"Frankenstorm"

By: sullivanweather , 10:07 PM GMT on October 26, 2012

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Current watches, warnings and advisories.


Eastern US current watches/warnings
Current watches, warning and advisories issued by the National Weather Service. Courtesy of NOAA.

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I'm going to begin this blog with a bit of a complaint before I discuss Sandy and her impact on the Northeast; something I wrote about in Dr.Masters blog yesterday afternoon. It has to do with the new naming system The Weather Channel uses for winter storms, which I am absolutely opposed to. There's a chance that on the southwest flank of this storm a rather significant snowstorm may materialize which would otherwise prompt the initiation of using a name from that list, which would be Athena. Be that as it may, my point is this; due to the nature of this storm, which I will discuss in the body of this blog and not give away now, and it striking close to the Halloween holiday it has been coined "Frankenstorm." Makes perfect sense but here's the rub. Say this storm didn't have tropical origins and was a nor'easter, one of historic strength, yes, but still a nor'easter. It would pick up a name from The Weather Channel's list.

Now, here's why I disagree with naming storms in this fashion. It completely deprives creativity and lure from this fascinating field. I can mention a storm, such as "The Perfect Storm," and everyone will automatically know of which storm I speak. Same goes for so many others; "The Superstorm," "The Blizzard of '96," "The Ash Wednesday Storm;" "Snowmaggedon" and "Snowpocalypse," "The Blizzard of '88," and so on. The Blizzard of '88 happened 124 years ago and not a single person alive today experienced that storm and yet it's lure lives on. Had this current storm bearing down on us not been Sandy at the start it would be Athena and lost in the monotony of names a list bestows. Although this storm is Sandy at the start, yet will lost that moniker once post-tropical/extra-tropical, it will forever be known as "Frankenstorm." I'd much enjoy telling my kids and my grandkids about storms carrying names such as "The Perfect Storm" and "Frankenstorm" and "The Superstorm" rather than "Athena" and "Nemo."

I had to let that gripe out. I fully understand the practicality of such lists for tropical systems, but there's such an ambiguity inherent with winter storms and they have characteristics all their own such that they name themselves for us, if they're bad enough. And if they weren't bad enough they don't and it just becomes a run-of-the-mill snow event.

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Synopsis

As of the 5pm National Hurricane Center advisory Hurricane Sandy was located at 27.3°N, 77.1°W, moving north at 7MPH. Maximum sustained winds are 75MPH with higher gusts. Minimum central pressure is 971mb and is holding steady. Tropical storm force winds extend out from the center 265 miles with hurricane force winds extending up to 35 miles from the center.


East Coast IR satellite image.

Track, structure and intensity forecast

The satellite presentation of Sandy is one of a highly sheared hurricane struggling with the entrainment of dry air, which working in tandem have left Sandy devoid of convection in the southern semi-circle of the cyclone. This is due, in large part, to a rather potent upper-level low pressure located over the Florida Straits. In fact, there's been a warming of the cloud tops in the northern semi-circle observed as well, all pointing to a temporary weakening of Sandy over the next 24 hours as she undergoes structural changes. Otherwise, Sandy remains an impressive feature on satellite, occupying a huge region of the western Atlantic Ocean. Most of the convection associated with Sandy lies in a large cyclonically curved band over the northern half of the storm, wrapping back into the western core of Sandy's circulation. Outflow is excellent to the north and east and is being aided by a large cold-cored low pressure southeast of Newfoundland, fanning the high cloud blow off from Sandy several thousand miles downstream.

In the short term, Sandy will continue to struggle with the shear provided by the upper-level low and may very well weaken just below hurricane strength. Sandy will also parallel the Southeast US Coastline, remaining about 200 miles offshore through the next 48 hours. Once clearing Cape Hatteras, North Carolina the storm will begin to turn back towards the north as Sandy begins to feel the effects of an approaching deep mid-latitude trough. Embedded within this trough will be a rather potent shortwave at the trough's base which will undercut Sandy as the trough tilts negative. As the trough goes full negative tilt it will capture Sandy and slingshot her back toward the East Coast. When exactly this happens will ultimately determine where along the coast Sandy will make landfall. The sooner the trough captures Sandy, the further south landfall will occur. This puts a huge stretch of coastline at risk for a direct hit from the center of Sandy. A highly unusual track but looking back at recent times we have had a storm chart a similar course through the offshore waters of the Northeast, through it was during the winter season with the February 2010 Blizzard. After Sandy makes landfall models diverge with some looping Sandy cyclonically along the coastal plain before lifting north into Canada. Other models simply continue pushing Sandy west, then northwest and north toward the eastern Great Lakes region.


