Lower Low Water, an all-time record for NYC. Image credit: NOAA Tides and Currents.


Figure 3. Storm surge forced the Delaware River in Philadelphia to a crest of 10.62 feet at 4 a.m. EDT this morning, breaking the previous record of 10.50 feet set Apr. 17, 2011 and Nov. 25, 1950. Image credit: NOAA.

Sandy sets all-time low pressure records
Sandy's impact has been so severe over such a wide area that it is difficult to adequately document the event. I'll start with some of the major cities that set all-time low pressure records during Sandy, with the new record followed by the old record and date of occurrence (thanks go to wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt for putting this list together):

Atlantic City, NJ: 28.01"/948mb 28.37"/961mb 3/6/1932

Philadelphia, PA: 28.12"/953mb 28.43"/963mb 3/13/1993

Harrisburg, PA: 28.46"/964mb 28.62"/969mb 1/3/1913

Scranton, PA: 28.69"/971mb 28.72"/973mb 2/25/1965

Trenton, NJ: 28.31"/958mb 28.43"/963mb 3/13/1993

Baltimore, MD: 28.49"/965mb 28.68"/971mb 3/3/1932

Harrisburg, PA: 28.46"/964mb 28.62"/969mb 1/3/1913

Cities that came close to setting their all-time low pressure record:

Newark, NJ: 28.51"/965mb 28.45"/963 3/13/1993

New York, NY: 28.53"/966mb 28.38"/961mb 3/1/1914

Washington D.C. 28.63"/969mb 28.54/966mb 3/13/1993

Lynchburg, VA: 29.12"/986mb 28.84"/977mb 3/6/1932

Elkins, WV: 29.22"/989mb 28.85"/977mb 2/25/1965

Sandy's snows
Sandy's snows have clobbered the town of Davis, WV with an estimated 26 - 28" of snow. Most of the town is without power, and winds are blowing 20 - 30 mph with 40 mph gusts. Sandy brought the snowiest October day on record to both Elkins, WV (7" of snow) and Bluefield, WV (4.7".)


Video 1. Multiple trees fall during powerful gusts during Superstorm Sandy's landfall in New Jersey Monday evening (warming: foul language.)

There's so much more to say about Sandy--including how the storm may have been influenced by climate change--but I'll save this for later posts, as it's time to get something posted.

Angela Fritz has a 2:30 pm EDT post that discusses the latest on Sandy's impact and forecast.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane Sandy (Biskitten)
Amazing waves at high tide and the storm is just beginning here in Seacoast NH!
Hurricane Sandy
Downed Sycamore (deltabird)
Weehawken NJ
Downed Sycamore
Davis, West Virginia - 4 PM (beaudodson)
Snow increasing in intensity.
Davis, West Virginia - 4 PM
Corn Neck Road, Block Island, RI (JudyGray)
Corn Neck Road, Block Island, RI
Harlem, NYC (ArsenalNYC)
Part of the roof of my building ripped off during Hurricane Sandy and landed on two cars across the street
Harlem, NYC

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356. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #14
CYCLONIC STORM NILAM (BOB02-2012)
20:30 PM IST October 30 2012
=========================================

Cyclone Warning For North Tamil Nadu, Puducherry And Adjoining South Andhra Pradesh Coasts

Orange Message

At 15:00 PM UTC, Cyclonic Storm Nilam remained practically stationary and lays centered near 9.5N 82.0E or about 450 km south southeast of Chennai, India and 130 km north northeast of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. The system is likely to move north northwestward and cross northern Tamil Nadu and adjoining southern Andhra Pradesh coast between Cuddalore and Nellore near Chennai around 12:00 PM October 31st.

According to satellite imagery, Dvorak intensity of the system is T2.5. Associated broken intense to very intense convection lies over Sri Lanka, Gulf of Mannar, Comorin, Palk Strait, Tamil Nadu adjoining Rayalseema, southwest adjoining west central Bay of Bengal between 7.0N to 11.5N west of 83.0E.

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 40 knots gusting up to 50 knots. The central pressure of the cyclone is 996 hPa. The state of the sea is high around the center of the cyclone.

