Why did Hurricane Sandy take such an unusual track into New Jersey?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:33 PM GMT on October 31, 2012

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We're used to seeing hurricane-battered beaches and flooded cities in Florida, North Carolina, and the Gulf Coast. But to see these images from the Jersey Shore and New York City in the wake of Hurricane Sandy is a shocking experience. New Jersey only rarely gets hit by hurricanes because it lies in a portion of the coast that doesn't stick out much, and is too far north. How did this happen? How was a hurricane able to move from southeast to northwest at landfall, so far north, and so late in hurricane season? We expect hurricanes to move from east to west in the tropics, where the prevailing trade winds blow that direction. But the prevailing wind direction reverses at mid-latitudes, flowing predominately west-to-east, due to the spin of the Earth. Hurricanes that penetrate to about Florida's latitude usually get caught up in these westerly winds, and are whisked northeastwards, out to sea. However, the jet stream, that powerful band of upper-atmosphere west-to-east flowing air, has many dips and bulges. These troughs of low pressure and ridges of high pressure allow winds at mid-latitudes to flow more to the north or to the south. Every so often, a trough in the jet stream bends back on itself when encountering a ridge of high pressure stuck in place ahead of it. These "negatively tilted" troughs have winds that flow from southeast to northwest. It is this sort of negatively tilted trough that sucked in Sandy and allowed the hurricane to take such an unusual path into New Jersey.


Figure 1. Inlet section of Atlantic City, N.J., after Hurricane Sandy. Image credit: 6 ABC Action News.

The 1903 Vagabond Hurricane
The only other hurricane to hit New Jersey since 1851 besides Sandy was the 1903 Category 1 Vagabond Hurricane. According to Wikipedia, the Vagabond Hurricane caused heavy damage along the New Jersey coast ($180 million in 2006 dollars.) The hurricane killed 57 people, and endangered the life of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was sailing on a yacht near Long Island, NY, when the hurricane hit. However, the Vagabond Hurricane hit in September, when the jet stream is typically weaker and farther to the north. It is quite extraordinary that Sandy was able to hit New Jersey in late October, when the jet stream is typically stronger and farther south, making recurvature to the northeast much more likely than in September.


Figure 2. The path of the 1903 Vagabond Hurricane, the only other hurricane to hit New Jersey since 1851.

The blocking ridge that steered Sandy into New Jersey
A strong ridge of high pressure parked itself over Greenland beginning on October 20, creating a "blocking ridge" that prevented the normal west-to-east flow of winds over Eastern North America. Think of the blocking ridge like a big truck parked over Greenland. Storms approaching from the west (like the fall low pressure system that moved across the U.S. from California to Pennsylvania last week) or from the south (Hurricane Sandy) were blocked from heading to the northeast. Caught in the equivalent of an atmospheric traffic jam, the two storms collided over the Northeast U.S., combined into one, and are now waiting for the truck parked over Greenland to move. The strength of the blocking ridge, as measured by the strength of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), was quite high--about two standard deviations from average, something that occurs approximately 5% of the time. When the NAO is in a strong negative phase, we tend to have blocking ridges over Greenland.


Figure 3. Jet stream winds at a pressure of 300 mb on October 29, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy approached the coast of New Jersey. Note that the wind direction over New Jersey (black arrows) was from the southeast, due to a negatively tilted trough of low pressure over the Eastern U.S. caused by a strong blocking ridge of high pressure over Greenland. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL.

