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

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

Share this Blog
63
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 856 - 806

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20Blog Index

856. MahFL
Quoting biff4ugo:
Hurricane season has measurably lenthened, leading to more late October storms, is what I heard Dr. Master say. And increased ocean temperatures leads to more distructive hurricane winds. (increased ocean temperatures and lenthened hurricane seasons are a change in climate for those keeping score)

I didn't know the weather channel purchased WU! I must have missed that blog day.

Does that mean Jim C will be on here? Would that mean we would have more hurricanes on this blog? grin.


Lol we spent weeks complaining about the sale.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3547
Quoting clamshell:


I almost got upset about what silliness you were barking and remembered that you were one of those bumpersticker people with the one that reads...

The AGW gang says it, I believe them and that is all there is to it.

No small wonder you say those things.

One thing you could do is to change your word usage and cadence because they both are getting a wee bit repetitious and boring as a result.





+1,000,000
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
What's really predictable is the bleating from denialists like D'Aleo and Morano in the immediate aftermath of every extreme weather event that global warming had absolutely nothing to do with it. But what's even more predictable is that the 3.4 million metric tons of long-lasting, heat-trapping anthropogenic CO2 we're pumping into the atmosphere every hour of every day is going to continue having an increasingly huge impact on the weather.

For about the hundredth time, no one is "blaming" Sandy on GW, nor is anyone saying GW "caused" Sandy. That, again, is a lame and overused straw man argument. Of course Sandy would have happened in the absence of man-made CO2. But as Dr. Masters has himself explained numerous times, the climate dice have been loaded by us, so extreme weather events are measurably increasing in both frequency and severity.

It's pretty simple, really.


I almost got upset about what silliness you were barking and remembered that you were one of those bumpersticker people with the one that reads...

The AGW gang says it, I believe them and that is all there is to it.

No small wonder you say those things.

One thing you could do is to change your word usage and cadence because they both are getting a wee bit repetitious and boring as a result.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FtMyersgal:
..
FtMyersgal.You have email
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Fear-mongering on the left.



yaawwwnnnn.....


Just wondering...

I assume you do not believe in AGW, but do you believe that GW is occuring?

If yes to the above, do you think that CO2 levels are relevant?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hurricane season has measurably lenthened, leading to more late October storms, is what I heard Dr. Master say. And increased ocean temperatures leads to more distructive hurricane winds. (increased ocean temperatures and lenthened hurricane seasons are a change in climate for those keeping score)

I didn't know the weather channel purchased WU! I must have missed that blog day.

Does that mean Jim C will be on here? Would that mean we would have more hurricanes on this blog? grin.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
847. 7544
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


look south of the Azores... something could eventually be going on there



looks to the caribeian blob been there scince yesterday holding it own maybe a yellow circle soon ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MercForHire:
Have a question which I SHOULD know the answer to, but don't.

Weather just showed the Jet Stream making a perfect half-circle around Sandy's rear-end (That would be her bottom :) ). So did Sandy PULL the Jet Stream into that arc, or did Sandy slip into an arc which was already there, in effect pulling HER in?



An arc in the jet stream was discussed on TWC as a factor "sling-shotting" Sandy into the NE instead of allowing a re-curve out to sea.
Member Since: December 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1231
To all over you who "overhyped" this storm... A since thank you. I really mean it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like we may get one more for the season.


South of the Azores.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomballTXPride:
Not sure if it's smart attributing every single weather event (including Sandy) as a direct result of climate change. I see that sparsely in other places, but mostly here among the typical posters driving this false assertion. I don't know why they continue to do this.

Climate is a culmination of weather events (extreme or not) over the course typically of 30 years or more. Sandy--in and of itself--is not considered climate. Sandy is a weather event.
For the reading-impaired among you, allow me to repeat for the 100th time: no one is "attributing every single weather event (including Sandy) as a direct result of climate change". No one. No one who knows anything about climate is doing that, and certainly no one who is a scientist is doing that. To do so would be akin to telling a 60-year-old that the massive heart attack he just suffered was "caused" by a Quarter Pounder with Cheese he ate when he was a teenager. And to obfuscate the issue by continually claiming that scientists do make that claim is dishonest.

