Hurricane Sandy's huge size: freak of nature or climate change?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:10 PM GMT on November 13, 2012

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Hurricane Sandy was truly astounding in its size and power. At its peak size, twenty hours before landfall, Sandy had tropical storm-force winds that covered an area nearly one-fifth the area of the contiguous United States. Since detailed records of hurricane size began in 1988, only one tropical storm (Olga of 2001) has had a larger area of tropical storm-force winds, and no hurricanes has. Sandy's area of ocean with twelve-foot seas peaked at 1.4 million square miles--nearly one-half the area of the contiguous United States, or 1% of Earth's total ocean area. Most incredibly, ten hours before landfall (9:30 am EDT October 30), the total energy of Sandy's winds of tropical storm-force and higher peaked at 329 terajoules--the highest value for any Atlantic hurricane since at least 1969. This is 2.7 times higher than Katrina's peak energy, and is equivalent to five Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. At landfall, Sandy's tropical storm-force winds spanned 943 miles of the the U.S. coast. No hurricane on record has been wider; the previous record holder was Hurricane Igor of 2010, which was 863 miles in diameter. Sandy's huge size prompted high wind warnings to be posted from Chicago to Eastern Maine, and from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Florida's Lake Okeechobee--an area home to 120 million people. Sandy's winds simultaneously caused damage to buildings on the shores of Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and toppled power lines in Nova Scotia, Canada--locations 1200 miles apart!

Largest Atlantic tropical cyclones for area covered by tropical storm-force winds:

Olga, 2001: 780,000 square miles
Sandy, 2012: 560,000 square miles
Lili, 1996: 550,000 square miles
Igor, 2010: 550,000 square miles
Karl, 2004: 430,000 square miles



Figure 1. Hurricane Sandy’s winds (top), on October 28, 2012, when Sandy was a Category 1 hurricane with top winds of 75 mph (this ocean surface wind data is from a radar scatterometer on the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Oceansat-2.) Hurricane Katrina’s winds (bottom) on August 28, 2005, when Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane with top winds of 175 mph (data taken by a radar scatterometer on NASA’s defunct QuickSCAT satellite.) In both maps, wind speeds above 65 kilometers (40 miles) per hour are yellow; above 80 kph (50 mph) are orange; and above 95 kph (60 mph) are dark red. The most noticeable difference is the extent of the strong wind fields. For Katrina, winds over 65 kilometers per hour stretched about 500 kilometers (300 miles) from edge to edge. For Sandy, winds of that intensity spanned an region of ocean three times as great--1,500 kilometers (900 miles). Katrina was able to generate a record-height storm surge over a small area of the Mississippi coast. Sandy generated a lower but highly destructive storm surge over a much larger area, due to the storm's weaker winds but much larger size. Image credit: NASA.

How did Sandy get so big?
We understand fairly well what controls the peak strength of a hurricane's winds, but have a poor understanding of why some hurricanes get large and others stay small. A number of factors probably worked together to create a "prefect storm" situation that allowed Sandy to grow so large, and we also must acknowledge that climate change could have played a role. Here are some possible reasons why Sandy grew so large:

1) Initial size of the disturbance that became Sandy was large
Sandy formed from an African tropical wave that interacted with a large area of low pressure that covered most of the Central Caribbean. Rotunno and Emanuel (1987) found that hurricanes that form from large initial tropical disturbances like Sandy did tend to end up large in size.


Figure 2. The initial disturbance that spawned Sandy, seen here on October 20, 2012, was quite large.

2) High relative humidity in Sandy's genesis region
The amount of moisture in the atmosphere may play an important role in how large a hurricane gets (Hill and Lackmann, 2009.) Sandy was spawned in the Caribbean in a region where the relative humidity was near 70%. This is the highest humidity we saw during 2012 during the formation of any Atlantic hurricane.

3) Passage over Cuba
Sandy struck Cuba as an intensifying Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. While the core of the storm was over Cuba, it was cut off from the warm ocean waters surrounding Cuba. Most of Sandy's large circulation was still over the ocean, though, and the energy the storm was able to extract from the ocean went into intensifying the spiral bands over water. When Sandy's core re-emerged over water, the hurricane now had spiral bands with heavier thunderstorm activity as a result of the extra energy pumped into the outer portion of the storm during the eye's passage over land. This extra energy in the outer portions of Sandy may have enabled it to expand in size later.

4) Interaction with a trough of low pressure over the Bahamas
As Sandy passed through the Bahamas on October 25, the storm encountered strong upper-level winds associated with a trough of low pressure to the west. These winds created high wind shear that helped weaken Sandy and destroy the eyewall. However, Sandy compensated by spreading out its tropical storm-force winds over a much wider area. Between 15 and 21 UTC on October 25, Sandy's area of tropical storm-force winds increased by more than a factor of two.