February 2010 Blizzard - radar loop of landfall.

The intensity forecast for Sandy is a very tricky one indeed. Not necessarily for the short-term, but the long -term when baroclinic energy is introduced. Over the next 48 hours there should be little change with Sandy as she remains a purely tropical cyclone with a deep, warm-core, despite a rather amorphous structure throughout this timeframe. Maximum sustained winds should remain in the 60-70kt range and the storm's central pressure will fluctuate between 965-972mb. Thereafter, as the trough catches up to Sandy, she will take on more of a subtropical-like structure, a warm seclusion storm and her windfield will greatly expand. This poses its own set of risks and benefits. For one, an expanding windfield will allow Sandy to pile up much more water along the coast before her arrival and this is where her general landfall location will become more critical. A late capture of Sandy by the trough, Sandy heads into New England, a shoreline much more capable of absorbing a storm surge. An early capture of Sandy would bring her into the Delmarva, where locations along Delaware Bay could see a catastrophic storm surge of 10-15' above normal tides. But there's a worst-case scenario I will detail later in the blog. What's important to note is that the introduction of baroclinic energy will spark a new round of intensification which should drop the central pressure to ~950mb. This is where a warm-seclusion sub-tropical storm, as Sandy is predicted to be by then, might pose an enhanced wind threat in the areas immediate to Sandy's landfall location. A short, rapid drop in central pressure combined with the whiplash effect of Sandy being captured and shot back toward the west could have an area of coastline in the right-front quadrant immediate to the center of the storm see a 1-2 hour period of 80-100mph winds with much higher gusts, similar to the 1962 Columbus Day Storm along the Oregon Coast. This has to be considered as a distinct possibility given the storm's expected structure after interaction with the mid-latitude trough. After making landfall Sandy will slowly fill and weaken but remain a significant weather-maker over the Northeast through Wednesday and linger through Friday.

Impacts (wind, rainfall, snowfall based on central NJ landfall)

Storm surge:
This is the sleeper part of this storm. Not that storm surge isn't expected, nor expected to be bad. It's that it could be something we've never seen before in the modern-era and I will explain. Several forecast models track Sandy along, or just to the south of Long Island as it curls into the coast. Should Sandy retain a strong warm-core in a warm seclusion scenario this will force a tremendous amount of water into the bottlenecks of Raritan Bay, Manhasset Bay, Flushing Bay, Little Neck Bay, etc., in and around New York City. This could easily produce a 12-15' storm surge into these areas capable of producing catastrophic damage, including flooding lower Manhattan and flooding the New York City subway system. This will also result in a shutdown of the financial district and La Guardia Airport for perhaps a period of time after the storm passes. This is the worst-case scenario in terms of breadth of impact across the socioeconomic spectrum but not the worst-case scenario in general. Should Sandy take a southerly route into the coast and make landfall just south of Delaware Bay a similar surge of up to 15' may be pushed into this region, likewise producing catastrophic damage not seen in these areas in modern times. In addition to the surge, very large and battering waves will build over the Atlantic due to the long fetch easterly flow. This storm will not be like Irene, moving parallel to the coastline, it will come in at a perpendicular angle in most scenarios. This will fully realize surge potential unlike any storm this region of coast has ever seen. Since most storms impacting the coast in this region have a northerly component to forward movement, wind direction turns as the storm zips by. However, with Sandy, wind direction will be with the storm movement and not turning quickly offshore with her passage. Moreover, the wind will be of that direction for 18-30 hours preceding the storm, which will allow seas to build over several high tide cycles also at astronomically high levels. Could this get any worse?
The most likely location for landfall, as per the NHC and a clustering of deterministic and ensemble models, has been the southern/central New Jersey Shore. While this would also produce a large storm surge of 5-10' along the coast to the north of the landfall location for hundreds of miles, it would be hitting a coastline well-guarded by barrier islands, buffering the surge to some extent. So storm surge, unlike many storms of the recent past will play a major role. Only a few take the storm north into New England where there's more oblique angles of the coast relative to storm movement. This would produce a 4-8' surge in some of the bays along the southern New England coastline, causing moderate damage to these areas, but these are surges experienced in these locations with some frequency and wouldn't be out of the ordinary.