Arctic sea ice loss can cause blocking ridges
Blocking ridges occur naturally, but are uncommon over Greenland this time of year. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, blocking near the longitude of Greenland (50°W) only occurs about 2% of the time in the fall. These odds rise to about 6% in winter and spring. As I discussed in an April post, Arctic sea ice loss tied to unusual jet stream patterns, three studies published in the past year have found that the jet stream has been getting stuck in unusually strong blocking patterns in recent years. These studies found that the recent record decline in Arctic sea ice could be responsible, since this heats up the pole, altering the Equator-to-pole temperature difference, forcing the jet stream to slow down, meander, and get stuck in large loops. The 2012 Arctic sea ice melt season was extreme, with sea ice extent hitting a record lows. Could sea ice loss have contributed to the blocking ridge that steered Sandy into New Jersey? It is possible, but we will need to much more research on the subject before we make such a link, as the studies of sea ice loss on jet stream patterns are so new. The author of one of the new studies, Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers, had this say in a recent post by Andy Revkin in his Dot Earth blog: "While it’s impossible to say how this scenario might have unfolded if sea-ice had been as extensive as it was in the 1980s, the situation at hand is completely consistent with what I’d expect to see happen more often as a result of unabated warming and especially the amplification of that warming in the Arctic."

Jeff Masters

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Quoting ScottLincoln:

As is typical with most land-falling systems, the maximum sustained winds are rarely sampled by the course network of meteorological stations. The winds also diminish rapidly once they are influenced by the friction of the coastline. The current estimate of wind field from Hwind follows that thinking, showing the hurricane-force winds only occurring right at the coastline, then diminishing.


Scott:

It was more of a response to "their were hurricane conditions in NJ." Posters harp about science and protocol, but ignore that unless sustained 1-min 74 mph winds were measured (we measure everything else), its not a hurricane by definition.

And we do indeed have records that show sustained HU winds over land.

Im having a hard time swallowing a pill that suggests that all stations reporting HU winds went down, but none of those measuring strong TS winds (and much higher gusts) did.
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At least 82 people in North America died in the superstorm, which ravaged the northeastern United States on Monday night, and officials said the count could climb higher as rescuers searched house-to-house through coastal towns.
 
More deaths were recorded overnight as the extent of destruction became clearer in the New York City borough of Staten Island, where the storm lifted whole houses off their foundations.
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
The more I think about all of these things, the more I think we should stop trying to pretend that we can capture each storm's risks within a simple ranking system.

Each one is only itself, with its own set of potentially destructive factors, which are _themselves_ also defined by track, other weather interactions, so on. There is no number system that will capture that.

I realize plenty of folks here and elsewhere disagree, but I really heavily lean, at this point, toward the opinion that it would be way better just having the categories be tropical storm, hurricane, major hurricane. If needed as we go, add something like "hybrid storm" or something. And that's it for the easy categories -- get out the specific info that relates to each individual storm's potential destruction.

I think having the number system just leads people to make comparisons that are invalid -- "oh, I've been through that cat 2, so all cat 2 storms will be like it." Worse than less information, because it's _misleading_ information. And I think adding _more_ numbers just means nobody will understand what the heck it all means; the more complicated you make the categories, the less people will adopt the new system.

The only other thing I think could make sense would be more subjectively allowing the NHC to apply a "risk number" to categorize them, based on a number of set factors. But the subjectivity that would involve would also open a lot of cans of worms, especially if they got it wrong.

Eh. Just flicking a few thought pennies into the well. Take them for what they're worth.
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Quoting ARiot:


It's not a small data set. It's probably larger than any other modern, developed theory with empirical evidence. None of that science suggests man is the only cause. It suggests man's contribution to climate forces is a significant problem.

Man is hard wired by evolution to fear the tiger in the grass and not necessarily react to the the slower moving forces that will harm him or his offspring 20, 30, 50, 100 years from now. You will see this play out for the rest of your life as we try to adapt to a planted we made significantly warmer.