5) Leveraging of the Earth's spin
As storms move towards Earth's poles, they acquire more spin, since Earth's rotation works to put more vertical spin into the atmosphere the closer one gets to the pole. This extra spin helps storms grow larger, and we commonly see hurricanes grow in size as they move northwards.

6) Interaction with a trough of low pressure at landfall
As Sandy approached landfall in New Jersey, it encountered an extratropical low pressure system to its west. This extratropical storm began pumping cold air aloft into the hurricane, which converted Sandy into an extratropical low pressure system, or "Nor'easter". The nature of extratropical storms is to have a much larger area with strong winds than a hurricane does, since extratropical storms derive their energy from the atmosphere along a frontal boundary that is typically many hundreds of miles long. Thus, as Sandy made landfall, the hurricane's strongest winds spread out over a larger area, causing damage from Indiana to Nova Scotia.

Are we likely to see more such storms in the future?
Global warming theory (Emanuel, 2005) predicts that a 2°C (3.6°F) increase in ocean temperatures should cause an increase in the peak winds of the strongest hurricanes of about about 10%. Furthermore, warmer ocean temperatures are expected to cause hurricanes to dump 20% more rain in their cores by the year 2100, according to computer modeling studies (Knutson et al., 2010). However, there has been no published work describing how hurricane size may change with warmer oceans in a future climate. We've seen an unusual number of Atlantic hurricanes with large size in recent years, but we currently have no theoretical or computer modeling simulations that can explain why this is so, or if we might see more storms like this in the future. However, we've seen significant and unprecedented changes to our atmosphere in recent decades, due to our emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide. The laws of physics demand that the atmosphere must respond. Atmospheric circulation patterns that control extreme weather events must change, and we should expect extreme storms to change in character, frequency, and intensity as a result--and not always in the ways our computer models may predict. We have pushed our climate system to a fundamentally new, higher-energy state where more heat and moisture is available to power stronger storms, and we should be concerned about the possibility that Hurricane Sandy's freak size and power were partially due to human-caused climate change.

References
Emanuel, K. (2005). Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature, 436(7051), 686-688.

Hill, Kevin A., and Gary M. Lackmann (2009), "Influence of environmental humidity on tropical cyclone size," Monthly Weather Review 137.10 (2009): 3294-3315.

Knutson, T. R., McBride, J. L., Chan, J., Emanuel, K., Holland, G., Landsea, C., ... & Sugi, M. (2010). Tropical cyclones and climate change. Nature Geoscience, 3(3), 157-163.

Rotunno, R., & Emanuel, K. A. (1987). An air–sea interaction theory for tropical cyclones. Part II: Evolutionary study using a nonhydrostatic axisymmetric numerical model. J. Atmos. Sci, 44(3), 542-561.

The Atlantic is quiet, but a Nor'easter expected next week
The Atlantic is quiet, with no threat areas to discuss. An area of low pressure is predicted to develop just north of Bermuda on Wednesday, and the GFS model predicts that this low could become a subtropical cyclone as moves north-northeastwards out to sea late in the week.

The long-range models are in increasing agreement that a Nor'easter will develop near the North Carolina coast on Sunday, then move north to northeastwards early next week. High winds, heavy rain, and coastal flooding could affect the mid-Atlantic coast and New England coasts next Monday and Tuesday due to this storm, but it appears likely that the Nor'easter will stay farther out to sea than the last Nor'easter and have less of an impact on the region devastated by Sandy. Ocean temperatures off the coast of North Carolina were cooled by about 4°F (2.2°C) due to the churning action of Hurricane Sandy's winds, but are still warm enough at 22 - 24°C to potentially allow the Nor'easter to acquire some subtropical characteristics. I doubt the storm would be able to become a named subtropical storm, but it could have an unusual amount of heavy rain if it does become partially tropical. The Nor'easter is still a long ways in the future, and there is still a lot of uncertainty on where the storm might go.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting overwash12:
So,All the storms throughout history that raked the Eastcoast of the U.S.(and there have been some real doosies) were just natural weather patterns. Now they are all attributed to Climate Change! Interesting!


Quoting ncstorm:


You got it..

now head to the table with all the cherry flavored koolaid and ask your question again..be sure to drink it fast without thinking..


lol

Nea, do you have me on ignore????
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
Quoting PensacolaDoug:


Maybe you oughta stop pretending to be a metoerologist.
Meteorologist*.

Also, that comment at me was quite uncalled for. Why don't you grow up and start acting your age instead of resulting to petty insults? I could report you, but I won't. I'll be the better man and just laugh at you.
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

Nope. Not gonna throw you under the bus. Don't have too. I can care less about who you plus or not, especially if it's Neapolitan or Xyrus or anyone with an green energy agenda or just anyone else. You write what you want. But it does reflect on you, no? Why would you need my permission?
Then why quote me and make specific mention of it...find another hobby.
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#754:



wikipedia puts it well
:

"...to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition."
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520

Quoting luvtogolf:
Interesting comments pulled from an article from Joe Bastardi regarding Sandy.