Wind:
There's going to be two areas which receive a significant wind storm from Sandy as she traverses through the Northeast. First, mainly out ahead of the storm a persistently easterly component wind of 30-50mph with gusts to 70mph will impact just about all of the Northeast, east of the Appalachians and south of I-90. The high elevation regions of the Catskills, Berkshires, Poconos could easily see wind gusts over hurricane force, as will areas along the coast. This will cause extensive tree damage to the region and will leave its scar on the forest for years to come. Widespread and lengthy power outages are a given and preparations should commence now for being without power for several days. Plus there's the wild card of Sandy's core remaining tight and energized by baroclinic energy to produce a mesoscale wind event close to the landfall location. The structure of Sandy will be such that there may be multiple bands of enhanced wind maxima. So there will be peaks and lulls in the action. The second area of high winds will be on the backside of the storm, likely from western/central Pennsylvania down the spine of the Appalachians to West Virginia. Here elevations above 2000' may see a horrific wind storm with sustained 60-80mph winds with gusts over 100mph as lower elevation areas receive 45-60 mph winds with gusts to hurricane force. This region, too, will also see extensive tree damage and widespread power outages lasting several days.

Rainfall:
As Sandy moves up the coast and interacts with the mid-latitude features that will yield our superstorm, a predecessor rainfall event (pre-event) will commence across western Pennsylvania and western New York Saturday afternoon into Sunday yielding 1-3 inches of rain in these areas. There will be a 18-24 lull in steady precipitation before the main show begins early Monday morning as Sandy morphs from a tropical low to whatever state she takes. A heavy band of deformation precipitation will develop along the backside of the storm of 1-2"/3hr rates. This area of rainfall will move across the coastal plain from the Delmarva through New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and southeast New York west of the Hudson River. A more banded, convective type of precipitation will occur in areas east of here, with some convection capable of producing isolated tornadoes. As Sandy begins to ricochet back toward the coast the deformation axis will slide west as well, as showery, banded rainfall overtakes areas to the east. This precipitation will have a heavily influence owning to topography so upslope areas of the Catskills, Berkshires and Poconos will see amounts up to double the basin average while rain-shadowed areas may see only half basin average rainfall. In total areas to the west and south of Sandy's track, from New Jersey through central Pennsylvania and south to Maryland, northern Virginia and Delaware, anywhere from 3-8 inches of rainfall will be common with some areas seeing as much as a foot of rainfall. Areas along and to the immediate north of Sandy's track will see an average of 2-6 inches of rainfall with isolated amounts up to 10 inches. This will be especially true across the aforementioned areas of higher elevation. Areas east of the Hudson River should see 1-3 inches of rain with isolated amounts to 6 inches; this will tend to be where persistent banding sets up.

Snowfall:
This "Frankenstorm" will have a wintry side to it as well. Now, depending on where Sandy comes ashore will determine the extent and amount of snowfall seen across the region. The snowfall will be on the southwestern flank of the storm in the cold sector, covering southwestern Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, western Maryland and western Virginia. Snow could even fall as far south and eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina and northern Georgia, though in light amounts. As far as the amounts go, some high elevation areas of West Virginia could see as much as two feet of snow! Elsewhere along the spine of the Appalachians from 8-16 inches of snow is well within the realm from the northern Smoky Mountains to the Laurel Highlands. Lower elevation areas, including the Pittsburgh metro area could even see up to 6 inches of heavy wet snow. This will pose a serious problem when wind is gradually introduced into the storm for these regions.

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Radar: Northeast Region Loop

NE radar
Radar loop of the Northeast region. Courtesy of Weather Underground.