Considering the environmental features, the sea surface temperature is about 29-30C. Over south Bay of Bengal. The ocean thermal energy is >80 kj/cm2 around the system center. The Madden Julian Oscillation index currently lies over phase 2. As per statistical and numerical weather prediction model predictions, it is expected to lie in phase 2 during next 3 days. An anticyclonic circulation lies over central Bay of Bengal (northeast of system center). The upper tropospheric ridge lies along 15.0N. The low level convergence, upper level divergence and relative vorticity remained same during past six hours and the vertical wind shear has decreased between 200 and 850 HPA levels and is moderate ( 5-10 knots) around system center. 24 hours wind shear tendency shows decreasing trend of the order of 10 knots over west central Bay of Bengal off Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coast.

Forecast and Intensity
========================
9 HRS: 10.7N 81.3E - 45 knots (Cyclonic Storm)
33 HRS: 13.8N 79.3E - 30 knots (Deep Depression)
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the earth is like a old man he gave it his all but for the near future the carib will be calm
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Quoting sar2401:

Where's here? Please don't do this to us.
sorry that one is maryland

here is link
i will include captions on any others i find

Link
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Quoting Grothar:


The office has no comment. (How have you been stranger?)


Better than the folks up yonder, I reckon. Economy's takin a toll on us, but we're eekin thru. One hell of a storm. Wouldn't be surprised to see a 75B price tag on this before it's all over...
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Quoting connie1976:
Can anyone tell me how bad is Long Island and how many days do you think until they have power again? The people buying our house was supposed to sell their house Nov. 1st and they are somewhere on Long Island... I know that this isn't important now, but it does affect my family.... Thank you so much for your help!


I'm in Shoreham, which is on the North Shore. We are a couple miles inland, so all we had was wind really. Lots of trees down in our area and some transformer fires. I was watching them pop on William Floyd Parkway when the winds were peaking around 6-7 p.m. We have underground lines, so we only dealt with some flickering of lights.

It was really bad in coastal areas up here, but we are in pretty good shape where I'm at.
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Quoting schistkicker:
KEEP - where are those images from? Amazing pictures, but I'm not sure what I'm looking at...
Pic info says they're from the Daily Mail. My guess is that it's this article.

Link
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Quoting Grothar:
Link to live CBS New York News station. Some of the scenes are heartbreaking. Terrible losses all over


Link
Thanks Gro. I especially liked the Opinion piece about Romney and Fema.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Totally off topic, but me and my old man were talking about that Saturday afternoon that if this comes to happen and the storm does what it does,and it did, Mitt Rommey would say the hell with those million of people's votes, I win! wait you can't halt the election America this must go on! the votes are in and that's it
according to this slate article, states can postpone and reschedule at their discretion, but in any case the votes have to be in before the electoral college meets, which meand voting finished dec 11.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/e xplainer/2012/10/hurricane_sandy_election_what_if_ people_don_t_have_power_on_election_day.html
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Quoting overwash12:
The biggest tragedy from Sandy is the homes lost in Queens and the 2 people on the Bounty! All the sand and homes lost on the beach is to be expected!

Oh, so a bunch of houses being lost, and two people who took to the ocean in a sailboat during a hurricane is more important than the several children already killed by the storm? What a stupid comment.
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Quoting Bradenton:
Oh, the irony. Look at the name of this vehicle:


(In case you can't read it, it's a WindStar)

Its not so much a Windstar now. More like a Treestand.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5890
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
AL, 18, 2012103018, , BEST, 0, 405N, 789W, 40, 988, PT

Which means what? Is this a new invest?
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Video of the Breezy Point fire last night. Over 100 homes destroyed. It was a beautiful neighborhood.

img src="">
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Quoting Ookla:

Sorry, Nea, but OK is the formal form. It is an initialization of the expression "Oll Korrect," a deliberate misspelling of "All Correct." Believe it or not, there were times in our history when deliberately misspelling words was trendy, even before the advent of hip hop.
Actually, the "Oll Korrect" origin story is but one of many, and etymologists are still unsure from exactly it came (but for what it's worth, it's the one I believe most likely). Anyway, as I said, "OK" is acceptable, and for some large publications it's the preferred form. But "okay" is, indeed, the "official" formal form. Not that it really makes any difference to me; as Grothar said, we were just playing around... Okay? OK? O.K.? Okie dokie? ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13725
Quoting connie1976:
Can anyone tell me how bad is Long Island and how many days do you think until they have power again? The people buying our house was supposed to sell their house Nov. 1st and they are somewhere on Long Island... I know that this isn't important now, but it does affect my family.... Thank you so much for your help!
It really depends on where on Long Island the house is located.
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Quoting Grothar:


I have only been able to get in touch with one family member. 90% of the Island has no power, cell phones are not working in most places. Severe flooding on both shores and thousands of trees down. Very bad damage in Huntington, Lindenhurst, the Rockaways. What part are they on?