In that same interview, Joe Bastardi, a noted meteorologist and former Accuweather forecaster who now co-leads long range forecasting at WeatherBell Analytics, challenged Gore’s claims. Bastardi has been critical of similar claims in the past, so I reached out to him to get his take on some of the claims in Monday’s Huffington Post article. He points out that we are instead seeing weather history repeat itself, and poses an important question to activists pointing to Sandy as “overwhelming evidence” of global warming as its cause:

“Was it global warming in the 1950’s when the East Coast was consistently devastated by hurricanes more powerful than Sandy?”

The following is Bastardi’s response in its entirety.

The idea that the devastation from Sandy was caused by global warming is wrong for many reasons. Those pushing this agenda are ignoring meteorological history, or purposefully leaving it out of the discussion. On top of the fact that we have seen much stronger storms hit these areas before with more frequency, the premise of the argument lacks credence because global temperatures have not increased since the late 1990’s.

Anthropogenic global warming activists claim that all extreme weather events are somehow related to “global warming,” which has been re-termed “climate change” since global temperatures are no longer warming. The FACT remains that global tropical activity, which can be measured using the ACE Index (Accumulated Cyclone Energy), is near record lows according to peer-reviewed research and even the most recent UN IPCC Special Report on Extremes (SREX 2012).

But one cannot simply equate global conditions with regional weather events, which is a cornerstone of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) arguments. We are seeing increased tropical activity in the Atlantic because we are in a warm phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). We are seeing decreased tropical activity in the Pacific because we are in cold phase of the Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation (PDO). This SAME situation occurred in the 1950s, when numerous major hurricanes hit the Eastern Seaboard (Carolinas and North) from 1954-1960.

There was far less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during that time period and we saw far more destructive hurricanes hit the Northeast. Keep in mind that major hurricanes are defined as having sustained winds greater than 115mph. Hurricane Sandy at its strongest had sustained winds of 90mph.

In 1954, Hurricanes Carol, Edna and Hazel -- all major hurricanes -- hit the US East Coast. Carol drove ten feet of water into Providence, Rhode Island. Eleven days later, Edna bisected Cape Cod as a major hurricane. Hazel hit the Carolinas with 140 mph winds on Oct 15th 1954 in a pattern that captured the hurricane and sent her NNW all the way to Toronto, where hurricane force winds were still being recorded. In 1960, Hurricane Donna made landfall in New England after devastating Florida and Carolinas. Donna delivered hurricane force winds to every state along the East Coast.

Hurricane Sandy generated record flooding in NYC and NJ because the storm’s track was optimal for generating storm surge in those areas, not because of global warming. However, we have seen far stronger storms impact the Northeast and generate unimaginable storm surges that dwarf the surge of Sandy. Sandy did not generate record surges in Rhode Island and the eastern end of Long Island. The Great 1938 hurricane, nicknamed the Long Island Express, sent what was said to be a 50 foot wall of water over the Hamptons and a 30 foot storm surge up Narragansett Bay, which put Providence, RI under 13 feet of water. Sustained winds of 121 mph were recorded at Blue Hill, Massachusetts with gusts to 186 mph. If the track had been a bit further west, a landfall near JFK airport, 20 feet of water would have surged over the battery!

In 2006 when the Pacific turned cold, I hypothesized that we would see more hurricane landfalls on the East Coast. We are in a climate pattern similar to the 1950’s and can expect to see more storms like Irene and Sandy until the Atlantic cycles back into its cold phase. The AMO flipped warm in 1995 and we can expect to see the AMO flip cold in about ten years. Dr. William Gray of Colorado State forecasted back in the 1970’s that when the AMO flipped warm, the US Coastline would be much more vulnerable.

Sadly, AGW activists ignore that history is repeating itself. Was it global warming in the 1950’s when the East Coast was consistently devastated by hurricanes more powerful than Sandy? How do they account for the fact that Earth’s temperatures have not been increasing while CO2 continues to rise? Despite reduced global tropical activity, the fact remains that over the next decade, we should expect to see more storms like Sandy, and possibly stronger. Property damage will be catastrophic if we continue to see hurricanes like we did in the 1950’s.

It is imperative that the public knows and understands what has happened before, and not simply accept as fact the word of people who won’t tell you how violent the weather was the last time we were in this cycle.

I feel the best way to counter distortions about the present and future is to bring up the facts of the past. Knowledge of what hurricanes have done in the last climate cycle similar to this one can debunk an argument that is based on an agenda that is being pushed by Al Gore, among others.
Bastardi needs to stop pretending to be a climatologist.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Apparently flooding in some neighborhoods in and around Laplace was comparable to Katrina. That being said, Isaac's areal damage was much more localized, and I'm still of the opinion that it doesn't merit retirement. Sandy is a different kettle of fish.