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Northeast SST's
Sea-surface temperatures off the Northeast Coast. Courtesy of NOAA.


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48. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
2:28 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
sullivanweather has created a new entry.
47. listenerVT
5:04 AM GMT on October 28, 2012
7.7 earthquake south of Masset, BC, Canada at 11:08pm ET.
Orcasystems' sister lives 40mi from center. He got a text that they're okay and moved to higher ground. Local region Tsunami warning (not watch).
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5522
46. sunnysmum
10:46 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting sullivanweather:


You're likely to get a 8-12 hour period of moderate rain with embedded heavy showers, along with 25-40 mph winds with gusts to 50 mph.

Much in the same way Sandy has a central core tethered to a large, cyclonically curved band of wind and rain, she'll undergo the same type of transition as she turns back in toward the coast. Over the next 36 hours as she swings out from the Outer Banks Sandy will reorganize her structure and become slightly more symmetric. Then as she turns back toward the coast she'll shed another strong band of wind and rain, much in the way she has now, to the north and east of the storm. This should slide right through your area Monday evening/overnight, stall somewhere to your north and weaken as Sandy makes landfall. You'll probably get a solid 1-2" of rain with this, along with those wind speeds I mentioned, then it'll get showery with a steady onshore wind of 15-25 mph with gusts to 40mph throughout Tuesday. A nasty lil' storm but something Mainers probably see 3-4 times each autumn.


Thank you for the fantastic, in depth explanation. You're right, probably no worse than some of the "wicked" nor'easters that have graced us in the past. And it's a good excuse to get my yard cleaned up ;)
Thanks for taking the time to explain!
Member Since: January 24, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 49
45. listenerVT
10:29 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
Hmmm, it seems that we might not escape losing some trees, even way up here. It was a 65kt wind gust that landed a White Pine in our driveway 1 Dec 2010.


The National Weather Service in Burlington has issued a high wind watch... which is in effect from Monday morning through Tuesday morning.

* Locations... all of Vermont and northern New York.

* Hazards... strong to potentially damaging winds.

* Winds... 25 to 35 mph with gusts in excess of 60 mph.

* Timing... northeast winds will increase during the day Monday...becoming easterly and peaking from the late evening through midnight hours... then trending southeasterly and slowly abating after midnight.

* Impacts... strong winds will have the potential to down trees and powerlines with widespread power outages possible.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5522
44. sullivanweather
6:42 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting PengSnow:
Sully, Great Blog also! Any thoughts on snow coming to Western, PA such as pittsburgh and eastern, oh, i know some other blogs that are predicting 6-12 for Pittsburgh and slightly east into ohip.


I think there will be a band of of 2-5 inches of snow with isolated amounts to 8 inches in this region. Despite the high expected QPF here I'm thinking the first half falls as mostly rain before enough dynamics (and diurnal influence) are introduced to change the precipitation over to snow Monday night. Given the wet ground at the start and wet nature of the snow, it'll be a very heavy, compact, pasty snow. So that 2-5" will cause some damage. Combine that with a stiff 30-40mph northwest wind with gusts to 60mph, yes, there's going to be damage.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
43. sullivanweather
6:34 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
Hey Champ!

I was actually thinking about you the other day when I was talking to a buddy at work about snowplow drivers. I thought to myself, "Hmmm, I wonder how champ's doing?" lol

We're gonna have a pretty good hit from Sandy. I say we're because your area is very similar to mine. We're away from the coastal plain, in the hills, but not in the mountains; that ring of counties that's far enough from the coast to really lose the maritime influence. Litchfield, Dutchess, Putnam, Orange, Sussex, so. Sullivan, so. Ulster, Pike, Carbon, Monroe.

Now, depending on the track, we may get into the northern core of the storm, which could bring an enhanced wind threat, but I think the majority of the wind will come in the leading band of the storm. It'll probably be a solid 40-50 mph wind with gusts approaching hurricane force. Then there's going to be a ring of lessened wind and rain between the leading band of the storm and the core of the storm. So some areas will get that first band, fall into the lull, and miss the core. Some places will get that core. The way I see it now you'll probably end up seeing that main band, then the lull. You're just far enough northeast of the *expected* track of the storm such that the core of the storm should pass by to your southwest at a safe enough distance. I'm thinking a 50-75mi wide band to the northeast of the landfall location and inland up to 125mi will see the worst from the storms core.

