Hurricane Sandy, graphically speaking

By: Angela Fritz , 5:31 PM GMT on November 03, 2012

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Kudos go to our amazing lead graphic designer.

Angela

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14. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
9:36 PM GMT on November 05, 2012
angelafritz has created a new entry.
13. zomibe
10:29 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
nice graphs the only reason sandy hit northeast and became a super storm is because the high was up north a northeaster move in merge. just a weather statement.
Member Since: March 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
12. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
9:57 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
Quoting cpufrost:
Yes the Saffir-Simpson scale should be superseded by an index based on Integrated Kinetic Energy. (IKE)


The HRD H*Wind product, which is based on IKE, was great in communicating the risk of surge.
11. cpufrost
8:15 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
Yes the Saffir-Simpson scale should be superseded by an index based on Integrated Kinetic Energy. (IKE)
Member Since: May 19, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9
10. hydrus
7:52 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
Thank you for your blog. Very heartwreching footage coming in on the news outlets. I hope the forecast storm will not be as intense as some models are depicting today.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22706
9. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
7:45 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
Quoting airman45:
Hi Angela,

I agree Sandy was extremely widespread and affected a record number of people, but does a Cat 1 hurricane deserve being called a "Superstorm?" I realize it was a hybrid storm but usually "Super....." was limited to such storms as typhoons in the Pacific that were Cat 5.

The graphics are great. Thanks!


I hear your criticism. Naming convention is very difficult in these situations, and we decided to use "Superstorm" to help convey the severity of the situation, since Sandy lost it's "hurricane" characteristics before making landfall. We thought it was important to maintain the awareness.
8. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
7:41 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
Did you create the infographic, Angela? If so, excellent work! (And if it was someone else, it's still awesome.)


It was our very talented lead graphic designer, Jennifer Potter. She's great!

Quoting Neapolitan:
I hope we will be seeing more of these here in the future. They communicate a ton of salient information in a very compact and easy-to-digest way, and as such are extremely valuable.


You will, and we agree.
7. Neapolitan
7:39 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
Did you create the infographic, Angela? If so, excellent work! (And if it was someone else, it's still awesome.)

I hope we will be seeing more of these here in the future. They communicate a ton of salient information in a very compact and easy-to-digest way, and as such are extremely valuable.
Quoting airman45:
I agree Sandy was extremely widespread and affected a record number of people, but does a Cat 1 hurricane deserve being called a "Superstorm?" I realize it was a hybrid storm but usually "Super....." was limited to such storms as typhoons in the Pacific that were Cat 5.
Sandy's windfield diameter, record low barometric pressure, timing, location, and destructive force are all definitely good reason to call it a "superstorm", IMO...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13805
6. wizodd
7:35 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
The storm makes me wonder if we need to modify our storm rating system. Wind speed alone is insufficient without including coverage area and things like storm surge and rainfall.

Many people make decisions regarding storms based upon the tropical storm/hurricane wind speed category alone.

Also, we've known how to build structures which are tornado-proof and hurricane -resistant for well over 30 years, and yet building codes routinely permit far less than effective measures (in particular in tornado alley.)

We also permit building in insane locations (barrier islands, flood plains, mud-slide areas, quake areas, low-lying coastal areas etc.) despite the fact that we have known, literally for centuries, that such locations are intrinsiclly unsafe. In many cases, such places would not be built upon without Federal insurance programs, and in a great many cases, such areas are significant wildlife habitat areas and in their natural state act as buffers to major storms.

Rebuilding New Orleans was just plain stupid. Rebuilding NJ shoreline and East coast Barrier island structures is equally stupid...in both cases, it is 100% certain that such rebuilding will be destroyed in the future by storm activity.
Member Since: March 31, 2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
5. qwestgirl
7:32 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
A superstorm is a powerful and destructive storm that affects a very large area. As we have learned with Sandy. even a category 1 hurricane can be a superstorm.
Member Since: September 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
4. OlivehurstChargette
7:27 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
Thank you for your efforts in putting this together. This gives a good perspective on this event.
Member Since: June 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
3. kishar
6:53 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
I'd like to see comparison graphs with other hurricanes too. The size comparison I saw between Sandy & Irene was pretty impressive.

I know it was "only" cat 1, but it was 1500* miles across... that's pretty huge.

I'm guessing the storm surge was so high in part because the water had no way to flow around the storm. Is that correct?

*using the area quoted in the graphic and assuming a circular storm.
Member Since: July 7, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
2. airman45
6:20 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
Hi Angela,

I agree Sandy was extremely widespread and affected a record number of people, but does a Cat 1 hurricane deserve being called a "Superstorm?" I realize it was a hybrid storm but usually "Super....." was limited to such storms as typhoons in the Pacific that were Cat 5.

The graphics are great. Thanks!
Member Since: April 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3509
1. EstherD
6:05 PM GMT on November 03, 2012
Interesting. Thanks. Wondering about a third graphic: Deaths by State & Country. Also curious about cause(s) of death, but maybe that's just a little too morbid.
Member Since: November 10, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 234

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About angelafritz

Atmospheric Scientist here at Weather Underground, with serious nerd love for tropical cyclones and climate change. Twitter: @WunderAngela

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