I'm not sure exactly where they are at... I have a feeling that their house is probably in bad shape... :( I pray that they are ok... They were an older couple wanting to move down here to be near their grandchildren.
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KEEP - where are those images from? Amazing pictures, but I'm not sure what I'm looking at...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


death here

Where's here? Please don't do this to us.
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Quoting ncstorm:
the Debris that they will find up washed up along the east coast is going to baffle a lot of folks..

Bellport, NY


Looks like the Bellport Marina. Used to run by that nightly when I lived a couple miles north.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Totally off topic, but me and my old man were talking about that Saturday afternoon that if this comes to happen and the storm does what it does,and it did, Mitt Rommey would say the hell with those million of people's votes, I win! wait you can't halt the election America this must go on! the votes are in and that's it


Be very VERY careful about allowing politician to postpone elections due to "Emergencies". It's a slippery slope.
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


those two pics are to pristine to not be shopped...i have seen boats tossed by hurricanes...first hand..and that one is just to clean to have been thru a storm...and the playground...sorry, don't believe that one either...no debris anywhere...sitting in the middle of what looks like an open ocean...not convinced regardless of where the pic came from

Well you're accusing the MTA of photoshopping not just that pic, but the other pic of the boat as well: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtaphotos/8138561876/

Source: https://twitter.com/MTAInsider

hard to believe the MTA is going to photoshop two pics of a boat from two angles sitting on railroad tracks.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



Keep, thanks for posting the pictures, but it would really help if you could provide a caption. I have relatives in New Jersey that I haven't been able to reach, and those pictures could be anywhere along the coast.
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death here
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Quoting mikatnight:


Hey Gro,

Glad to see you're still around whippin' the kiddies into shape!

So scuttlebut has it that the CIA is responsible for the storm. According to unidentifiable sources who say they are reliable, they did it just to mess with our heads.

Any word from the boys (and girls) at the shop? Or are they calling it "the office" these days?


The office has no comment. (How have you been stranger?)
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The biggest tragedy from Sandy is the homes lost in Queens and the 2 people on the Bounty! All the sand and homes lost on the beach is to be expected!
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AL, 18, 2012103018, , BEST, 0, 405N, 789W, 40, 988, PT
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Quoting connie1976:
Can anyone tell me how bad is Long Island and how many days do you think until they have power again? The people buying our house was supposed to sell their house Nov. 1st and they are somewhere on Long Island... I know that this isn't important now, but it does affect my family.... Thank you so much for your help!


I have only been able to get in touch with one family member. 90% of the Island has no power, cell phones are not working in most places. Severe flooding on both shores and thousands of trees down. Very bad damage in Huntington, Lindenhurst, the Rockaways. What part are they on?
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Oh, that was bad timing.
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Can anyone tell me how bad is Long Island and how many days do you think until they have power again? The people buying our house was supposed to sell their house Nov. 1st and they are somewhere on Long Island... I know that this isn't important now, but it does affect my family.... Thank you so much for your help!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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Quoting Grothar:


This is fun. :)


Hey Gro,

Glad to see you're still around whippin' the kiddies into shape!
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Link to live CBS New York News station. Some of the scenes are heartbreaking. Terrible losses all over


Link
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Massive Flooding Damages Several NYC Data Centers

By: Rich Miller
October 30th, 2012


Flooding from Hurricane Sandy has hobbled two data center buildings in Lower Manhattan, taking out diesel fuel pumps used to refuel generators.A third building at 121 Varick is also reported to be without power. There were also reports of outages for some tenants at a major data hub at 111 8th Avenue, and many other New York area facilities were running on generator power amid widespread utility outages.

Both Internap and Peer 1 are struggling to continue operations at 75 Broad Street after basement-level flooding disabled critical diesel fuel pumps, leaving the providers now way refuel generators on mezzanine floors.