I'll post a graphic corresponding to this threat.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
42. sullivanweather
6:23 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting sunnysmum:
I know I'm not in a target zone, but curious what your outlook is for me here in southern Maine (near Portland). A lot of it depends on where sandy makes land fall, I realize, but so many are unwilling to speculate on whether we will get any winds or heavy rain. We were hyped up similarly for Irene last year, and it was no worse than a typical breezy day. So following that false hype, nobody here is taking it seriously.


You're likely to get a 8-12 hour period of moderate rain with embedded heavy showers, along with 25-40 mph winds with gusts to 50 mph.

Much in the same way Sandy has a central core tethered to a large, cyclonically curved band of wind and rain, she'll undergo the same type of transition as she turns back in toward the coast. Over the next 36 hours as she swings out from the Outer Banks Sandy will reorganize her structure and become slightly more symmetric. Then as she turns back toward the coast she'll shed another strong band of wind and rain, much in the way she has now, to the north and east of the storm. This should slide right through your area Monday evening/overnight, stall somewhere to your north and weaken as Sandy makes landfall. You'll probably get a solid 1-2" of rain with this, along with those wind speeds I mentioned, then it'll get showery with a steady onshore wind of 15-25 mph with gusts to 40mph throughout Tuesday. A nasty lil' storm but something Mainers probably see 3-4 times each autumn.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
41. PengSnow
5:16 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
Sully, Great Blog also! Any thoughts on snow coming to Western, PA such as pittsburgh and eastern, oh, i know some other blogs that are predicting 6-12 for Pittsburgh and slightly east into ohip.
Member Since: January 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 418
40. jerseycityjoan
3:39 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
I feel like I've had enough of this storm already.

Too many things to worry about, my head's been spinning for two days.
Member Since: September 29, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 176
39. cchamp6
1:14 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
Whats up Sully? Been a long time. I havent been around here much over the last year or so. Our good friend in Vt just pointed out that you surfaced. Looking forward to seeing how this monster plays out the next few days. Any thoughts to my location in terms of rainfall and wind?
Member Since: December 21, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 1642
38. listenerVT
1:03 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
sunnysmum ~ I have family Kennebunk, so I hear you. Watch the track closely. If you'll look at the computer models with each run, you'll be prepared. But it looks like you will indeed be spared the worst.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5522
37. Stanb999
11:52 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting sullivanweather:
Stan,

You're going to get quite a windstorm there. Being exposed directly to the direction from which the wind will be blowing will only further your chances for destructive winds.
At the height of the storm it should be a solid tropical storm force wind of 50-60mph with gusts as high as 80mph. Anywhere over 2000' across the region within 125 miles of the coast should get wind gusts at least approaching hurricane force.



Thanks!

I guess today will be a day for battening down the hatches.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
36. sunnysmum
11:18 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
I know I'm not in a target zone, but curious what your outlook is for me here in southern Maine (near Portland). A lot of it depends on where sandy makes land fall, I realize, but so many are unwilling to speculate on whether we will get any winds or heavy rain. We were hyped up similarly for Irene last year, and it was no worse than a typical breezy day. So following that false hype, nobody here is taking it seriously.
Member Since: January 24, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 49
35. sullivanweather
4:28 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
LT,

I feel your situation. I have a half rotted ash tree about 40' from my office, which faces east. I have no doubt that thing is coming down and we're getting the landlord to hopefully do something about it this weekend. Every strong wind associated with thunderstorms since we've been here has knocked branches out of the tree. So I feel this is going to be what finally gets it.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
34. listenerVT
4:24 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting originalLT:
Sully, you mentioned to my friend zotty, that there will be primarily an easterly wind component to this storm for a long time period. That does not bode well for me with that huge oak tree , only 20 ft from the East side of my house. I'm pretty worried about it now. I think Monday night we will sleep on the first floor of the house if the winds do materialize. If it does fall it of course would hit the second floor where the bedrooms are, first.


