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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seems we are getting alot of hundred yr storms of recent. remember the s. burma storm? another rare breed. its been downhill since then
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805. beell
Mornin' FM!
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804. beell
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.



An almost Sandy. Same type of genesis and large scale circulation.
Tropical Storm Nicole 2010/Wikipedia
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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...

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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.
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.
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okay off to work..have a great day everyone

I posted about the next storm last night..

From Facebook this morning..

Henry Margusity Fan Club
Lets keep an eye out on the next storm next week. NAO still negative and could mean another east coast storm, but not like Sandy.
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Good morning all! Did any of you recently get your power turned back on? where are you located?
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Good morning beell. Long time no see. Hope all is well
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Good Morning..

I was watching my news this morning and they said estimates will be 20 billion in property real estate losses and 30 billion in loss of income from businesses and employees but the rebuilding of houses and businesses will balance out and not have an effect on our economy..thats good news if anything from Sandy that it will put some people to work who currently dont have jobs..
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Wow, that's quite a collection of blather, even for D'Aleo. A real Gish Gallop featuring comments from the debunked and discredited--Pielke, Hoerling, Michaels--interspersed with cherry-picked, out-of-context statements from other scientists, sprinkled with ad hominems, and thoroughly topped with obfuscatory bits of info that have no bearing on reality. That's not the first such diatribe I've seen today; with multiple-recordbreaker Sandy occurring on top of the increasing number and severity of extreme weather events the entire globe is seeing, the denialists doubtless realize their side and POV have been diminished even further, so such manufactured and dishonest rants are understandable, if not forgivable.

Anyone who tries to claim--even discounting Sandy--that the more than 3.4 million metric tons of long-lasting, heat-trapping, fossil fuel-based CO2 we humans pump into the atmosphere each and every hour of each and every day has no effect on the weather or the climate is in absolute denial of reality. Period. The climate is changing far faster than scientists predicted even a few short years ago, and there's no sign of that trend reversing.




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.
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Is anyone else seeing this??

* * * * * * * Technical Note * * * * * * *
Wed Oct 31 2012 21:56:03 GMT+1100 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time)
For ease in navigation, we recommend typing in your "City, St" or Zip Code in the upper left hand corner of this web page to get forecasts, warnings and other information for your area.
A cut fiberoptic line belonging to a commercial phone company has disrupted websites serving the Eastern Region. As this issue is being resolved, we are now operating our websites in backup mode.

Link
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Quoting aspectre:
Low quality, but since there was a dispute yesterday about the veracity of a similar photograph


I saw this part on the aerial flyover by the Coast Guard. I think it's Mantoloking going by google maps. There is actually a huge gas fire burning there right now, and the firefighters can't get there because the bridge is destroyed and the streets are covered with sand.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:
Has everyone from here checked in since Sandy? It's so hard sometimes to remember where everyone is. I remember thinking the same thing with Issac, but it was easier because we tend to remember those from our own state. I'm in Louisiana, so tend to remember who also is from here. Has anyone heard from Sully yet? Maybe the next time before a disaster we could put together a list of who may be in the path of a disaster so we know who to look for and send thoughts and prayers to.

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.
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Quoting Pirate999:


Now much c02 is then released due to ice melting?


Ummm...Ice is frozen water. No chemical reaction. No CO2 release.

You have it exactly backwards. Higher CO2 levels mean more heat from the sun is trapped in the earth's atmosphere. More heat = higher temps. Higher temps = less ice.
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Good morning.
Hurricane Sandy: After 'incalculable' loss, recovery begins
Link
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788. beell
One of the many reasons cited by NASA in not awarding placement of a Space Shuttle at the Johnson Space Center in Houston was what appeared to be a higher risk of damage from a tropical cyclone (haha). At least we would have put it inside. Not in an inflatable tent...



Scientific American editor Christine Gorman snapped this shot above of the space shuttle Enterprise on the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at 2:30 PM today from 42nd Street near the Hudson River. Enterprise was a full-scale shuttle used to test plans for the fleet of space shuttles that followed and carried astronauts for 135 missions, including one that delivered the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit and others focused on repairing and upgrading the telescope. After long stints in a hangar near Dulles International Airport in Virginia and at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum‘s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles, Enterprise was flown to New York City earlier this year and eventually transported to and hoisted onto the Intrepid, located on a pier in the Hudson River along the West Side of Manhattan. The shuttle’s temporary shelter was damaged during Sandy, and the shuttle sustained some damage to its vertical stabilizer.
–Robin Lloyd

Scientific American Liveblog/Oct 29,2012


Credit: NASA


Above: The new 53,000-square-foot space shuttle exhibit at Space Center Houston, the official visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas, will focus on the human side of shuttle operations, including astronaut activities.
Credit: Space Center Houston
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Quoting KoritheMan:

I'm as big as a global warming advocate as they come, but it's just ridiculous to say that greenhouse gas emissions are directly responsible for Sandy. Nothing that occurred with this storm was unprecedented, except perhaps its size.


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.

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Quoting aspectre:
654 centex: It was a large Cat 1 hurricane at landfall. The insurance guys just need to pay as policy says. What is the issue?

