Sandy rapidly intensifies; Tony weakening
Yesterday ,in the evening and night time, Hurricane Sandy rapidly strengthened between Jamaica and Cuba. She became a strong category 2 hurricane before making landfall in Cuba. While Sandy made landfall over mountainous terrain her core still looks intact. This is important for her future as she could do more strengthening and maintain her intensity longer than previously thought. Currently Sandy has 105mph winds, a 960mb pressure, and she is moving N at 18mph. A recon plane is currently en route to investigate Sandy.
Hurricane Sandy was under the right conditions for RI yesterday. She took advantage of these conditions and rapidly strengthened near and north of Jamaica. A recon plane found winds to support a high end cat2 and that is what the NHC went with. After that Sandy made landfall in southern Cuba. This is usually a problem for developed storms has their core is usually disturbed a lot and they usually have a hard time to recover. That combined with some shear would be the beginning of the end for most storms, not Sandy though. She was able to move fast enough over Cuba that her core was relatively left intact. She should be able to fend off shear for another 24hrs before shear begins to increase. I think Sandy should be able to at least gain back her intensity and even possibly become a major hurricane. Since waters are still warm and shear is moving in the same direction as Sandy she will still have a favorable environment. In a couple days is when shear increases to less favorable levels and SST will begin to cool. That is when Sandy will not be able to strengthen anymore and she will start a weakening trend. Waters should stay warm enough for Sandy to remain tropical for a good amount of her future over water. Models and the NHC say she should remain tropical up until she gets near 35N. I think she may be able to last a little longer tropical before finally being over come by baroclinical energy and wind shear. It could still be a bad situation no matter what and people in the NE and Canada need to be taking Sandy seriously.
Hurricane conditions are ongoing in Cuba and parts of the Bahamas. Sustained winds of cat2 strength and gusts of cat3 can be expected in some areas. Hurricane warnings are up in Cuba and the Bahamas for Sandy. Tropical storm conditions are being felt in Fl, Cuba, Hispaniola, and the Bahamas and TS warnings are in affect. These conditions will continue in the Bahamas and the US for a couple more days as Sandy moves north. Sandy is moving right into the breaking down ridge. This is keeping her motion at a steady pace to the north. Models are pretty consistent of a N to then NNW movement over the next couple days. After that the forecast becomes pretty difficult with model uncertainty. The ECMWF(most reliable model historically) takes Sandy to the NJ area with a pressure around 950mb. The GFS(another very reliable model) takes Sandy to Maine or Canada, while the GFS ensemble members take Sandy farther south mostly. The trough is expected to pick up Sandy in a couple days and move her to the NE away from the US. Sandy should then phase with the trough and come back to the NW. Where this happens and how strong Sandy will be is what models disagree on. Right now I am in line with the ECMWF solution after looking a steering maps and other forecast tools. The NE/Canada could get heavy rain/wind and inland areas could get some snow. Coastal flooding and storm surge would be pretty big with Sandy. Lots of power outages and damage could be done with Sandy coming into the NE. It might not be a happy Halloween for many if Sandy has her way, please take her seriously.
Have a great day everyone and I will have another update tonight or tomorrow morning.