Thanks for being careful! And do give us the Oak Report from time to time!
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5522
33. LakeWorthFinn
4:24 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Fabulous blog - again {Sully} THANKS!

A candle is lit at Finn's house. Stay safe.
Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 67 Comments: 7388
32. listenerVT
4:23 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting sullivanweather:
Listener,

I think it should be a breezy rainstorm for you, and the higher terrain around you should get some pretty decent wind of 35-50mph but I don't think this would be particularly noteworthy in terms of the overall storm or in terms of it being out of the ordinary. Should be a stronger, but typical fall storm for you.


Thanks, Sully. Nice to think we might not lose trees this time. My heart goes out to everyone in harm's way.

I was invited to a weeklong conference that runs M-F this week just west of Baltimore! So glad I was too broke to attend!
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5522
31. originalLT
4:21 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Sully, you mentioned to my friend zotty, that there will be primarily an easterly wind component to this storm for a long time period. That does not bode well for me with that huge oak tree , only 20 ft from the East side of my house. I'm pretty worried about it now. I think Monday night we will sleep on the first floor of the house if the winds do materialize. If it does fall it of course would hit the second floor where the bedrooms are, first.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7709
30. listenerVT
4:20 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting zotty:


Rats, I guess not. Will look into how to get pics from my hard drive to the internet to post them...


You can also post photos to Wunderground, then post the location address here.

To post to Wunderground, scroll up to the top of this page and click on "Photos and Videos" and select "Photo Galleries." On the page it takes you to, click on "My Photos" on the left side. Then click on "Upload Photos" over on the right side. Follow the directions. It can be a little fussy, but you'll figure it out. Once you have uploaded your photos, you can click on one, then right click and capture the location address to post here.

It used to be that one could post using a Facebook location address, but those don't work here anymore. :-(
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5522
29. sullivanweather
4:16 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Colortheworld,

I wish I capitalized my s/n. lol
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
28. colortheworld
4:02 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting sullivanweather:
Colortheworld,

It's gonna get hard for me to get used to calling you something other than Palmyra...lol


Yeahhh... I kinda regret switching the names, but after the move, the s/n didn't really apply being 100 miles away, but I didn't think about the impact it would have with regulars. Most people know me as "Palmyra" on here so we may as well go with it.

I should have had more forethought some years back when crafting my first damn s/n. lol.
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
27. sullivanweather
3:59 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Zotty,

Use photobucket. They have a great service. Very user friendly.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
26. zotty
3:58 AM GMT on October 27, 2012


Rats, I guess not. Will look into how to get pics from my hard drive to the internet to post them...
Member Since: August 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 751
25. zotty
3:56 AM GMT on October 27, 2012


I hope this comes out- sunrise over the sound (with some fog over Larchmont, Mamaroneck, and Rye NY.
Member Since: August 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 751
24. zotty
3:45 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting sullivanweather:
Zotty,

The western end of Long Island sound is going to have a bad coastal flooding event regardless of what happens to Sandy. The only question is how bad will it get and that I do not have answers for and probably won't until it becomes clearer which way the storm will track. Just keep in mind that should it take the track closest to the south shore of Long Island there's going to be catastrophic flooding. The Sound really bottlenecks there and there's no where for the water to go. Plus the narrow escape paths for the water, such as the East River, will be high from the water surge on the south side of the island. The storm is just so large as long as it stays south of the island there's going to be a persistent easterly wind almost for the entirety of the event. I think this is something not being discussed enough because as you know, usually when we get these strong nor'easters capable of yielding a surge the wind shifts to an offshore direction after the storm passes by. That won't necessarily be the case here as there will only be a minor shift in wind direction which should keep the water piling into the coast.


