Every so often, a trough in the jet stream bends back on itself when encountering a ridge of high pressure stuck in place ahead of it. These "negatively tilted" troughs have winds that flow from southeast to northwest. It is this sort of negatively tilted trough that sucked in Sandy and allowed the hurricane to take such an unusual path into New Jersey.
JeffMasters, • 4:33 PM GMT on October 31, 2012
In a stunning spectacle of atmospheric violence, Superstorm Sandy roared ashore in New Jersey last night with sustained winds of 90 mph and a devastating storm surge that crippled coastal New Jersey and New York. Sandy's record size allowed the historic storm to bring extreme weather to over 100 million Americans, from Chicago to Maine and from Michigan to Florida. Sandy's barometric pressure at landfall was 946 mb, the most powerful storm ever to hit the Northeast U.S. north of Cape Hatteras, NC.
JeffMasters, • 3:23 PM GMT on October 30, 2012
Hurricane Sandy is making its final approach, and will be ashore near the Delaware/new Jersey border early this evening. The scale of this massive storm truly earns Sandy the title of "superstorm", and no storm since at least 1988 has struck the U.S. with a wider area of tropical storm-force winds. High wind warnings are posted from Northern Michigan to Lake Okeechobee, Florida, and from Chicago to Maine. All-time low pressure records have been set at Atlantic City, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, and Wilmington Delaware.
JeffMasters, • 10:40 PM GMT on October 29, 2012
The final countdown to Hurricane Sandy's arrival has begun, and this extraordinary and historic storm is already causing havoc all along the U.S. coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts. The scale of this massive storm truly earns Sandy the title of "superstorm". Sandy's tropical storm-force winds span an area of ocean 900 miles in diameter. The region of ocean covered by 12-foot high seas spans an area of ocean an incredible 1400 miles in diameter.
JeffMasters, • 2:54 PM GMT on October 29, 2012
Hurricane Sandy has changed little in intensity today, and remains a very large, powerful hurricane. Sandy is going to cause billions of dollars in damage Monday and Tuesday in the Eastern U.S. due to storm surge, high winds, and heavy rains. Sandy is of near record-size, with tropical storm-force winds extending up to 520 miles from its center, covering an area larger than a Texas-and-a-half.
JeffMasters, • 9:58 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
Massive and dangerous Hurricane Sandy has grown to record size as it barrels northeastwards along the North Carolina coast at 10 mph. At 8 am EDT, Sandy's tropical storm-force winds extended northeastwards 520 miles from the center, and twelve-foot high seas covered a diameter of ocean 1,030 miles across. Since records of storm size began in 1988, no tropical storm or hurricane has been larger
JeffMasters, • 2:34 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
I expect Sandy's impacts along the mid-Atlantic coast and New England coasts to cost at least $2 billion in insured damage and lost business, and there is a danger the storm could cost much more.
JeffMasters, • 5:28 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
Sandy remains a hurricane at 5pm ET as it moves north out of the Bahamas. Sandy's tropical storm-force winds extend 240 miles from its center, a measurement that is expected to increase as the cyclone approaches the East Coast. SST in the Gulf Stream is running 2-8 degrees F above average, which will increase the amount of precipitation the storm will be able to produce.
angelafritz • 9:28 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Sandy's expected landfall along the mid-Atlantic coast is likely to be a billion-dollar disaster. Sandy should bring sustained winds of 50 - 60 mph with gusts over hurricane force to a large section of coast, and the storm may be moving slowly enough that these conditions will persist for a full 24 hours. With most of the trees still in leaf, there will be widespread power outages due to downed trees. Sandy will likely drive a storm surge of 3 - 6 feet to the right of where the center makes landfall.
JeffMasters, • 3:34 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Hurricane Sandy remains a Category 2 as it moves north through the eastern Bahamas. Sandy's track in the models seems to be converging on the Mid-Atlantic, though there is still much uncertainty. Impacts from Sandy will be widespread in the form of storm surge and inland flooding.
angelafritz • 9:48 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Hurricane Sandy shrugged off wind shear of 20 knots and passage over the southeastern tip of Jamaica yesterday afternoon, explosively deepening into a top-end Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. Sandy made landfall in Southeastern Cuba around 1 am EDT this morning near Santiago de Cuba, which experienced sustained winds of 78 mph, gusting to 114 mph. One person was killed on Cuba, and damage was heavy, with thousands of homes damaged or destroyed.
JeffMasters, • 2:39 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Hurricane Sandy hit the southeastern tip of Jamaica near 3:20 pm EDT this afternoon, as a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds and a 973 mb pressure. Sandy is the 13th hurricane to make a direct hit on the island, and the first since Hurricane Gilbert of 1988. Kingston, Jamaica recorded sustained winds of 44 mph and a pressure of 972 mb in the west eyewall of Sandy at 4 pm EDT. Sandy is showing only minor disruption to its inner core structure as a result of hitting Jamaica.