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/ 10/30/major-flooding-nyc-data-centers/
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
Oh, the irony. Look at the name of this vehicle:


(In case you can't read it, it's a WindStar)
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

What exactly would you like Congress to do?
For starters, put people on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee who don't believe the earth is only a few thousand years old (Broun), who aren't completely clueless about biology and human reproduction (Akin), who aren't woefully ignorant about climate (Brooks), who aren't at least a little bit familiar with the internet (Hall), and who know at least a little bit about the carbon cycle (Rohrabacher). I realize that's a lot to ask of as anti-science a group of people as have ever darkened Washington, but, well, it would be a start.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13725
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319. Ookla
Quoting Grothar:


He's just joshing with me. It's OK, (Okay)


I no ;)
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Quoting Eng1n3rd:


Does that mean Sebastian Junger needs to re-title his book?


I dont know
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Just listened to an interview with a man in Mantucket RI...he lost his house to the storm...43 feet of beach eroded in 48 hours until his house succumbed to the ocean...he said he will purchase another home...not rebuild...and he said it would NOT be on the first row ever again...one lesson learned
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Quoting overwash12:
News alert: Global warming did not cause or made this storm worse in any fashion!


Listen to this one kids,
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Quoting Neapolitan:
I have. Sandy beat that 1991 event in pretty much every respect.


Does that mean Sebastian Junger needs to re-title his book?
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SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
322 PM AST TUE OCT 30 2012

PRC021-033-047-051-061-127-135-137-143-302000-
BAYAMON PR-COROZAL PR-GUAYNABO PR-SAN JUAN PR-VEGA ALTA PR-DORADO PR-
TOA ALTA PR-TOA BAJA PR-CATANO PR-
322 PM AST TUE OCT 30 2012

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR STRONG THUNDERSTORMS APPROACHING
SAN JUAN METRO AREA FROM THE WEST.

AT 317 PM AST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGIST DETECTED A
STRONG THUNDERSTORM 2 MILES SOUTHEAST OF VEGA ALTA...MOVING NORTHEAST
AT 10 MPH. RADAR HAS INDICATED STRONG ROTATION WITH THIS
THUNDERSTORM. STRONG WINDS TO GUSTS TO 45 MPH ARE POSSIBLE WITH THIS
THUNDERSTORM. PLEASE REPORT SEVERE WEATHER TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14753
Quoting Ookla:

Sorry, Nea, but OK is the formal form. It is an initialization of the expression "Oll Korrect," a deliberate misspelling of "All Correct." Believe it or not, there were times in our history when deliberately misspelling words was trendy, even before the advent of hip hop.


He's just joshing with me. It's OK, (Okay)
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News alert: Global warming did not cause or made this storm worse in any fashion! This is all under the assumption that there is such a thing!
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Quoting Neapolitan:
I have. Sandy beat that 1991 event in pretty much every respect.


But will the film be as good? I nominate Jeff Bridges for the lead, playing a Katrina survivor with PTSD who moves to the north east to escape hurricanes.
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All times in GMT. Derived from NHC_ATCF data for PostTropicalStormSandy @ 30Oct.6pm
PIT-Pittsburgh :: IDI-Indiana :: 8PN0-Chambersburg :: 9W8-Brogue :: AIY-AtlanticCity

Click this link to the GreatCircleMapper for a larger map with more info
And the previous mapping for comparison
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308. Ookla
Quoting Neapolitan:
"OK" is acceptable, but "okay" is more common in a formal context. ;-)

Sorry, Nea, but OK is the formal form. It is an initialization of the expression "Oll Korrect," a deliberate misspelling of "All Correct." Believe it or not, there were times in our history when deliberately misspelling words was trendy, even before the advent of hip hop.
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Sampling of cold low temp readings across Louisiana, Tue Oct 30 2012 - Tallulah: 27F (note: Vicksburg, MS nearby fell to 26F!), Alexandria: 32F, Covington: 33F, Ruston: 34F, Slidell: 35F, Donaldsonville: 35F, Baton Rouge: 36F, Hammond: 36F... My local Houma metro area - KHUM airport: 38.7F, Bayou Cane home: 37.9F, Thibodaux: 37F, USDA PWS: 35.7F, Bayou Blue / Gray: 34F... To the best of my knowledge, these low temps are the coldest October readings locally since Oct 20 1989, when dipped to 32F, earliest recorded freeze in Houma Terrebonne area... Houma LA's Record coldest October low was on this date 102 years ago - 30F on Oct 30 1910.


I am just guessing this will not be part of the blog tomorrow. Now if they were record high's it would be in bold letters and Sandy would come second.
Member Since: June 26, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 207
Quoting Neapolitan:
"OK" is acceptable, but "okay" is more common in a formal context. ;-)


This is fun. :)
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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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