Yes, that is what I am thinking, too. I noted on Blizz' blog that last year Irene surge was 8ft, and the pylons in New ROchelle Harbor are 8ft 6 in above astronomically high tides, so they were inches away from having the whole marina all over the shoreline. Also I ended up moving to a 40 story highrise 3/4 of a mile from the sound, and am on the 26th floor, so I will have a great view of all this. I'll post some pictures for sure. Thanks for your input!
Member Since: August 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 751
23. sullivanweather
3:37 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Zotty,

The western end of Long Island sound is going to have a bad coastal flooding event regardless of what happens to Sandy. The only question is how bad will it get and that I do not have answers for and probably won't until it becomes clearer which way the storm will track. Just keep in mind that should it take the track closest to the south shore of Long Island there's going to be catastrophic flooding. The Sound really bottlenecks there and there's no where for the water to go. Plus the narrow escape paths for the water, such as the East River, will be high from the water surge on the south side of the island. The storm is just so large as long as it stays south of the island there's going to be a persistent easterly wind almost for the entirety of the event. I think this is something not being discussed enough because as you know, usually when we get these strong nor'easters capable of yielding a surge the wind shifts to an offshore direction after the storm passes by. That won't necessarily be the case here as there will only be a minor shift in wind direction which should keep the water piling into the coast.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
22. sullivanweather
3:31 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Colortheworld,

It's gonna get hard for me to get used to calling you something other than Palmyra...lol

I agree with you about the Sandy thing and what will happen when it comes time to look at which hurricane names meet the axe. But in terms of popular culture and how the public relates to such storms, "Frankenstorm" is a great name for this storm. Yes, a little corny but it fits due to the multifaceted nature of this storm, hurricane and snow all in one storm, combined with the wind and surge and size of the storm. It's a very fitting name.

I mean, looking back at storms such as "The Superstorm" we all know it as such and that storm killed 52 people and yet that doesn't diminish the fact it was coined a name.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
21. sullivanweather
3:25 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Stan,

You're going to get quite a windstorm there. Being exposed directly to the direction from which the wind will be blowing will only further your chances for destructive winds.
At the height of the storm it should be a solid tropical storm force wind of 50-60mph with gusts as high as 80mph. Anywhere over 2000' across the region within 125 miles of the coast should get wind gusts at least approaching hurricane force.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
20. sullivanweather
3:22 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Listener,

I think it should be a breezy rainstorm for you, and the higher terrain around you should get some pretty decent wind of 35-50mph but I don't think this would be particularly noteworthy in terms of the overall storm or in terms of it being out of the ordinary. Should be a stronger, but typical fall storm for you.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
19. sullivanweather
3:15 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
MarylandGirl,

You're located on the Delmarva part of Maryland, correct?
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
18. sullivanweather
3:14 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Beell,

Yeah, I don't like it. It elevates otherwise common snowfalls and cheapens these once-in-a-whatever storms.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
17. sullivanweather
3:11 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Good evening, everyone! Just got done making and eating dinner (shark steak with wild rice and a salad), and watching "Matilda" (love that movie).

Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
16. originalLT
2:46 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Thank you Sully, a "Super Blog" for a super storm1(I know that moniker Super Storm was used all ready, But your new blog here is --SUPER!) I'll of course report ion here and on Blizz's blog on just what I'm getting in Stamford CT., as long as I have power. My location is about 4 miles inland from Long Island Sound, at an elevation of 155ft. My area is full of trees, that is my main fear, that one will come crashing through my house. One huge oak tree is on my east side, only about 20 ft. from my house, up on a small hill between me and my neighbors house. The tree itself must be 60-70ft tall and it's trunk diameter about 3 ft. at it's base.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7709
15. goofyrider
2:28 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Hey Sully: Sounds like you are having fun. Me to reading your thoughts.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2790
14. listenerVT
2:23 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Hi zotty and CTW! Welcome back!
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5522
13. zotty
1:57 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Hiya Sully- always good to see you post. Thanks for the thoughts. I wonder what your thoughts are for the western end of LI Sound. I imagine this is going to pile up loads of water there as well. I wonder what Hell's Gate is going to be ripping at noon Tuesday...
Member Since: August 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 751
12. colortheworld
1:40 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
lol I just went through that, so hopefully it'll show.
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
11. Zachary Labe
1:38 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting colortheworld:


I uh... don't know how? I uploaded it on wunderground, and went through all that, but for some reason, I cannot figure out how to get it to be my avatar.

It's frustrating; I've got a degree in digital media and I fail at the internet. c'mon!

Click on the photo you uploaded and hit modify image. Once on that screen there is a little box you have to check that says primary portrait for bio. After that just save the image at the bottom of the screen.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
10. colortheworld
1:33 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting Blizzard92:

hahah... I keep forgetting that is you. Get you old profile picture back; it'll help remind me, lol.