I'm sorry if I don't understand but I'm speaking of the actual, concrete set of data...not supposed or assumed. Someone on here, quiet respected by most on here as a matter of fact, said just a couple days ago that artic sea ice was at an 8,000 year low...I asked for a link to proof of this statement and got no repley. Also on the other side of the coin those that say man isn't contributing to his own struggles with climate is equally as misleading with the soap boxes they stand on. I wish all of this "hot air" was spent brain storming...coming up with ideas to try, implement, to slow the change...that's my wish for the new year
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Quoting Neapolitan:
That would be nice. The problem is that efforts to "slow or stop the change"--especially in the U.S.--are being fought tooth and nail by forces insistent on maintaining the fossil fuel-only paradigm as long as they can. And those forces, via their very deep pockets, have so far managed to convince a large-enough group of policymakers that change isn't happening. And thus we find ourselves at a standstill: science vs. ideology; common sense vs. hundreds of billions in annual profits. Right vs. (very) wrong.


and, I fear, it's irresolvable...Jeff Masters has said he thinks it's gonna take some sorta huge, catastrophic event to convince the deniers....I think he's wrong...the deniers will deny right up to the point they're taking their last breath, standing on tippy toes,,,before they start swallowing sea water...it's intractable, at this point...
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Quoting sar2401:

This is from someone who had to evacuate people for more than 20 years. A mandatory evacuation sounds good, but it doesn't work. What happens if a person refuses to leave? I can then arrest him. How about his whole family? I can arrest them too, although now I need three or four more deputies, since I only carry two pairs of cuffs. That's assuming they don't fight me. Then I have to taser them, write up a whole bunch of reports, and need another couple of duputies if we get more people fighting us. Then we have to transport them and book them into the country jail. Where do we get the deputies needed to do that? Who's telling everyone to get out if we have deputies tied up arresting whole neighborhoods?

From experience, I can tell you this doesn't work. What does work, and works really well, is handing out notices saying that, at "X" time, your power and gas is going to be turned off as part of public safety measures pre-planned for a storm. Let people know that they are on their own when it comes to being cold (or hot) because they'll have no power, they won't have any lights or TV, the internet probably won't work, and they'll have no gas for cooking. Also give each household a big Sharpie and have them write their social security number on their arms, so it will be easier to identify their remains once we are able to get back in and search the area.

I guarantee you that the vast majority of people would have left with those simple steps. The ones who stay behind after they know what's coming may die. That's the way nature works.


I dont know about other states but NC implemented a directive that if you choose to stay in a mandatory evacuation zone that you would be fine $1000.00..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16212
Quoting SarasotaToo:
Echoing someone on CNN who chose to stay during a mandatory evacuation in Breezy Point NY, 'mandatory should be mandatory'....As Americans, we abhor the loss of choice but it's unthinkable to endanger the lives of first responders....

This is from someone who had to evacuate people for more than 20 years. A mandatory evacuation sounds good, but it doesn't work. What happens if a person refuses to leave? I can then arrest him. How about his whole family? I can arrest them too, although now I need three or four more deputies, since I only carry two pairs of cuffs. That's assuming they don't fight me. Then I have to taser them, write up a whole bunch of reports, and need another couple of deputies if we get more people fighting us. Then we have to transport them and book them into the country jail. Where do we get the deputies needed to do that? Who's telling everyone to get out if we have deputies tied up arresting whole neighborhoods?

From experience, I can tell you this doesn't work. What does work, and works really well, is handing out notices saying that, at "X" time, your power and gas is going to be turned off as part of public safety measures pre-planned for a storm. Let people know that they are on their own when it comes to being cold (or hot) because they'll have no power, they won't have any lights or TV, the internet probably won't work, and they'll have no gas for cooking. Also give each household a big Sharpie and have them write their social security number on their arms, so it will be easier to identify their remains once we are able to get back in and search the area.

I guarantee you that the vast majority of people would have left with those simple steps. The ones who stay behind after they know what's coming may die. That's the way nature works.
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LOL..for real??