The only thing perhaps more ignorant than claiming Sandy was "caused" solely by global warming would be claiming global warming had nothing to do with Sandy. That so many have showed such ignorance over the last few days is sad and depressing...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13556
a href="Photobucket" target="_blank">
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
looks calm in the tropics..................


look south of the Azores... something could eventually be going on there

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
looks calm in the tropics..................
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39252
The article below just reconfirms to me why I appreciate the relationship we have between the two countries. I've seen this so many times over the years. If ever you needed "good will ambassadors" it would be these guys on both sides of the border!

Lindy

OTTAWA — A crew of Hydro Ottawa power line maintainers headed to Connecticut to help restore power to the 500,000 still in the dark in that state following hurricane Sandy.

The 13 workers will join a crew of 12 Hydro Ottawa contract forestry workers who are already in the state to clear trees as part of the power restoration effort.

This is the first time Hydro Ottawa has sent crews south of the border, said president and chief executive officer Bryce Conrad.

“Hydro Ottawa offered assistance without hesitation. Restoring power is a specialized skill and the electricity industry supports each other in these times of need,” Conrad said in a news release.

Hurricane Sandy, now downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, caused widespread damage in the northeastern United States as it hammered the coast on Monday. Millions were left without power and at least 50 people were killed.

High winds of up to 100 km/h also uprooted trees and downed power lines in southern Ontario, from Sarnia to Kingston, leaving about 150,000 without power. A woman in Toronto was killed by a falling sign.

By Wednesday morning, power had been restore to all but 7,150 Hydro One customers.

Ottawa was spared the brunt of the storm — at its peak, it knocked out power to about 3,000 Hydro Ottawa customers.

cfedio@ottawacitizen.com


Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Second+Hydro+Ottawa+c rew+heads+storm+cleanup/7475488/story.html#ixzz2As ouvk9A
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:
Do the long range forecast models show any potential storms forming?
well europe should keep an eye on this out there in the atlantic...........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39252
Quoting ScottLincoln:


Research has already suggested the opposite, and shown evidence that it's not just hypothetical or predicted, it may already be happening.
Research has shown that the trough/ridge pattern of the jet stream is amplifying, which slows down larger-scale weather patterns. This means more time in a heat wave favorable patter, more time in a cold spell favorable pattern, more time in a heavy rain favorable pattern, and so forth.
and lets not forget, the gulf stream is supposed to be moving more northward along the eastern US coastline in the years to come, that could..spell big trouble for more tropical systems in the northeast states, like sandy or even worse
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39252
Quoting TomballTXPride:
Not sure if it's smart attributing every single weather event (including Sandy) as a direct result of climate change. I see that sparsely in other places, but mostly here among the typical posters driving this assertion. I don't know why they continue to do this.

Climate is a culmination of weather events (extreme or not) over the course typically of 30 years or more. Sandy--in and of itself--is not considered climate. Sandy is a weather event.
That statement seems to directly contradict itself. As we are experiencing climate change, wouldn't you have to include every single event in that culmination of events?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AztecCe:
I think they suggested something forming in the Carribean


a href="Photobucket" target="_blank">a href="Photobucket" target="_blank">
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I did a blog last year asking people to leave there location. Check it out if you want, your on there. There is a few on there I am worried about.


Good evening and good morning Aussie, I was wondering have you heard from Washingtonian115? Been worried about her.

sheri
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AztecCe:
I think they suggested something forming in the Carribean


I've been hearing this too, but only on this blog. Anyone have any support for this? Haven't seen any model to predict this yet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi guys...

I just found out NHC has already some tropical cyclone reports for Bud, Emilia, Daniel and Florence...

I want to see some of the good ones.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting txag91met:

But even if the planet warms some, it doesn't mean that there will be more severe events.