I uh... don't know how? I uploaded it on wunderground, and went through all that, but for some reason, I cannot figure out how to get it to be my avatar.

It's frustrating; I've got a degree in digital media and I fail at the internet. c'mon!
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
9. Zachary Labe
1:24 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting colortheworld:
Incredible write-up, Sully. I actually hate the term "Frankenstorm" more than I would hate for this thing to be called "Athena" or whatever, it was given the name "Sandy" and "Sandy" it should stay.

Think about this: We've got 40 dead bodies in the Caribbean as a result of this storm already and with the extensive damage, power outages, water and snow this storm could bring, there's a feasible scenario here where more people could unfortunately lose their lives, on top of the damage this storm is "expected" to do, we could be looking at a scenario where a retirement of a name is in order. What name do we retire? Do we retire "Sandy", the hurricane or "Frankenstorm", the PR bonanza that some idiot coined on a stroke of luck? It's a stupid cliche based upon Halloween and while people will remember it for that, I fear we could remember it for the wrong reasons.

Then again, that is just my opinion. I could be wrong.

- The ghost of "Palmyra"

hahah... I keep forgetting that is you. Get you old profile picture back; it'll help remind me, lol.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
8. colortheworld
1:17 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Incredible write-up, Sully. I actually hate the term "Frankenstorm" more than I would hate for this thing to be called "Athena" or whatever, it was given the name "Sandy" and "Sandy" it should stay.

Think about this: We've got 40 dead bodies in the Caribbean as a result of this storm already and with the extensive damage, power outages, water and snow this storm could bring, there's a feasible scenario here where more people could unfortunately lose their lives, on top of the damage this storm is "expected" to do, we could be looking at a scenario where a retirement of a name is in order. What name do we retire? Do we retire "Sandy", the hurricane or "Frankenstorm", the PR bonanza that some idiot coined on a stroke of luck? It's a stupid cliche based upon Halloween and while people will remember it for that, I fear we could remember it for the wrong reasons.

Then again, that is just my opinion. I could be wrong.

- The ghost of "Palmyra"
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
7. listenerVT
12:27 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting MarylandGirl:
Sully, always glad to see your blog!!! So informative and I value it so much!!! This storm will be epic!!! Will check in tomorrow!! Stay safe.


You stay safe too, down there, MarylandGirl!

Sully, feel free to call it Frankenstorm here!! I agree! It seems to me that changing from a random name to another random name might lead to confusion for some folks who haven't been paying sufficient attention. I see it as a safety issue as well as a collective memory concern. Thanks! I am so grateful! :-)
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5522
6. Stanb999
12:13 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Sully, What do you think the likely hood of really high winds for me? If you don't recall, I'm in northern Wayne Co PA, @ 2150 facing south,south east.

Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
5. listenerVT
12:00 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Sooo, what happens to Vermont in all of this? I'm obviously north of I90. Does that mean the effects of the storm will be minimal?
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5522
4. MarylandGirl
11:52 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Sully, always glad to see your blog!!! So informative and I value it so much!!! This storm will be epic!!! Will check in tomorrow!! Stay safe.
Member Since: September 10, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 486
3. beell
11:47 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
A great read, Sully. Great to see you (and blizz92, of course) get to combine your nor'easter and tropical skill sets in one storm. Hope ya'll nail it!

And I'm with you on your mini-rant. No one will remember the inane, alphabetical list of names put up by TWC, nor is there another storm of greater interest on the NOAM "radar" to confuse.

Truly memorable storms deserve truly memorable names. Names that catch and stick in our shared psyche/pop culture.

To turn a phrase; "I may not know much about naming storms, but I know what I like when I hear it!"

Anyway, stay safe, check ya'll later.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 144 Comments: 16858
2. listenerVT
11:46 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!

:-D
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5522
1. weathergeek5
11:27 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Thanks man!!! Good blog.
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744

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About sullivanweather

Thomas is an avid weather enthusiast, landscaper and organic gardener. This blog is dedicated to Northeast and tropical weather forecasting. Enjoy!

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