Hurricane Sandy hits Jamaica, dumps heavy rains on Haiti

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:54 PM GMT on October 24, 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. According to NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website, Sandy is the thirteenth 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. The eastern tip of Jamaica will see the strongest winds of the right-front quadrant and the heaviest damage, though. A distorted eye is apparent on visible satellite loops, but Sandy is showing only minor disruption to its inner core structure as a result of hitting Jamaica. According to the Jamaica Observer, "Alligator Pond [in St Elizabeth] was inundated with the high waves that came ashore. We are now getting reports of impacts out in St. Catherine, Portland and St. Thomas as the ground becomes saturated. We are now seeing where light poles are toppling and landslides being reported and roadway being flooded to the point where there is impeded access in east St. Thomas." Heavy rains from Sandy are falling in Haiti. A NOAA forecast based on microwave satellite data predicts 12 inches of rain for the tip of Haiti's southwestern Peninsula, which will likely cause life-threatening flash flooding. Fortunately, much lighter rainfall amounts are predicted for the capital of Port-au-Prince, where 350,000 people still live in the open under tarps in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake. In August, flooding from Hurricane Isaac killed at least 29 people in Haiti.


Figure 1. Hurricane Sandy over Jamaica. The large 55-mile diameter eye hit the island at 3:20 pm EDT, and crossed over the eastern tip of the island. The eye has been distorted into an odd triangular shape, due to interaction with the land area of Jamaica.


Figure 2. Predicted 24-hour rain amounts from Hurricane Sandy for the period ending at 8 am EDT Thursday, October 25, 2012. The prediction is based on microwave satellite data of precipitation. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Near-term forecast for Sandy
Sandy doesn't have much time over water before it makes landfall on the southeastern coast of Cuba near 10 pm EDT this Wednesday night, and the strongest the storm is likely to be then is a 90 mph Category 1. Passage over the rugged terrain of Cuba should weaken Sandy's winds by 20 - 30 mph, and will likely destroy the hurricane's eyewall. It will be difficult for the storm to rebuild its eyewall and regain all of that lost strength, in the face of the high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots it will encounter Thursday and Friday. However, the loss of the eyewall will cause Sandy's radius of tropical storm-force winds to expand, spreading out the winds over a wider area of ocean, and increasing the storm surge threat. This large wind field will likely drive a storm surge of 5 - 8 feet in the Bahamas, which is more characteristic of a storm with winds 20 mph higher. I expect that Sandy will be a 65 - 70 mph tropical storm as it traverses the Bahamas, and the storm will make its closest pass by Nassau around 10 pm EDT Thursday.


Figure 3. This Maximum Water Depth storm surge image for the Bahamas shows the worst-case inundation scenarios for a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds, as predicted using dozens of runs of NOAA's SLOSH model. For example, if you are inland at an elevation of ten feet above mean sea level, and the combined storm surge and tide (the "storm tide") is fifteen feet at your location, the water depth image will show five feet of inundation. No single storm will be able to cause the level of flooding depicted in this image. Sandy's maximum storm surge may reach levels portrayed in this image for some islands in the Bahamas. See wunderground's storm surge pages for more storm surge info.

Sandy: a potential billion-dollar storm for the mid-Atlantic, New England, and Canada
The latest set of 12Z (8 am EDT) model runs are in, and they portray an increased risk to the U.S. and Canadian East Coasts for early next week. The GFS model, which had been showing that Sandy would head to the northeast out to sea, now has changed its tune, and predicts that Sandy will double back and hit Maine on Tuesday evening. The ECMWF model, which has been very consistent in its handling of Sandy, now has the storm hitting Delaware on Monday afternoon. These models are predicting that Sandy will get caught up by the trough approaching the Eastern U.S., which will inject a large amount of energy into the storm, converting it to a powerful subtropical storm with a central pressure below 960 mb and sustained winds of 60 - 70 mph. Winds of this strength would likely cause massive power outages, as trees still in leaf take out power lines. Also of great concern are Sandy's rains. Given that ocean temperatures along the Northeast U.S. coast are about 5°F above average, there will be an unusually large amount of water vapor available to make heavy rain. If the trough of low pressure approaching the East Coast taps into the large reservoir of cold air over Canada and pulls down a significant amount of Arctic air, as predicted, the potential exists for the unusually moist air from Sandy to collide with this cold air from Canada and unleash the heaviest October rains ever recorded in the Northeast U.S. Another huge concern is storm surge flooding. Sandy is expected to have tropical storm-force winds that extend out more than 300 miles from the center, which will drive a much larger storm surge than its winds would ordinarily suggest. The full moon is on Monday, which means astronomical tides will be at their peak for the month, increasing potential storm surge flooding.