No prank: US military forces train for zombie apocalypse
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16212
Quoting StormPro:

I wish the energy wasted on arguing ones side was placed into efforts to slow or stop the change
That would be nice. The problem is that efforts to "slow or stop the change"--especially in the U.S.--are being fought tooth and nail by forces insistent on maintaining the fossil fuel-only paradigm as long as they can. And those forces, via their very deep pockets, have so far managed to convince a large-enough group of policymakers that change isn't happening. And thus we find ourselves at a standstill: science vs. ideology; common sense vs. hundreds of billions in annual profits. Right vs. (very) wrong.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13729
757. ARiot
Quoting StormPro:




Excellent. I am not a denier but I think with the small data set we have it is impossible to point to man as the biggest or only cause. I wish the energy wasted on arguing ones side was placed into efforts to slow or stop the change


It's not a small data set. It's probably larger than any other modern, developed theory with empirical evidence. None of that science suggests man is the only cause. It suggests man's contribution to climate forces is a significant problem.

Man is hard wired by evolution to fear the tiger in the grass and not necessarily react to the the slower moving forces that will harm him or his offspring 20, 30, 50, 100 years from now. You will see this play out for the rest of your life as we try to adapt to a planted we made significantly warmer.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
No hurricane warning was needed because it wasn't expected to be a hurricane at landfall. This was accurate. However, hurricane force winds were experienced by many people before it made landfall and while it was tropical.

It matters little though, because the message was communicated the same, and the media helped hype it up. One of the rare times an event almost lives up to media hype.


No, I don't think so. True, the media was hyping a superstorm. However, the media did not tell the people what they can expect. (Actually the media did not know on theirselves). And, what actually is a superstorm? I cannot find a definition for such a term, neither in Wikipedia neither in John E. Oliver's "Encyclopedia of World Climatology".

On the other hand, the RA IV Hurricane Operational Plan says, a hurricane warning is a warning that one or both of the following dangerous effects of a hurricane are expected in a specified area: (a) average winds 118 km/h (74 mph) (64 knots) or higher; (b) dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves, even though winds expected may be less than hurricane force. The warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. and similar a tropical storm warning, except that that is a warning that tropical storm conditions, sustained
winds within the range 63-117 km/h (39-73 mph) (34-63 knots) are expected in the specified area within 36 hours or less.
(Watches are basically the same except for they're issued 48 hours in advance.) No word on landfall, intensity at landfall ore expected extratropical transitation. The manual also states that it is not recommended to step down warnings; I am concluding on this provision that it is fair to leave on a hurricane or tropical storm warning even after extratropical transition.

Given that, not issuing hurricane warnings was a probably life-costing wrong-doing.
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I had always thought the gulf of mexico, because of its shape was one HUGE impact crater..guess it wasnt...it was caused by the earths plates moving
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
There are those who wish Sandy had never come to them. Who wish none of this had happened.

But so do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world besides the will of evil. And that is an encouraging thought.

-plagiarized :D
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Quoting presslord:
Cuba has a VERY effective pre-disaster relocation protocol...they stick a gun in your face and say "Get on the bus...or we'll kill your ass!" Works like a charm...
press....Did you know the Cubans can re-engineer a 1956 Chevy and drive it to Key West?
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Please if anyone did not know the dimensions in all respect of this storm at least 5 days before, if you were in a cave 3 days before you have had to been in denial. Which if you look at any general topic of discussion today, it is if it doesn't or hasn't affected me I don't want to hear about it. Good luck and carry on my wayward son.
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Quoting presslord:


yea...and YOU reposted it...makes sense...



I guess you should have said "Keel" lol
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Largo, I was pinpointing the winds also, because of the 4 hurricanes I have been through the winds were the issue, not the water, But that's on the east coast of Florida


I'm on the west coast and I also concentrate on wind. GOM would not produce the higher storm surges we saw from Sandy, as the GOM is alot more shallow than the Atlantic.

BTW, love your avy! :)
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


Media is bi-polar sometimes. For the last few years they rarely talk about climate change. Then an event happens and they freak out, talking about climate change too much. That provides the perception that scientists/media/whomever believe that a single event was somehow caused by climate change. This is not true. It is also not true to say that today's weather is not related to climate change.