JeffMasters, • 8:54 PM GMT on October 24, 2012
Hurricane warnings are flying for Jamaica and Eastern Cuba, as an intensifying Tropical Storm Sandy plows north at 14 mph towards landfall. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm, and measured surface winds of hurricane strength--75 mph--in the storm's northeast quadrant near 9:25 am EDT. Kingston will receive a direct hit from a portion of the eyewall, which will cause considerable damage to Jamaica's capital.
JeffMasters, • 2:21 PM GMT on October 24, 2012
Tropical Storm Sandy is on the move northwards towards Jamaica, and is slowly intensifying. The Hurricane Hunters measured surface winds near 50 mph in the storm's northeast quadrant at 9 am EDT. The latest center fix, taken at 9:44 am EDT, found that Sandy's pressure had fallen 2 mb, to 995 mb. Intermittent rain squalls from Sandy have been affecting Jamaica since Monday night, and Kingston, Jamaica has picked up 0.82" of rain from Sandy as of 9 am EDT.
JeffMasters, • 2:49 PM GMT on October 23, 2012
The Hurricane Hunters found a band of 40 mph winds on the southeast side of Tropical Depression Eighteen this afternoon, prompting NHC to upgrade the system to Tropical Storm Sandy. Sandy is over very warm waters of 29.5°C, is in a moist environment, and has light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots. These conditions are very favorable for intensification, and Sandy's heavy thunderstorms are steadily organizing into curved spiral bands
JeffMasters, • 9:48 PM GMT on October 22, 2012
Tropical Depression Eighteen is here, and appears poised to become Tropical Storm Sandy by early Tuesday morning. TD 18 is over very warm waters of 29.5°C, is in a moist environment, and has light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots. These conditions are very favorable for intensification, and TD 18's heavy thunderstorms are steadily organizing into curved spiral bands, as seen on visible satellite loops. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft will investigate TD 18 this afternoon.
JeffMasters, • 3:34 PM GMT on October 22, 2012
A tropical disturbance centered about 300 hundred miles south of Jamaica (Invest 99L) is close to tropical depression status. The disturbance is nearly stationary over very warm waters of 29.5°C, and is in a moist environment. 99L has a large area of heavy thunderstorms that have a good degree of spin. These thunderstorms are steadily organizing into curved spiral bands, as seen on visible satellite loops. There are no obvious signs of a surface circulation.
JeffMasters, • 2:33 PM GMT on October 22, 2012
A tropical wave embedded in a large trough of low pressure (Invest 99L) covers a large portion of the Central Caribbean between Hispaniola and the northern coast of South America. This storm has the potential to be a dangerous rainfall threat for Haiti, Jamaica, and eastern Cuba. The amount of heavy thunderstorm activity is about the same as yesterday, and there are no signs of a surface circulation. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate 99L this afternoon.
JeffMasters, • 2:35 PM GMT on October 21, 2012
JeffMasters, • 4:12 PM GMT on October 20, 2012
Expect increased chances of a warmer than average winter across most of the western U.S., and a cooler than average winter across much of Florida, said NOAA in their annual Winter Outlook, released on October 18. The forecast also called for increased chances of a wetter than average winter along the Gulf Coast, and drier than average conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Upper Midwest.
JeffMasters, • 4:53 PM GMT on October 18, 2012
Hurricane Paul weakened rapidly just before landfall on Mexico's Baja coast on Tuesday evening, as wind shear of 30 - 40 knots tore into the storm. Paul peaked as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds at 2 pm PDT on Monday, but was just a tropical storm with 60 mph winds Tuesday evening when the center finally reached the coast of Baja. Paul hit a region of coast that is very sparsely populated, and I expect damage from the weakening storm was relatively light.
JeffMasters, • 12:31 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
Hurricane Paul put on an impressive burst of rapid intensification on Monday, topping out as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds at 2 pm PDT on Monday. Paul has weakened some this morning, but remains a potent Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds as it heads towards landfall on the Baja Mexico coast this afternoon.
JeffMasters, • 3:06 PM GMT on October 16, 2012
September 2012 was tied with 2005 as the globe's warmest September on record. September 2012 global land temperatures were the 3rd warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 2nd warmest on record. September 2012 was the 331st consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. The last below-average September for global temperature was in 1976, and the last below-average month of any kind was February 1985.
JeffMasters, • 5:01 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Tropical Storm Rafael is intensifying as it pulls away from the Lesser Antilles Islands. Rafael is experiencing high wind shear near 20 knots, and this shear is expected to remain constant through Tuesday, which should allow Rafael to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane. If Rafael follows the official NHC forecast track, tropical storm-force winds will remain just offshore from Bermuda as Rafael makes its closest pass by the island on Tuesday evening.
JeffMasters, • 3:24 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Tropical Storm Rafael is intensifying, but is headed northwards away from the Lesser Antilles Islands, after bringing gusty winds and heavy rains to the islands over the past two days. Three-day rainfall amounts of 2 - 3" were common over the Leeward Islands, but the winds mostly stayed below tropical storm-force.
JeffMasters, • 3:55 PM GMT on October 14, 2012
Tropical Storm Rafael formed late yesterday afternoon over the Lesser Antilles Islands, and is bringing gusty winds and very heavy rains to the islands today. Two-day rainfall amounts of 1 - 3" have been common over the Leeward Islands from Rafael, but the winds have stayed below tropical storm-force so far.