The NHC handed over reporting to the NWS before landfall. So officially, Sandy wasn't a hurricane at landfall or thereafter.
Many policies specificly exclude hurricane damage, others specificly exclude damage from hurricane-force winds, yet others specificly exclude damage from flooding, etc


My heart goes out to those who did not have flood insurance, especially those who are retired or a lower income bracket.
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Hurricane Sandy: The Superstorm Gallery.

The awesome power of Mother Nature
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654 centex: It was a large Cat 1 hurricane at landfall. The insurance guys just need to pay as policy says. What is the issue?

The NHC handed over reporting to the NWS before landfall. So officially, Sandy wasn't a hurricane at landfall or thereafter.
Many policies specificly exclude hurricane damage, others specificly exclude damage from hurricane-force winds, yet others specificly exclude damage from flooding, etc
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Has everyone from here checked in since Sandy? It's so hard sometimes to remember where everyone is. I remember thinking the same thing with Issac, but it was easier because we tend to remember those from our own state. I'm in Louisiana, so tend to remember who also is from here. Has anyone heard from Sully yet? Maybe the next time before a disaster we could put together a list of who may be in the path of a disaster so we know who to look for and send thoughts and prayers to.
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Good morning/evening, all. I'm watching the aftermath of Sandy. They were talking about people in Hoboken stuck in their houses due to live wires in the water in the streets in front of their house, water that filled with sewage. It will be weeks for some areas, if not more, for some areas to be cleaned up. I think the Northeast has had a taste of what the south goes through and will never again for many years be complacent about the possibility of a hurricane coming towards them. My thoughts and prayers to people who are still trapped by flood waters, etc., of Sandy.
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779. MahFL
Quoting wildheron:
what about all the homeless people in NYC (and other cities) where do they go? how do they know about evacuations? haven't heard any mention of this issue in the ongoing coverage. back to lurking.....


The Red Cross help them. Also they are not stupid, and it's NYC, the city that never sleeps, so there is always a TV on somewhere.
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Low quality, but since there was a dispute yesterday about the veracity of a similar photograph
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And so it ends:

invest_DEACTIVATE_al182012.ren

Goodbye, and good riddance.
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Feels like that blasting cold wind has died outside...
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Good Morning Folks 7-day for the Tampa Bay area..........
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Quoting testbenchdude:


lolwut
Indeed
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
If a bird heard singing in the dark(P.252) can be used to forecast the worst power outage in world history due to drought; why not a bird seen sipping energy from the largest electric utility, to forecast the worst power outage in U.S. history, due to windstorm?

"Eating it too, is the name of this forecast." April 24, 2012

Can men believe the earth is their toilet, and not know that she can flush?














lolwut
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If a bird heard singing in the dark(P.252) can be used to forecast the worst power outage in world history due to drought; why not a bird seen sipping energy from the largest electric utility, to forecast the worst power outage in U.S. history, due to windstorm?

"Eating it too, is the name of this forecast." April 24, 2012

Can men believe the earth is their toilet, and not know that she can flush?












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Quoting Skyepony:
I agree with slamguitar..

It's hard to see aerosols & smoke diffused as well as increased moisture when you look up.

Even my local weather guy was pointing to that moisture with a hope of rain tomorrow.

Picking Albany, GA on the SW corner in the moisture for a GA RH# isn't exactly in the middle dry area I was pointing to either..though by the color it's probilby higher up. I deserve that for not fetching my own numbers..
That's UV imagery, not IR, it's used to image levels of moisture that don't block visible light. It seems moisture that you cannot, by design. And that moisture (humidity) doesn't have to be present at ground level to be seen of course...
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Would like to point out in response to sar2401's invisible "clouds", that IR satellite images do not see "clouds" exactly, they see temperature. They exploit the fact that the tops of clouds are so damned cold and block the ground's IR emissions in order to image the cloud cover.

That means any area that is particularly cold, or covered with snow, can appear as "clouds" on IR sat imagery if you're not experienced enough to recognize what's really going on there. The enhancement coloring threshold being at too high a temperature will make this issue more pronounced.
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Quoting Skyepony:
I agree with slamguitar..

It's hard to see aerosols & smoke diffused as well as increased moisture when you look up.

Even my local weather guy was pointing to that moisture with a hope of rain tomorrow.

Picking Albany, GA on the SW corner in the moisture for a GA RH# isn't exactly in the middle dry area I was pointing to either..though by the color it's probilby higher up. I deserve that for not fetching my own numbers..

Unfortunately, our weather guys see no chance for rain until Sunday...maybe. I hope whatever that "blob" is, it will bring some rain to Florida. Between the wind and low RH's here, we've had a bunch of red flag warnings up.

P.S. I still think it's chemtrails. :)
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Quoting dogsgomoo:
There was an image of a house earlier today with a big chunk missing yet the roof was still perfect on top.


People were saying it was fake. It seems that the house itself looks to be real and is located in Union Bay, NJ and the damage looks legit. Sometimes reality is way weird.