ETA: Though if you were talking about size, then yes, we can add Isaac to the growing list of unusually larger Atlantic tropical cyclones.
let the last veteran I rest in peace.;)
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Interesting comments pulled from an article from Joe Bastardi regarding Sandy.


In that same interview, Joe Bastardi, a noted meteorologist and former Accuweather forecaster who now co-leads long range forecasting at WeatherBell Analytics, challenged Gore’s claims. Bastardi has been critical of similar claims in the past, so I reached out to him to get his take on some of the claims in Monday’s Huffington Post article. He points out that we are instead seeing weather history repeat itself, and poses an important question to activists pointing to Sandy as “overwhelming evidence” of global warming as its cause:

“Was it global warming in the 1950’s when the East Coast was consistently devastated by hurricanes more powerful than Sandy?”

The following is Bastardi’s response in its entirety.

The idea that the devastation from Sandy was caused by global warming is wrong for many reasons. Those pushing this agenda are ignoring meteorological history, or purposefully leaving it out of the discussion. On top of the fact that we have seen much stronger storms hit these areas before with more frequency, the premise of the argument lacks credence because global temperatures have not increased since the late 1990’s.

Anthropogenic global warming activists claim that all extreme weather events are somehow related to “global warming,” which has been re-termed “climate change” since global temperatures are no longer warming. The FACT remains that global tropical activity, which can be measured using the ACE Index (Accumulated Cyclone Energy), is near record lows according to peer-reviewed research and even the most recent UN IPCC Special Report on Extremes (SREX 2012).

But one cannot simply equate global conditions with regional weather events, which is a cornerstone of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) arguments. We are seeing increased tropical activity in the Atlantic because we are in a warm phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). We are seeing decreased tropical activity in the Pacific because we are in cold phase of the Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation (PDO). This SAME situation occurred in the 1950s, when numerous major hurricanes hit the Eastern Seaboard (Carolinas and North) from 1954-1960.

There was far less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during that time period and we saw far more destructive hurricanes hit the Northeast. Keep in mind that major hurricanes are defined as having sustained winds greater than 115mph. Hurricane Sandy at its strongest had sustained winds of 90mph.

In 1954, Hurricanes Carol, Edna and Hazel -- all major hurricanes -- hit the US East Coast. Carol drove ten feet of water into Providence, Rhode Island. Eleven days later, Edna bisected Cape Cod as a major hurricane. Hazel hit the Carolinas with 140 mph winds on Oct 15th 1954 in a pattern that captured the hurricane and sent her NNW all the way to Toronto, where hurricane force winds were still being recorded. In 1960, Hurricane Donna made landfall in New England after devastating Florida and Carolinas. Donna delivered hurricane force winds to every state along the East Coast.

Hurricane Sandy generated record flooding in NYC and NJ because the storm’s track was optimal for generating storm surge in those areas, not because of global warming. However, we have seen far stronger storms impact the Northeast and generate unimaginable storm surges that dwarf the surge of Sandy. Sandy did not generate record surges in Rhode Island and the eastern end of Long Island. The Great 1938 hurricane, nicknamed the Long Island Express, sent what was said to be a 50 foot wall of water over the Hamptons and a 30 foot storm surge up Narragansett Bay, which put Providence, RI under 13 feet of water. Sustained winds of 121 mph were recorded at Blue Hill, Massachusetts with gusts to 186 mph. If the track had been a bit further west, a landfall near JFK airport, 20 feet of water would have surged over the battery!

In 2006 when the Pacific turned cold, I hypothesized that we would see more hurricane landfalls on the East Coast. We are in a climate pattern similar to the 1950’s and can expect to see more storms like Irene and Sandy until the Atlantic cycles back into its cold phase. The AMO flipped warm in 1995 and we can expect to see the AMO flip cold in about ten years. Dr. William Gray of Colorado State forecasted back in the 1970’s that when the AMO flipped warm, the US Coastline would be much more vulnerable.

Sadly, AGW activists ignore that history is repeating itself. Was it global warming in the 1950’s when the East Coast was consistently devastated by hurricanes more powerful than Sandy? How do they account for the fact that Earth’s temperatures have not been increasing while CO2 continues to rise? Despite reduced global tropical activity, the fact remains that over the next decade, we should expect to see more storms like Sandy, and possibly stronger. Property damage will be catastrophic if we continue to see hurricanes like we did in the 1950’s.

It is imperative that the public knows and understands what has happened before, and not simply accept as fact the word of people who won’t tell you how violent the weather was the last time we were in this cycle.

I feel the best way to counter distortions about the present and future is to bring up the facts of the past. Knowledge of what hurricanes have done in the last climate cycle similar to this one can debunk an argument that is based on an agenda that is being pushed by Al Gore, among others.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Does anyone have a feeling that something very bad is going to happen very soon....like within a month?
Maybe its just me....


Anyway...Even the Noreaster on the Euro is lackluster with snowfall amounts so I wouldnt count on too much snow etc.