We need to put the breaks on this sensationalist "Was Sandy caused by climate change?" talk and focus on what the science of climate actually tells us: Sandy-like disasters may increase in severity and frequency, and flood/drought disasters are expected to increase in severity and frequency. This increase will cost money and lives that would not have been lost were the climate change not to occur.

On the other hand, we need to really think twice about criticizing the timing for addressing this issue. When else will it be addressed? We've had years - if not - decades of knowing what was in store before it started becoming part of the observations instead of just the forecasts, and did little-to-nothing. Unfortunately, that's the way it works sometimes... takes a big event to motivate people to do the thing they wouldn't be pro-active about in the first place.




Excellent. I am not a denier but I think with the small data set we have it is impossible to point to man as the biggest or only cause. I wish the energy wasted on arguing ones side was placed into efforts to slow or stop the change
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Quoting presslord:
Cuba has a VERY effective pre-disaster relocation protocol...they stick a gun in your face and say "Get on the bus...or we'll kill your ass!" Works like a charm...

Yup, that's the other side of the coin....:)

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Quoting Tazmanian:




reported watch how you say thing plzs


yea...and YOU reposted it...makes sense...
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
.
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Cuba has a VERY effective pre-disaster relocation protocol...they stick a gun in your face and say "Get on the bus...or we'll kill your ass!" Works like a charm...
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Nam at 24 hours,hits NYC then moves off the coast in 48 hours
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
Quoting opal92nwf:
It's funny, becuase on Monday night/Tuesday morning here in the Panhandle of Florida we were freezing our buns off as temperatures dropped into the upper 30's, while the Mid-Atlantic was having a HURRICANE!!!! So much for Florida being hurricane central these past seven years. (we could barely get a cat 1 in the Gulf in late August, and now we just had a solid cat 1 hit New Jersey in late October!)
yes sure was an odd week alright
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
It's funny, becuase on Monday night/Tuesday morning here in the Panhandle of Florida we were freezing our buns off as temperatures dropped into the upper 30's, while the Mid-Atlantic was having a HURRICANE!!!! So much for Florida being hurricane central these past seven years. (we could barely get a cat 1 in the Gulf in late August, and now we just had a solid cat 1 hit New Jersey in late October!)
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Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
gro..Low coming down from the great lakes.......
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
Quoting Grothar:
A very strong low is expected to develop in the far eastern Atlantic.





Looks like a low is already there.

GOES East Loop
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
we had a hurricane hit here gaes ago..cut right thru the barrier islands..made johns pass..then went UP the Bay..pushing all the bay water in front of it..my county is a coastal county, water on 3 sides..my county was 3/4's submerged..i checked that in the records before i bought this house back in the 80's..where my house is..didnt flood..so i bought it...but..suppose an even stronger hurricane did the same thing..whew..alot of IF's in our lives huh
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
A very strong low is expected to develop in the far eastern Atlantic.



Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27078
Quoting Progster:


Well, I think there's an argument for making the immediate coastline parkland. The emergency response will probably cost as much as paying for those properties several times over...so in a way we've bought that beach already. I think a lot of people would be open to expropriation at a reasonable price now. It would save a lot of misery in the future.
I sure would like to see that happen
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
Just to show you just HOW caught off guard officals were..even the Mayor of NYC didnt order evacs until the day before..remember?..two days before he was saying im not ordering evacs..then later changed his mind..they had no idea what was coming, maybe it will turn away..maybe it will weaken..evacs cost sooo much money and lost work hours etc..yes a lesson has been taught..never never..try to second guess..ole mother nature
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
Quoting LargoFl:
now THat is a great idea..plow all that rubble away and make parkland..open land..........wont happen though,people want that ocean view and in years to come..this happens all over again


Well, I think there's an argument for making the immediate coastline parkland. The emergency response will probably cost as much as paying for those properties several times over...so in a way we've bought that beach already. I think a lot of people would be open to expropriation at a reasonable price now. It would save a lot of misery in the future.
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Quoting Grothar:
The EMCWF is also showing a strong low in a similar time period but further east.