I was one of the people questioning the authenticity of that photo. It certainly seems to look legitimate, seeing the second photo from a different angle. My main points in regards to this and other photos coming from unknown sources remains:

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. This photo was not "breaking" news, and looks just as impressive now as it did this afternoon. By waiting to post things until we get some confirmation, we are defeating the aims of these fraudsters. It's very similar to ignoring trolls here. Don't give them attention and they will go away.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15171
766. Skyepony (Mod)
I agree with slamguitar..

It's hard to see aerosols & smoke diffused as well as increased moisture when you look up.

Even my local weather guy was pointing to that moisture with a hope of rain tomorrow.

Picking Albany, GA on the SW corner in the moisture for a GA RH# isn't exactly in the middle dry area I was pointing to either..though by the color it's probilby higher up. I deserve that for not fetching my own numbers..
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Quoting sar2401:

Oh, I don't believe they are useless, mostly for reasons Skye has already explained. I do believe that rainbow images tend to give the impression that a lot more is going on than may be having any sensible effect on the weather.


Ok, I can agree on that. ;)

You just gotta know to treat these images differently, because sometimes they can come in handy even more than other color schemes.
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Quoting Slamguitar:



I guess the difference between us is you admit that satellites can sometimes be wrong whereas I admit that satellites can sometimes be wrong and gather different sources, understand that info can be outdated, combine my visual observations with given weather trends, and form reasoning as to why the satellites can sometimes be wrong.

This is why I don't think rainbow images are useless.

Oh, I don't believe they are useless, mostly for reasons Skye has already explained. I do believe that rainbow images tend to give the impression that a lot more is going on than may be having any sensible effect on the weather.
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Quoting Skyepony:


Sometime the lower layer is dryer..those light yellow & green on rainbow are more telling of mid layers. Maybe check the soundings or precipital Water.

Check out the liquid cloud water with Nilam..is kind of old though..

While I generally agree, and I am kind of yanking your chain, Skye (thanks for being a good sport), there are times that satellites do pick up things that aren't there and translate them into whatever it knows should be there, given what data it sees and how it's programmed to show that data. Surely you'd agree (I know, don't call me Shirley) :) that there are times that even satellites can just be wrong. This one just jumped out at me tonight as being one of those times.
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Quoting sar2401:

Either I should be able to see something, being directly under whatever is being shown on the satellite photos, or the satellite photos are picking up some kind of anomaly that a human observer with 50 years experience looking at the sky can't. see. I choose to believe what I can see (along with all the other weather stations in Alabama) and just admit that satellites can sometimes be wrong.



I guess the difference between us is you admit that satellites can sometimes be wrong whereas I admit that satellites can sometimes be wrong and gather different sources, understand that info can be outdated, combine my visual observations with given weather trends, and form reasoning as to why the satellites can sometimes be wrong.

This is why I don't think rainbow images are useless.
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761. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting sar2401:

Let's test that theory, Skye

Montgomery AL: Temp 47, DP, 35 RH, 63%
Albany GA: Temp 44, DP 32, RH, 63%

Albany in not under that "cloud" deck and yet still has the same RH. Sometimes satellites are just wrong, and rainbow images are more wrong than most.


Sometime the lower layer is dryer..those light yellow & green on rainbow are more telling of mid layers. Maybe check the soundings or precipital Water.

Check out the liquid cloud water with Nilam..is kind of old though..
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Quoting Slamguitar:


See comment 749. No one is doubting what you see in your area. I'm not questioning what you saw. I don't know why everything has to contradict everything...

Either I should be able to see something, being directly under whatever is being shown on the satellite photos, or the satellite photos are picking up some kind of anomaly that a human observer with 50 years experience looking at the sky can't. see. I choose to believe what I can see (along with all the other weather stations in Alabama) and just admit that satellites can sometimes be wrong.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15171
Good thing this isn't real.

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Just looked up at the sky in mid Michigan. I have high level clouds. These images suggests I don't. That doesn't mean I can't trust satellite imagery anymore. First thing I look at is the time stamp. More than 45 minutes ago. Fast wind from the north is carrying high level clouds south towards me on the loop and in the meantime, different areas of clouds are forming and dissipating at a fast level.

It's a process of taking multiple sources and synthesizing a big picture of the atmosphere, something meteorologists should be at least familiar with. How could we forecast well without this?



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Quoting Skyepony:


Those aren't storm clouds...every little shade of color on rainbow isn't rain or even a cloud. There is a lot of subtle info you are missing there. It's returning moisture in the air. I'd bet the humidity is higher in that area then central GA..The lack of clutter return on the radar in GA you posted kinda confirms this. But I couldn't track that bit of moisture on radar like I could on rainbow. Click the pic to loop. If that can get at all over the GOM before it gets drawn over FL tomorrow, someone may see sprinkles.. You can't get that from the radar alone.

Let's test that theory, Skye

Montgomery AL: Temp 47, DP, 35 RH, 63%
Albany GA: Temp 44, DP 32, RH, 63%

Albany in not under that "cloud" deck and yet still has the same RH. Sometimes satellites are just wrong, and rainbow images are more wrong than most.
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756. Skyepony (Mod)
Fresh TERRA pass of Nilam.
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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.