Not really, it might be just you.
The Nor'easter shouldn't be as strong as the last one too. Still the NE doesn't need another storm to slow progress.
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

For someone who plusses Neapolitan every chance she can get, um, er, I think we know what's going on here.
I plus what I agree with...isn't that what it's for? Or is there some sycophantic handshake I could care less about? Go ahead throw me under the bus.

I come here to learn about meteorology, and tropical weather.

Pardon me for a weak moment in dealing with someone who refused believe that the bible doesn't represent observable, provable phenomenon.

Go ahead throw me under the bus.
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Quoting billburke:
well, the oceans are cooling. too bad too, sea life is undergoing massive changes as a result, the once and future gulf stream..........ocean currents around the globe....well, mum is the word I suppose, not to hard to figure a reason why it is kept quiet.

I made you your own Wikipedia tag...

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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:



Link


Thank you Mr. Northeyewallneveragain :)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
From Levi:

"I still think the southern and eastern U.S. winter will end up warmer than some are forecasting. The PDO remains solidly negative, which has a more direct influence on the large scale wave pattern in the northern hemisphere than the ENSO does. Even if a weak El Nino holds on, the pattern is more likely to resemble La Nina across North America during the next 3 months. The current National Multi-model Ensemble forecast has progressively become more supportive of this idea since September."
Levi sure likes the PDO. He based a lot of his winter forecast off the PDO last year and did a pretty good job. We'll see how this winter goes.
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Quoting SherwoodSpirit:


I'm pretty sure you just fed a troll with this answer, because the answer is so obvious, and it was such a silly question ("I wanna be prepared" riiiight).
But whatever. Keep fightin' the good fight Neapolitan. :)
Have to commend this guy for his patience with the deniers. I would have been at wits end by now.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
If the earth were rapidly cooling--which it most definitely is not--the one proven method by which we could warm it back up just as rapdily would be to synthesize and pump more than 3.4 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every hour of every day. There's virtually no doubt among scientists that that has, and would, do the trick....


I'm pretty sure you just fed a troll with this answer, because the answer is so obvious, and it was such a silly question ("I wanna be prepared" riiiight).
But whatever. Keep fightin' the good fight Neapolitan. :)
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Quoting aspectre:
iterate or reiterate -- [in this particular usage] repeat for the purpose of emphasis

C'mon guys... within contest, the intended meaning is extremely obvious, and the intended word only slightly less so*.
More than a typo and less than a spoonerism; it ain't as if we all ain't been guilty of a similar mental cross-firing at sometime or another.

* ie The word isn't used often enough in common conversation to be a part of "basic English" in the manner that 'repeat' is.


Sure, lots of times, no doubt -and please, when it happens in something I have written, let me know. Mistakes detract, as well as distract, from an argument (a fact I spent a lot of years trying to get students to take to heart). And if we are having a contest about it, then context will tell. (That was a small, very small joke.)
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Quoting billburke:
well, the oceans are cooling. too bad too, sea life is undergoing massive changes as a result, the once and future gulf stream..........ocean currents around the globe....well, mum is the word I suppose, not to hard to figure a reason why it is kept quiet.


[citation needed]
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Quoting indianrivguy:
684. LargoFl 3:58 PM EST on November 14, 2012

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/11/04/364402 7/nc-coast-a-hot-spot-of-rising.html#storylink=cpy

The link doesn't work, I'd like to read it, and send it a couple places, can ya help please sir?



Link
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well, the oceans are cooling. too bad too, sea life is undergoing massive changes as a result, the once and future gulf stream..........ocean currents around the globe....well, mum is the word I suppose, not to hard to figure a reason why it is kept quiet.
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684. LargoFl 3:58 PM EST on November 14, 2012

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/11/04/364402 7/nc-coast-a-hot-spot-of-rising.html#storylink=cpy

The link doesn't work, I'd like to read it, and send it a couple places, can ya help please sir?
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Quoting islander101010:
isacc was no baby either


Apparently flooding in some neighborhoods in and around Laplace was comparable to Katrina. That being said, Isaac's areal damage was much more localized, and I'm still of the opinion that it doesn't merit retirement. Sandy is a different kettle of fish.

ETA: Though if you were talking about size, then yes, we can add Isaac to the growing list of unusually larger Atlantic tropical cyclones.
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Quoting Xyrus2000:


Only idiots claim that Sandy was "caused" caused by AGW. No legitimate climate scientist would make such a statement. AGW doesn't cause weather, it influences weather.

Don't kid yourself about science. Science did not convince humans to evacuate Staten Island. Plaquemines for Isaac. Bolivar for Ike.


Science is not about convincing anyone of anything. Convincing requires bias, and science is supposed to be impartial. (bf added bold to xyrus words) Science will say, "The likely storm surge will be 12 feet". It is up to the individual ultimately whether or not they will take action on the science. You either listen to it, or you don't. But you better be damn well prepared for the consequences if you don't.