yes saw that yesterday on most of the models..even the Nam has it..but i think i saw it came down from the great lakes, not from the tropics
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
Quoting Progster:


No seawall required...just build back and open up all that beautiful coastline to the public. It shouldn't belong to anyone anyway.
now THat is a great idea..plow all that rubble away and make parkland..open land..........wont happen though,people want that ocean view and in years to come..this happens all over again
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Sarasota, I think also that people have worked hard all of their life to purchase the American dreams, house, car, beautiful neighborhood, security, wonderful life for their family, and they have in their mind they will protect it at all costs, sometimes "all costs" may be their life. Sad to say

I agree with you. It's a pitiful position to be faced with...I'm thinking that the option should be removed from the individual as emotion clouds judgement.....I don't know but perhaps the policy needs to be revamped.....
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Quoting LargoFl:
Human nature is funny..we all SEE the vast destruction from the water coming in huh....yet..2-3-4 years from now..the states want to erect a 15-20 foot seawall all along the whole northeast coastline.just step back and you can hear the HOWLS of rage..dont you DARE..block my view of the ocean..just my opinion but..deep inside you know im right..people..humans dont learn..animals do, bet there wasnt a dog or cat anywhere near when that storm came in, or if they were they were stopped by humans


No seawall required...just build back and open up all that beautiful coastline to the public. It shouldn't belong to anyone anyway.
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The EMCWF is also showing a strong low in a similar time period but further east.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27078
Quoting StormPro:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/31/dems-t ry -to-push-climate-change-issue-in-wake-sandy-but-so me-scientists/#

OK...crucify me...but its a NOAA scientist and a good article about the intellectual struggle that this presents


Media is bi-polar sometimes. For the last few years they rarely talk about climate change. Then an event happens and they freak out, talking about climate change too much. That provides the perception that scientists/media/whomever believe that a single event was somehow caused by climate change. This is not true. It is also not true to say that today's weather is not related to climate change.

We need to put the breaks on this sensationalist "Was Sandy caused by climate change?" talk and focus on what the science of climate actually tells us: Sandy-like disasters may increase in severity and frequency, and flood/drought disasters are expected to increase in severity and frequency. This increase will cost money and lives that would not have been lost were the climate change not to occur.

On the other hand, we need to really think twice about criticizing the timing for addressing this issue. When else will it be addressed? We've had years - if not decades - of knowing what was in store before it started becoming part of the observations instead of just the forecasts, and did little-to-nothing. Unfortunately, that's the way it works sometimes... takes a big event to motivate people to do the thing they wouldn't be pro-active about in the first place.
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Quoting NEwxguy:
I saw a few bloggers that kept saying this storm was being overhyped, I think it was underhyped or better way of putting it hyped in the wrong way. the average person out there has no concept of storm surge.You tell them there is going to be a 6 to 8 ft storm surge,they have no idea what that means as far as impact on the shore and what that amount of water can do.
Broadcasters should have had someone on the tv explaining what a storm surge will do and the effects of such an event and why people need to get out.Instead of showing the shoreline and the how conditions are going downhill,how about showing what he effects will do,but thats not entertaining enough,its better to show a reporter standing out in the conditions,being blow around.We do a lousy job of alerting the public on what may happen when it hits.
In a way I agree with this, and in a way I don't.

Yes, the general public and even local government elected officials, heads of business and heads of public institutions fall into the "don't understand storm surge" category. For example, wonder how many people understood the forecasted 6-11 feet of surge would come in on top of a roughly 5 foot high tide, raising the total surge-tide to 11-16 feet for Long Island, NY Harbor and... I don't remember off the top of my head how far along the NJ coast this forecasted height went.

Protecting the public is not entirely the job of forecasters and the media. Every level of government has an Emergency Manager, one aspect of whose job it is to understand possible effects of weather and interpret this to government officials. Only had we been behind closed doors would we know what discussions took place at State and local jurisdictions as those responsible for evacuation orders considered the oncoming storm(s). Business leaders and heads of schools and hospitals might pay better attention and err on the side of caution.

