I'm a CMU Honors student and love meteorology and extreme weather. I've been fascinated by weather since I was 5, and plan on becoming a meteorologist
By: wxchaser97 , 12:30 PM GMT on October 24, 2012
Tropical Storm Sandy
TS Sandy has took advantage of her surroundings and she is intensifying nicely. A CDO has formed over the center and an eyewall is forming. The convection surrounding Sandy has been deepening and her overall structure has improved too. Sandy has about 36-48hrs left before making landfall in Cuba and ending the strengthening trend for a little while. A recon plane is headed into Sandy to investigate her and determine if she is still a TS or a hurricane. Currently Sandy has 70mph winds, a 986mb pressure, and she is moving N at 14mph. Interests in the northern Caribbean islands need to have taken action for Sandy.
Sandy is in the middle of a strengthening phase in her life. She is in a lower shear, low trade winds, and high TCHP/SST value area. These factors are allowing Sandy to continue to strengthen. It is still possible that Sandy's intensification speeds up and she rapidly intensifies. This is an area where storms have strengthened rapidly in the past. One sure thing is Sandy has strengthened from yesterday. Her structure has improved greatly and a CDO has formed and expanded. Also Sandy has been developing an eye and building an eyewall. It looks like an eye wants to pop out on satellite images but we have to wait and see if this happens. This has been confirmed by earlier recon missions and microwave imagery. ADT and T #'s support an upgrade to hurricane status later this morning. If recon finds surface winds of hurricane force we will have an upgrade to hurricane status. All is not perfect though with the environment around Sandy as some shear is impacting Sandy. This does not look to be hindering Sandy too much though, but it will increase toward the end of the forecast period. As Sandy moves north she will be interacting with land which should disrupt her circulation and core some. I think once Sandy gets back over water she should have some recovery. Shear will be on the rise though and TCHP values won't be as high. Also baroclinical energy should begin to infiltrate Sandy in several days. This will begin to turn Sandy extra-tropical as she heads NE. This will expand her wind field and decrease her max wind speeds. It is the timing of the trough that will determine how strong she is north of the Caribbean. That trough will also impact if she goes out to sea or hits the US/Canada. Some models show her hitting the NE and having dangerous impacts, more on that later.
Sandy is beginning to move faster off to the north. Southerly flow is pushing her a little faster to the north than earlier. This will continue for a few days until the trough causing this flow reaches Sandy. It is pretty easy to say where Sandy will go in the short term time frame. Models and the environment both say Sandy should continue north for a couple days. There is a high confidence in this and this should keep Sandy away from hitting Fl. Once Sandy starts to get farther north confidence drops in the track. That trough is key to where Sandy goes. The timing, strength, and tilt of the trough will be the deciding factor for track. If the timing is right and the trough a certain strength it could actually pull Sandy into the US/Canada. Also it could be tilted in a way where Sandy is sent out to sea as a powerful extra-tropical storm. The ECMWF, CMC, NOGAPS etc... have Sandy come very close or hit the NE US with big impacts. There would be rain, wind, and snow for millions of people. The GFS however takes Sandy out to sea not affecting the US in a big way. Even stranger, the GFS ensembles take Sandy NE and the curve it back into the US. It is hard to decide where to send Sandy right now. I am forecasting her to go NE but I am closer to the US than before. Models have been shifting slowly closer to the US/Canada with time and a hit is more likely than ever. People in the US and Canada need to monitor the progress of Sandy and the models for more of a consensus.
Have a great day everyone and I will have an update tomorrow with Tony.
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