For solving any problem that involves the ever present human factor, a game plan with a view of "Science vs Mythology," will not work. (bf original comment bold)


You're right, because that quickly boils down into faith vs. facts at which point any argument becomes useless. Blind faith will trump facts, as can be seen by those people who refuse to evacuate because "god will protect them".
Faith is fine. But when faith flies in the face of reality, that's when problems begin.
(xyrus original comment bold)


After all, we do have Colleges of Arts and Sciences. If humans are going to fight their way out of this paper bag, they'll need all the brainpower they can get, from both sides of their brains.


You can be creative without bringing in mythology/faith, nor does being a godlss heathen automatically make you Vulcan.



Also, regarding the conversation in comments last night. Whatever words or actions, there are as many different interpretations possible as there are humans on earth. Another example of, let me call it "Humanity," the reason pure science will not work for changing the human condition.


No, but science and facts SHOULD be able to convince people that certain courses of action are better (bf added bold to xyrus words) than ideological onces. Unfortunately, as a species we will probably need a few thousand years more of evolution before that happens.
Wasn't gonna quote you because it makes this comment too dang long. On second, or maybe it was third thought, I decided to.

Where did I mention faith or ideology? I'm talking ways of knowing and understanding the human condition, communicating it and acting to change it. Mythology applies to all insight expressing the human quest that is not science - not just old stories from religion but all insight and non-scientific ways of knowing. In that I would include all arts, literature, music, film and some aspects of the social sciences, the healing arts, mathematics and theoretical physics. Lots more.

With that in mind, think for a minute who and what will have to change depending what goals are set for reducing the human contribution to climate change. Every single state, city, country and dwelling. Worldwide. And all humans living now and in the future. Societies will not change based on science. Societies are made of human beings who by and large don't understand or care to understand science. Other values take precedence, whether it be religion or just plain life experience. e.g. The hurricane evacs. Scientists made forecasts. People were asked to leave but they did not. Simple.

A bridge is needed - one that weaves science and human understanding. Scientists of all disciplines are capable of recognizing that but they're much better at creating new stuff than at communicating with non-scientists.
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isacc was no baby either
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.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
From Levi:

"I still think the southern and eastern U.S. winter will end up warmer than some are forecasting. The PDO remains solidly negative, which has a more direct influence on the large scale wave pattern in the northern hemisphere than the ENSO does. Even if a weak El Nino holds on, the pattern is more likely to resemble La Nina across North America during the next 3 months. The current National Multi-model Ensemble forecast has progressively become more supportive of this idea since September."


Zachary Labe (Blizzard92) has an excellent winter weather blog if you're interested. It's primarily targeted towards the mid-Atlantic/NE however.
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Quoting eyeofbetsy:
I was wondering what the discussions would be if the earth was rapidly cooling.What could we do to reverse it if anything? Doubt we could change the earth's axis or it's orbit around the sun. Any suggestions? I wanna be prepared.
If the earth were rapidly cooling--which it most definitely is not--the one proven method by which we could warm it back up just as rapdily would be to synthesize and pump more than 3.4 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every hour of every day. There's virtually no doubt among scientists that that has, and would, do the trick....
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13803
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Snow all the way to the Outer Banks of NC if that happened, lol.

That would be a change for them but I doubt the Outer Banks will be seeing snow this early.
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From Levi:

"I still think the southern and eastern U.S. winter will end up warmer than some are forecasting. The PDO remains solidly negative, which has a more direct influence on the large scale wave pattern in the northern hemisphere than the ENSO does. Even if a weak El Nino holds on, the pattern is more likely to resemble La Nina across North America during the next 3 months. The current National Multi-model Ensemble forecast has progressively become more supportive of this idea since September."
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Quoting wxchaser97:
I saw this on the WU model map for precip type, 12z GFS run. There looks to be a big high but it is just how the precip worked out. I did not edit this in any way, shape, or form.

Snow all the way to the Outer Banks of NC if that happened, lol.
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This may have been mentioned already, but score one for the GFS as the Euro has now come into line on a well out to sea scenario for next week's storm:

GFS 1 week:



Euro 1 week, not quite as far out to sea as the GFS but much more so than its previous runs:



Assuming there's no surprise shift back this will provide a little redemption for the GFS which was beaten badly by the Euro on the previous Nor'easter, as well as Sandy of course.
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I saw this on the WU model map for precip type, 12z GFS run. There looks to be a big high but it is just how the precip worked out. I did not edit this in any way, shape, or form.
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Glass Box

You know, it's the old glass box at the—
At the gas station,
Where you're using those little things
Trying to pick up the prize,
And you can't find it.
It's—

And it's all these arms are going down in there,
And so you keep dropping it
And picking it up again and moving it,
But—

Some of you are probably too young to remember those—
Those glass boxes,
But—

But they used to have them
At all the gas stations
When I was a kid.
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Check out The Poetry of Donal Rumsfeld.


