Sandy is going to be a storm in the history books. while we do not know the exact damage of the storm reports are coming in it is going to be a billion dollar disaster. Second Sandy did something very unusual and that is merged with a strong cold front to create a super storm.
Sandy was an intense storm based on pressure readings 940 milibars that is typical of a category 4 hurricane. Sandy at its peak was a very strong category 2 hurricane. The storm made landfall in south New Jersey as a category 1 90 mph hurricane. Now the hurricane part of of the storm striking the North East is nothing new as while it is not as common as the southern coast the North East has had a history of hurricanes, what was rare was the intensity and the super storm
As sandy was coming on shore it was starting to look like a very strong Northeaster type storm. Behind the warm side of the storm there was heavy snowfall and very arctic air. The storm also produced heavy rainfall and very high storm surge. So it was in a way a hybrid of a Northeaster and a Hurricane. So how common is this
As I stated Hurricanes impact the Northeast so that is not to unusual. But how common is a hybrid storm. Well the Last thing similar to Sandy was the 1991 Perfect storm. The 1991 perfect storm had been a hurricane in its past life but it made the transition to a strong Northeaster. The storm brought heavy rain, winds over 70 mph and a storm surge to New England that is the closest thing in comparison to Sandy.
However unlike the 1991 storm. Sandy was mostly tropical when it made landfall in New Jersey then it became a powerful Northeaster type storm after merging with a cold front. The storm that Sandy is being compared to it is the 1938 New England Hurricane. The 1938 New England Storm came on shore at a similar intensity as Sandy based on pressure. This storm brought storm surge over 10 feet and high winds to New York, and New England.
No doubt, Sandy will go down in the record books as one of the more intense storms of any kind to strike the North East. Due to it merging and creating a Northeaster It belongs in its own category. Here is a list of Hurricanes to strike the North East. 1938 New England storm, 1954 Carol and Edna, 1960 Donna, 1985 Gloria, 1991 Bob, 2011 Irene and now Sandy.