In a perfect world, everyone would be on the same page. Perhaps one day forecasters, media, business and institutions, state and local government will be, but I question members of the general public can ever be protected from themselves.
Quoting NEwxguy:
Ok,I've said my piece,and not 180 degree change from my quote,more of a 90 degree change,still think the media wastes way too much time showing us the conditions rather then educating the public.Glad to hear your neighbors are up on surges,but I still think an enormous amount of people are ignorant of the what storms and storm surge can do to a coastline.
Yes. And the media is one place they can be educated. Real life has unfortunately educated millions in the past couple days.
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Quoting SarasotaToo:
Echoing someone on CNN who chose to stay during a mandatory evacuation in Breezy Point NY, 'mandatory should be mandatory'....As Americans, we abhor the loss of choice but it's unthinkable to endanger the lives of first responders....
Sarasota, I think also that people have worked hard all of their life to purchase the American dreams, house, car, beautiful neighborhood, security, wonderful life for their family, and they have in their mind they will protect it at all costs, sometimes "all costs" may be their life. Sad to say
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Largo, I am less than 100 yards from the Intracoastal, never had a problem with water
..yep..neither did those folks up there..until now huh..gee
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
Quoting Grothar:
The GFS long range model is still showing a very strong low in the NE next week.




bad timing....not the model, but the storm.
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Quoting Evan3457:
Have been reading for a few years. Never joined or posted until after Sandy. Live in Brooklyn in flood zone B, so didn't evacuate. Flood Zone A ends about 1/2 mile from my house. Flood waters got within about 1/10th mile south of my building Monday night. Zone B supposed to be flooded only in Cat 2 storms or above. Not surprised all of zone A was flooded as Sandy was strong cat 1 on landfall. Large windfield effect and sheer size of storm accounts for partial flooding of zone B.

My confusion is that new scale showing surge threat a 5.6 or 5.8 out of 6. If that's right, shouldn't all of zone B flooded, and also some of zone C? I was reading here and those numbers scared me, yet evacuating B was never even mentioned. How valid is that new scale? Is it experimental? Will it be revised after Sandy?


I am not certain, but I believe as the index is related to the storm speed, its intensity, the size of the radius of maximum winds, radius of the total wind fields, the angle of the track relative to the coastline, the physical characteristics of the coastline and the bathymetry of the water offshore, then the index is probably not a linear measure, but rather exponential. So there may be a big difference between a 5.6 and a 5.9, especially if the index has been converted into a probability distribution. Perhaps another blogger knows the real calculation mechanics.
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Human nature is funny..we all SEE the vast destruction from the water coming in huh....yet..2-3-4 years from now..the states want to erect a 15-20 foot seawall all along the whole northeast coastline.just step back and you can hear the HOWLS of rage..dont you DARE..block my view of the ocean..just my opinion but..deep inside you know im right..people..humans dont learn..animals do, bet there wasnt a dog or cat anywhere near when that storm came in, or if they were they were stopped by humans
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41628
The GFS long range model is still showing a very strong low in the NE next week.


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27078
Echoing someone on CNN who chose to stay during a mandatory evacuation in Breezy Point NY, 'mandatory should be mandatory'....As Americans, we abhor the loss of choice but it's unthinkable to endanger the lives of first responders....
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Quoting LargoFl:
yes i think we are programmed to look for the winds over the years huh..after sandy im going to stop doing that lol..im 40 feet above sea level and 4 miles from the coast..im not so sure..given high winds, that im as safe as i used to think i am....sandy was a wake up call and a huge Lesson for all of us huh
Largo, I am less than 100 yards from the Intracoastal, never had a problem with water
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I'd like to see signs put up in the areas impacted by Sandy's storm surge which indicate the height of the water at it's peak.. this would be a great reminder to folks in the area when faced with another potential surge event. This shouldn't be too expensive and would be a good reality check for the locals...
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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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