The Unknown

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
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Quoting Matthias1967:


Everytime I'm reading such numbers I am wondering how much of that could be compensated by storing water in depressions like the Death Valley, the Dead Sea and the like. But I guess, aside of technical and other issues, that nobody ever calculated that.

And yet another thought: How many water nowadays is in the ocean instead of held back somewhere in the native woods? How many litres can hold a grown-up tree? How many cubic kilometres of water are in the Atlantic because in the 19th century in the U.S. many forests had been logged and still are logged in the tropics nowadays. I can't really imagine but it must be big, big numbers.

It is fun to think about orders of magnitude. Here is a graphic showing how water is stored on earth. Biological water is over 1000 cubic kilometers, surely an enormous amount. Compared to my few liters of personal H2O that is indeed a big number, but compared to the total biological water is about .0001 % of the total which is pretty small in comparison, just a drop in the bucket (if that).

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
The 18z GFS brings in a real arctic airmass to the NE late in the run. It's actually been quite consistent in this, but I don't think any runs have shown air as cold as this:






None of the runs have shown that cold of air, but they do bring some arctic air down. Should get interesting in the next couple weeks.
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Courtesy of D Rumsfeld: There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
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The 18z GFS brings in a real arctic airmass to the NE late in the run. It's actually been quite consistent in this, but I don't think any runs have shown air as cold as this:





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Quoting ILwthrfan:


Areas shaded in red would equate to a 1 meter rise in sea level.


Don't forget the tides and waves on top of that.
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Quoting LargoFl:
What if the Greenland Ice Sheet were to completely melt? Sea level would rise by more than 7 m (23 ft) placing most coastal areas and large coastal cities like London and Los Angeles under water.


Everytime I'm reading such numbers I am wondering how much of that could be compensated by storing water in depressions like the Death Valley, the Dead Sea and the like. But I guess, aside of technical and other issues, that nobody ever calculated that.

And yet another thought: How many water nowadays is in the ocean instead of held back somewhere in the native woods? How many litres can hold a grown-up tree? How many cubic kilometres of water are in the Atlantic because in the 19th century in the U.S. many forests had been logged and still are logged in the tropics nowadays. I can't really imagine but it must be big, big numbers.
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I was wondering what the discussions would be if the earth was rapidly cooling.What could we do to reverse it if anything? Doubt we could change the earth's axis or it's orbit around the sun. Any suggestions? I wanna be prepared.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Succession when talking about states leaving the union is completely correct. Don't let others tell you otherwise.
um no, it's definitely secession, as in "a petition to secede from the United States"
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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
105 PM EST WED NOV 14 2012

...COASTAL STORM SANDY SETS SOME NEW RECORDS IN OUR AREA...

ON OCTOBER 29, 2012, COASTAL STORM SANDY SLAMMED INTO THE NEW JERSEY
COAST. A LARGE AND DAMAGING WIND FIELD ACCOMPANIED THIS STORM. A
PEAK WIND GUST TO 68 MPH WAS MEASURED AT THE PHILADELPHIA
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. ACCORDING TO LOCAL RECORDS, THIS GUST IS THE
SEVENTH HIGHEST WIND GUST RECORDED AT THE AIRPORT. BELOW IS A
LISTING, BY RANK, OF THE HISTORIC PEAK WIND GUSTS FOR PHILADELPHIA.


RANK PEAK WIND GUST /MPH/ AND DATE
---- -----------------------------

1 94 MPH ON OCTOBER 15, 1954 /HURRICANE HAZEL/

2 88 MPH ON JULY 14, 1931

3 75 MPH ON JUNE 24, 2010 /THUNDERSTORM/

4 71 MPH ON JUNE 1, 1998

5 /TIE/ 69 MPH ON MAY 28, 2005 /THUNDERSTORM/
69 MPH ON MARCH 18, 1989 /THUNDERSTORM/

*7 68 MPH ON OCTOBER 29, 2012 /COASTAL STORM SANDY/

8 67 MPH ON MAY 8, 1984 /THUNDERSTORM/



...RECORD LOW PRESSURE SET AT PHILADELPHIA DURING COASTAL STORM
SANDY...

AT THE PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, THE PRESSURE DROPPED TO
953 MB AT 932 PM ON OCTOBER 29, 2012. THIS BROKE THE PREVIOUS RECORD
OF 962 MB, WHICH WAS SET DURING THE SUPERSTORM OF MARCH 13, 1993.



...RECORD SETTING STORM TIDE AT THE SANDY HOOK, NJ NOS TIDE SITE
DURING COASTAL STORM SANDY...