Research has already suggested the opposite, and shown evidence that it's not just hypothetical or predicted, it may already be happening.
Research has shown that the trough/ridge pattern of the jet stream is amplifying, which slows down larger-scale weather patterns. This means more time in a heat wave favorable pattern, more time in a cold spell favorable pattern, more time in a heavy rain favorable pattern, and so forth.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I did a blog last year asking people to leave there location. Check it out if you want, your on there. There is a few on there I am worried about.


What a great idea, Aussie! I added myself this morning.

Lindy
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:
Do the long range forecast models show any potential storms forming?
I think they suggested something forming in the Carribean
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting greenengineer:


Water level in NY Harbor is a foot higher than it was 100 years ago. Flooding was unprecedented.

Also to say that nothing is unprecedented except its size is kind of silly. That's the whole point - the size is unprecedented that far north.



The atmosphere had perfect conditions for Sandy. The gulf stream was 1-2F warmer than normal. However, the water temps were only near 80F right at the stream, which is barely enough to support a hurricane. So saying that Sandy is a direct result of GW is not correct.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
What's really predictable is the bleating from denialists like D'Aleo and Morano in the immediate aftermath of every extreme weather event that global warming had absolutely nothing to do with it. But what's even more predictable is that the 3.4 million metric tons of long-lasting, heat-trapping anthropogenic CO2 we're pumping into the atmosphere every hour of every day is going to continue having an increasingly huge impact on the weather.

For about the hundredth time, no one is "blaming" Sandy on GW, nor is anyone saying GW "caused" Sandy. That, again, is a lame and overused straw man argument. Of course Sandy would have happened in the absence of man-made CO2. But as Dr. Masters has himself explained numerous times, the climate dice have been loaded by us, so extreme weather events are measurably increasing in both frequency and severity.

It's pretty simple, really.

But even if the planet warms some, it doesn't mean that there will be more severe events.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FtMyersgal:


:) Hope all is well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ScottLincoln:

Just remember, as climate changes more and more, this statement may actually start becoming less true. Over time, climate will change so much that events will start occurring (or not occurring) that would not have happened under a stable climate. Due to the fact that a single event cannot be attributable to climate or climate change, we will never know exactly how this has changed or which events, just that the frequency and/or magnitude has changed.
Speaking of all that, here's something I ran across in a piece on TIME.com yesterday:

"[I]f you are in your 60s or 70s or 80s, Sandy's destructive forces are a once in your lifetime event. But younger generations—those of us in our fifties, and our children—will likely be looking at flooded coastal cities, devastated infrastructure, blownout power, and storm surges for the rest of our lives.

We've got to stop this 'angels dancing on the head of a pin' argument about the connections between individual storms and climate change. Scientists can—and should—try to parse out each and every contributor to a storm. That's their job. But policy makers cannot afford to do so--or to wait for definitive answers. The overall picture is dire enough. Our climate is changing, for the worse. Reliability and predictability of climate patterns? That, too, belongs to an older generation. We need only look at the role of warmer North Atlantic ocean temperatures in Sandy’s growth to see this."


Can't say I disagree...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13556
Do the long range forecast models show any potential storms forming?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sar2401:



1. It's sad there are so many sick people out there creating fake pictures, FB pages, and twitter feeds. We now have to question what information is really true, and have to sort through the fakes.

2. away.


True...well except for the godzilla ones LOL

I think I've used most my bandwidth for the month viewing video of the storm. I'm particularly fascinated by the storm surge ones. And thanks to those posting the 'life of Sally' loops.

I like some of you arguing about satellites than GW :P

And to those who've mentioned Disney buying Lucas Arts and saying a SW 7 will be out in a few years...I love SW, but have to say, AM a bit worried about a Disney SW....though, some of Lucas SW were a bit scary when you think of Ep 1...soooo LOL will see. Guess that means he's retiring with a nice nest egg then LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
818. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #20
CYCLONIC STORM NILAM (BOB02-2012)
14:30 PM IST October 31 2012
=========================================

Cyclone Warning For Northern Tamil Nadu, Puducherry And Adjoining Southern Andhra Pradesh Coasts

Red Message


At 9:00 AM UTC, Cyclonic Storm Nilam moved north northwestward during the last 6 hours and now lays centered near 12.0N 80.5E or about 120 km south southeast of Chennai, India and 70 km east of Puducherry, India. Latest radar imagery and coastal observation indicate that Cyclonic Storm Nilam is now beginning to cross Tamil Nadu (India) coast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sandy is falling apart now.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
816. beell
Quoting BahaHurican:
Good morning to all.

