I'm in high school and love meteorology and extreme weather. I've been fascinated by weather since I was 5, and I plan on becoming a meteorologist.
By: wxchaser97 , 12:30 PM GMT on October 29, 2012
Hurricane Sandy has continued to organize overnight. She has established a CDO with an eye present at times. Sandy continues to be a significant threat to the Mid Atlantic and the NE. She could be a historic storm with massive consequences. Currently Sandy has 85mph winds, a 946mb pressure, and she is moving N at 15mph. Aircraft recon is currently investigating Sandy to see if she is strengthening further.
Hurricane Sandy has made great strides in organization over the last day. An inner core has developed and persisted along with a CDO forming. This recent organization is due to conditions becoming marginally favorable. Wind shear has been decreasing over Sandy, noted by UW-CIMSS wind shear maps. You can also tell shear has decreased as there are not as many high clouds moving rapidly over Sandy. Sandy is also over the Gulf stream, an area of warmer waters that flows from the Gulf of Mexico, which is good for strengthening. ASCAT, OSCAT, and recon have confirmed that Sandy still has a strong circulation. Recon has found flight-level winds near 115mph at times, but those winds aren't mixing down to the surface. However, the building convection over Sandy should be able to mix some of those winds down to the surface. I think Sandy should be able to strengthen a little more while she is still tropical. I also think Sandy will remain fully tropical until just after landfall. With the structure of Sandy looking more tropical in nature my thinking is likely. Tropical or non-tropical, Sandy will be deadly. Areas in Sandy's path may experience winds a little higher than previously expected due to the uptick in organization. No matter how strong Sandy is at landfall a big area will receive TS force winds. Sandy is one of, if not the largest, hurricane/TS on record for wind radius. Any increase in the winds will allow just a little more to be spread out. Another reason for some intensification is some baroclinic energy being pumped into Sandy. A negatively tilted trough over the eastern US is responsible for this energy. This energy should lower the pressure, widen the wind field, but lower the maximum winds. It should also aid in the extra-tropical process for Sandy. I don't see the winds dropping off until landfall but it will happen pretty quickly when it does. I am a little slower in weakening Sandy since she will be receiving the baroclinic energy. Winds will be a pretty big threat with Sandy since they cover a large area.
The track of Sandy is still not totally straight forward. Models have a great consensus on the track of Sandy. They say Sandy should make a landfall in S NJ. However, Sandy might have other ideas in where she wants to go. Sandy has been tracking east of the models and NHC forecast point for the past day. This could lead to a slightly later turn to the NW. I think a C NJ landfall is likely at this point due to this but Sandy could still track into S NJ. The negatively tilted trough is in the process in turning Sandy to the NW. This is unusual in the NE as most storms are turned out to sea, not inland. A ridge off to the E stops Sandy from recurving to the right and the negatively tilted trough helps steer to the NW. The NHC has done a different approach with warnings issued in the NE than other storms. Due to Sandy likely turning extra-tropical near landfall they have not issued hurricane/TS warnings. They have left the warning process up to the NWS offices to issue hurricane wind warnings/storm warnings. To me this is an iffy call but the NHC/NWS are the experts, not me. The effects of Sandy remain the same in the NE no matter what warnings are issued or what sandy is classified. A major storm surge threat is expected in NJ, NY, and surrounding areas. Low lying areas have been evacuated to higher ground as up to 12 feet of surge is possible in some spots. The NYC subway system is at a moderate to high risk of flooding. If that happens then there will be major economic losses from Sandy, hopefully it doesn't flood. Heavy rain won't be a major threat from Sandy but it is there. Up to 10" of rain can be expected in some areas which will cause some flooding. Even a snowstorm is likely in the mountains with 1-2 feet of snow possible. The winds will cause large amounts of damage to trees and power lines. We will need to monitor the situation closely for the next few days. If you are told to leave by officials, PLEASE LEAVE. Do not ignore warnings/officials and think you can ride out the storm. This is a very dangerous situation and lives will be lost. Do anything you can to protect yourself and your family.
Have a great day everyone and stay safe.
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