PRELIMINARY DATA PRIOR TO POWER BEING LOST, THE SANDY HOOK TIDE GAUGE
RECORDED A LEVEL OF 13.3 FEET MEAN LOWER LOW WATER /MLLW/, WHICH IS
AT LEAST 3.2 FEET HIGHER THAN THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 10.1 FEET SET
DURING HURRICANE DONNA ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1960. FUTURE REVIEW OF THIS
DATA, ONCE IT BECOMES AVAILABLE, WILL PROBABLY REVEAL AN EVEN HIGHER
TIDE DURING MONDAY EVENING OCTOBER 29, 2012.



...RECORD SETTING WAVE HEIGHTS AT BUOY 44065 AND BUOY 44025 THE
EVENING OF OCTOBER 29, 2012 DURING COASTAL STORM SANDY...

WHILE THE OFFICIAL PERIOD OF RECORD IS VERY SHORT FOR BUOY 44065,
DATING BACK TO 2008, THE WAVE HEIGHT OF 32.5 FEET REPORTED AT 850 PM
EDT MONDAY EVENING OCTOBER 29, 2012 AT THIS BUOY, EXCEEDED THE
PREVIOUS RECORD OF 26 FEET SET AT ABOUT 9 AM AUGUST 28, 2011,
ASSOCIATED WITH IRENE. BUOY 44065 IS LOCATED NEAR THE ENTRANCE TO
NEW YORK HARBOR, 15 NAUTICAL MILES SOUTHEAST OF BREEZY POINT, NY.

AT BUOY 44025, THE RECORD 31 FOOT WAVE HEIGHT AT ABOUT 8 PM EDT
MONDAY EVENING OCTOBER 29, 2012, EXCEEDED THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF
30 FEET SET ON DECEMBER 11, 1992. THE PERIOD OF RECORD AT BUOY
44025 BEGAN IN 1975. BUOY 44025 IS LOCATED 30 NAUTICAL MILES SOUTH
OF ISLIP, NY.

BASED ON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED, IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT BOTH
NATIONAL DATA BUOY LOCATIONS NEAREST SANDY HOOK, ACHIEVED A RECENT
RECORD EXTREME SEA STATE ON TOP OF AND PROBABLY VERY CLOSE TO THE
TIME OF THE RECORD STORM TIDE AT SANDY HOOK. ONE CAN INFER FROM THE
DATA THAT THESE WAVE HEIGHTS WERE THE LARGEST SINCE RECORD KEEPING
BEGAN IN THIS PORTION OF THE WESTERN ATLANTIC IN 1975.

$$

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Quoting yoboi:



if we go back to the horse and buggy days the co2 emmisions should go down.....you should be on there side or do you want co2 to rise??


I wonder if Nea would ever put his many many words into action in his local/county area. Actions speak louder than words, right.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
I see it still not safe to come back and post weather related stuff here. I'll be back in a few days to check again. Play nice everyone.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
(And in a hopeful g'night -- I have watched this blog for years before actually commenting here, and a lot of folks have really communicated well on these topics of late. Open communication has been had. People have thought harder. Conclusions have shifted, ideas have been heard, and original thoughts have been rethought -- a topic that was once untouchable is being discussed regularly and largely with respect, with some exceptions, but fewer all the time.

You know, opinions and orifices and all that.

I actually consider the shifts in these conversations on this blog to be a great thing and a good sign for us all.)
Member Since: August 26, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 368
608 LargoFl "WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF ALL THE ICE IN THE WORLD MELTED?...[skipping to]...What if [just] the Greenland Ice Sheet were to completely melt? Sea level would rise by more than 7 m (23 ft) placing most coastal areas and large coastal cities like London and Los Angeles under water.

errm... no. The California coastline consists nearly entirely of steep cliffs or rapidly rising hills with beaches at some of their bases.
The direct effect on the City of LosAngeles would be almost unnoticeable.
The County of LosAngeles would lose major portions of SanPedro-thru-LongBeach along with MarinaDelRey and smaller portions of other beach communities, but that's still far less than 5% of the county's land area.
HOWEVER, significant portions of inland California would become part of the Pacific. The capitol and its suburbs would become segmented into islets within a (new) Sacramento(thruStockton)Bay, and a greatly expanded SaltonSea would occupy a healthy-sized chunk of southeasternCalifornia.
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Quoting hydrus:
This is a really good post...Dont leave..sniffle..


;)

(The lurkers never _actually_ leave. But we do need our beauty rests, from time to time.)
Member Since: August 26, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 368
Thanks Dr. Masters! :-)
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Quoting LurkyMcLurkerson:


Scientists know all about harmony, but I'm not so sure we can actually manage it.

More beer, maybe. For the audience, at least.

In seriousness, yeah, I never thought I'd see scientists putting out this level of collective shriek in my lifetime, as somebody who grew up in a family of them. That's noteworthy in itself, folks. It really is. Scientists -- scientists don't really shriek, on any reasonably large scale. We live by the caveat and the tempered statement.

--->EEEEEEEEEEEEEKKK!<---

I leave you all. G'night.
This is a really good post...Dont leave..sniffle..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22683

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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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