Nicole was a mess. We had worse weather from that system before it was declared than after... prolly got an inch of rain between 7:30 and 9 a.m. the morning it passed through here... then nothing.


Nicole was a mess. Sandy was initially a large mess with convection heavily weighted to the east. Sandy also ran into an upper shortwave shortly after leaving the Caribbean which continued the expansion of her windfield as she flirted with sub-tropical status.

Apparently, AGW did not provide the right set of synoptics to make Nicole's development "more likely".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
Good morning to all.

Nicole was a mess. We had worse weather from that system before it was declared than after... prolly got an inch of rain between 7:30 and 9 a.m. the morning it passed through here... then nothing.


21 inches of rain here..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15679
Quoting beell:
Mornin' FM!


:) Hope all is well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Local news here in West Palm Beach, Florida reports $12 million in damage here to beaches alone from Hurricane Sandy (what a great name for a hurricane - right on a par with Wendy and Serge). A relative drop in the bucket, but as Father Guido Sarducci notes, "It adds up!"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The TW in the eastern Atlantic looks good maybe it will become Valerie in the coming days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
Of course Sandy would have happened in the absence of man-made CO2. But as Dr. Masters has himself explained numerous times, the climate dice have been loaded by us, so extreme weather events are measurably increasing in both frequency and severity.

It's pretty simple, really.

Just remember, as climate changes more and more, this statement may actually start becoming less true. Over time, climate will change so much that events will start occurring (or not occurring) that would not have happened under a stable climate. Due to the fact that a single event cannot be attributable to climate or climate change, we will never know exactly how this has changed or which events, just that the frequency and/or magnitude has changed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning from a bright sunny day in Germany. Interesting article on NYT this morning:

For Years, Warnings That It Could Happen Here

By DAVID W. CHEN and MIREYA NAVARRO
Published: October 30, 2012

The warnings came, again and again. For nearly a decade, scientists have told city and state officials that New York faces certain peril: rising sea levels, more frequent flooding and extreme weather patterns. The alarm bells grew louder after Tropical Storm Irene last year, when the city shut down its subway system and water rushed into the Rockaways and Lower Manhattan.

On Tuesday, as New Yorkers woke up to submerged neighborhoods and water-soaked electrical equipment, officials took their first tentative steps toward considering major infrastructure changes that could protect the city’s fragile shores and eight million residents from repeated disastrous damage.

Read more
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PensacolaDoug:




You are so predictable. Every notable weather event be it, drought, heat wave, extreme cold, blizzard, big hurricane seasons,dead hurricane seasons, deluge, name it, you come out and blame AGW. Was the long Island Express (1938 New England Hurricane)that by todays standards wouldn't have been a hurricane, was that AGW too? Storms happen.


No weather event can be directly attributed to climate or climate change in the sense of being "caused" by it. But extreme weather events of almost all types are increasing in frequency and/or magnitude. This is scientific fact - ironically enough, because it is scientific fact, it is, in a way, predictable.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning to all.

Quoting beell:


An almost Sandy. Same type of genesis and large scale circulation.
Tropical Storm Nicole 2010/Wikipedia
Nicole was a mess. We had worse weather from that system before it was declared than after... prolly got an inch of rain between 7:30 and 9 a.m. the morning it passed through here... then nothing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurrikanEB:
TROPICAL STORM ROSA ADVISORY NUMBER 5
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP172012
200 AM PDT WED OCT 31 2012

...ROSA PARKS ITSELF WELL SOUTHWEST OF MEXICO...
...FORECAST TO MOVE VERY LITTLE DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS...



Good catch!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
seems we are getting alot of hundred yr storms of recent. remember the s. burma storm? another rare breed. its been downhill since then
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4732

Viewing: 856 - 806

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Light Rain
61 °F
Light Rain