JeffMasters, • 4:15 PM GMT on October 13, 2012
Tropical Storm Patty formed late yesterday afternoon just east of the Central Bahama Islands. Patty is the sixteenth named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, putting this year in a tie for eighth place for busiest Atlantic season since record keeping began in 1851. Patty isn't going to be around for long, though. Satellite loops show a very sickly storm, with the low-level circulation center exposed to view.
JeffMasters, • 2:50 PM GMT on October 12, 2012
Tropical Depression Sixteen has formed from invest 97L, though poses no real threat to land, and will likely dissipate in the next 36 hours due to high wind shear. Invest 98L continues to spark strong thunderstorm activity and will likely develop over the weekend.
angelafritz • 6:06 PM GMT on October 11, 2012
A tropical wave located about 350 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands (Invest 98L) is headed west-northwest at about 10 - 15 mph, and is a threat to develop into a tropical depression this weekend. The disturbance has a modest amount of spin and a large amount of heavy thunderstorms. The thunderstorms have shown more organization this morning, but there is no obvious surface circulation.
JeffMasters, • 11:57 AM GMT on October 11, 2012
A tropical wave located about 500 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands (Invest 98L) is headed west-northwest at about 15 mph, and is a threat to develop into a tropical depression early next week. The disturbance has a modest amount of spin and a large amount of disorganized heavy thunderstorms, but there is no sign of a surface circulation. With wind shear expected to rise to the high range, 20 - 30 knots, Wednesday night though Friday, any development the next few days should be slow.
JeffMasters, • 2:13 PM GMT on October 10, 2012
September 2012 was the 23rd warmest September on record for the contiguous U.S, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in today's State of the Climate report. The month was also the driest on record for Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, and was a top-ten direst month for six surrounding states. The warm September temperatures helped make the year-to-date period of January - September the warmest such period on record--a remarkable 1.2°F above the previous record.
JeffMasters, • 4:25 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
A tropical wave located about 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands (Invest 98L) has a large amount of disorganized heavy thunderstorms, and is headed west-northwest at about 15 mph. Wind shear may drop to levels capable of allowing 98L to develop into a tropical depression by Saturday, as predicted by the NOGAPS model. The GFS model predicts development will occur next Tuesday, when 98L will be a few hundred miles northeast of Puerto Rico.
JeffMasters, • 1:59 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
A tropical wave a few hundred miles northeast of the Bahama Islands (Invest 97L) has a moderate amount of disorganized heavy thunderstorms, and is headed northwest at 10 mph. Heavy showers from 97L are affecting portions of the Bahama Islands, and this activity will continue through Tuesday. By Wednesday, 97L will turn to the north and then northeast, encountering high wind shear of 20 - 40 knots. This high shear should be able to destroy 97L.
JeffMasters, • 2:06 PM GMT on October 08, 2012
The progression of oceanic conditions in the Equatorial Eastern Pacific towards El Niño has been interrupted by a marked cooling over the past two weeks, and the onset of a full-fledged El Niño event this fall and winter is now in considerable doubt. NOAA gives a 55% chance that an El Niño event will be in place for the October-November-December period.
JeffMasters, • 2:31 PM GMT on October 05, 2012
Tropical Storm Nadine finally met its permanent doom this morning, but not before bringing sustained winds of 43 mph, gusting to 54 mph, to Lajes in the Azores Islands at 8 am this morning. Nadine's 21.25 days as a tropical or subtropical storm make it tied with Hurricane Ginger of 1971 as the Atlantic's second longest tropical storm on record.
JeffMasters, • 3:14 PM GMT on October 04, 2012
The first new tropical depression in the Atlantic since September 11 is here, Tropical Depression Fifteen. TD 15 is destined for a short life, though, and will not be a threat to any land areas. The storm is already showing signs that moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots is interfering with development, with most of the storm's heavy thunderstorms displaced away from the center of circulation. If TD 15 strengthens, it will be called Tropical Storm Oscar.
JeffMasters, • 4:12 PM GMT on October 03, 2012
Having a simple name for a snowstorm like "Snowmageddon" helps us identify and remember the impacts of the storm. Naming a major winter storm makes even more sense if it is done before the storm hits, to aid in raising awareness of the storm, and to reduce the risks the public faces. That's exactly what The Weather Channel is going to do for the U.S. this winter, they announced today. Naming of a winter storm will occur no earlier than three days prior to it hitting.
JeffMasters, • 1:50 PM GMT on October 02, 2012
Never-ending Tropical Storm Nadine hit its peak intensity of 90 mph on Sunday afternoon, but is now rapidly weakening as it encounters cool 22°C waters. Nadine is responsible for these cool waters, as the storm passed over the same location earlier in its life and mixed the cool waters to the surface. If Nadine lasts until Wednesday afternoon, it will become one of the five longest-lived Atlantic tropical cyclones of all-time.
JeffMasters, • 3:05 PM GMT on October 01, 2012