There remains a lot of model uncertainty on where Sandy might go, and I still give a 30% chance that the storm will have a minimal impact on the U.S. An extra set of balloon-borne radiosondes is going to be launched at 2 pm EDT on Thursday all across the U.S., which should help tomorrow evening's model runs make better forecasts of where Sandy might go. Extra radiosondes will be launched every 6 hours through Saturday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

Hurr Sandy staring down (Jewelsblues)
Looking onto Caribbean Sea, from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Hurr Sandy staring down

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Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1905. icmoore
a href="Photobucket" target="_blank">

Good morning. This was posted by the NWS Tampa Bay area on Facebook. Another day in Florida history.
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New steering map.
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

Wow. Just. Wow. She is relentless. That eye wants to peek out again!!!


Also a new burst of convection, I don't think Sandy is done yet with strengthening.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
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1848 Waltanater: "I DON'T WANT NO MORE!"
You are employing a double-negative! This would imply you are in one of two categories:
1. You have poor command of English grammar.
2. You actually DO WANT MORE!

1839 Waltanater: Yesterday, whomever said that Sandy would weaken after hitting Jamaica (and then Cuba), down to a 40-60 mph storm, sure was wrong! :)
1) It's 'whoever': 'who' is the subject, 'whom' is the object.
Never play grammarian ifn ya don' wanna get clobbered. Want more corrections?
2) The use of double negatives (including doubling used for the purpose of emphasis) is and has always been perfectly "proper" in English, and mandatory in legalese. Grammarians who made up the "no double negatives" rule outta thin air are merely intellectually-challenged folks who want a simplified grammar cuz they don't appreciate the power of the language.
3) Unlike many languages, there is no governing body that decides what is proper and what is improper English. That means that Hinglish and other creoles are as valid a form of English as that taught in Cambridge (either UK or US).
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1899. LargoFl
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Wow, this is very cool. Link East Central Florida Tropical Weather Page
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Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Holy crap..

145mph flight level winds.
Thank God we are not all 'flying'!
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1895. LargoFl
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Chicklit:
Can someone explain this wind shear map?
Certainly not good for a northbound storm.
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Holy crap..

145mph flight level winds.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
I of course don't "always strive to get" some hypothetical page turner slot, but even if I did, that would be assuming a) everyone on the forum is configured to see 50 comments instead of 100 or 200, and b) everyone is configured to see comments in the order posted rather than newest first--and what a couple of ignorant assumptions those would be, don't you think?
and c) that everyone does not have IGNORE on anyone and d) the Moderator has not DELETED one's comments (for any reason!) :)
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1891. LargoFl
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Fast traffic on here.
Looks like Larry, Sandy's strong right/eastern arm is having a hard time getting past the Dominican Republic. That along with the strong NE wobble looks like bad rain for them. I thought that would keep the worst rains off to the east, but it looks like the north west is pulling in new clouds on its own and bringing showers way over here in NE Florida already.
I see the ones on the radar heading to south florida.

Stay safe.
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1888. LargoFl
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
BULLETIN
HURRICANE SANDY INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 12A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182012
800 AM EDT THU OCT 25 2012

...SANDY MOVING BETWEEN THE NORTHEAST COAST OF CUBA AND THE CENTRAL
BAHAMAS...


SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...21.6N 75.5W
ABOUT 130 MI...215 KM S OF GREAT EXUMA IN THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS
ABOUT 75 MI...125 KM NE OF HOLGUIN CUBA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...105 MPH...165 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 10 DEGREES AT 18 MPH...30 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...967 MB...28.55 INCHES
whew so she is still strong
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Time: 11:52:30Z
Coordinates: 21.45N 75.2333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 698.5 mb (~ 20.63 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 2,887 meters (~ 9,472 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 974.5 mb (~ 28.78 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 225° at 114 knots (From the SW at ~ 131.1 mph)
Air Temp: 12.2°C (~ 54.0°F)
Dew Pt: 9.7°C (~ 49.5°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 126 knots (~ 144.9 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 82 knots (~ 94.3 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 4 mm/hr (~ 0.16 in/hr)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BULLETIN
HURRICANE SANDY INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 12A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182012
800 AM EDT THU OCT 25 2012

...SANDY MOVING BETWEEN THE NORTHEAST COAST OF CUBA AND THE CENTRAL
BAHAMAS...


SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...21.6N 75.5W
ABOUT 130 MI...215 KM S OF GREAT EXUMA IN THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS
ABOUT 75 MI...125 KM NE OF HOLGUIN CUBA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...105 MPH...165 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 10 DEGREES AT 18 MPH...30 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...967 MB...28.55 INCHES
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Holy flight level winds!!
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Quoting TomballTXPride:
I see you missed the page turner slot (number 1851) you always strive to get. Oh well. You'll get 'em next time.
I of course don't "always strive to get" some hypothetical page turner slot, but even if I did, that would be assuming a) everyone on the forum is configured to see 50 comments instead of 100 or 200, and b) everyone is configured to see comments in the order posted rather than newest first--and what a couple of ignorant assumptions those would be, don't you think?
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1883. LargoFl
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Can someone explain this wind shear map?
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1879. barbamz
Quoting TomballTXPride:

That it is, Barb. How's the weather in the Alps, BTW?

No Alps near me in the Frankfurt region, so I don't really know, lol. But Germany is bracing for a squall of cold weather the next days.
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Sandy is still a Category 2 hurricane according to recon. Minimum pressure was 963 millibars. Winds of 85 knots to the east.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1877. LargoFl
some light rain reaching the west coast........
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Quoting LargoFl:
"When Tony met Sandy!" Wait...no that is totally wrong..."When Ernesto met Debby!"...no doesn't sound right...hmmm...a little help here.
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Guessing my team tennis match Friday on the Beachside (Volusia County) is going to be cancelled, but no word yet. We play on clay under all sorts of conditions, so no guarantee there.
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Lowest pressure so far is 967 millibars...still not to the center.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting barbamz:

New day, new game ...

That sure is one nice hot tower there on visible...
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1870. barbamz

New day, new game ... (Of course, I know it's not a game for people in the way of Sandy)
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Quoting WXMichael:
So am I reading this right? Doesn't look like there is much juice there for any reintensification? Although I wonder what it takes, since Tony seemed to do just fine.



hope the graphic isn't too big
They said yesterday that one scenario for Sandy to "get her juice" (i know...sounds bad) would be that she would feed energy from the trough, assuming she slips behind it, creating a perfect storm for the NE.
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1868. Thrawst
Lowest pressure measured so far 967 mb

Time: 11:45:30Z
Coordinates: 21.6167N 75.6167W
Acft. Static Air Press: 696.1 mb (~ 20.56 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 2,889 meters (~ 9,478 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 967.5 mb (~ 28.57 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 317° at 11 knots (From the NW at ~ 12.6 mph)
Air Temp: 16.0°C (~ 60.8°F)
Dew Pt: 8.6°C (~ 47.5°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 13 knots (~ 14.9 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 40 knots* (~ 46.0 mph*)
SFMR Rain Rate: 3 mm/hr* (~ 0.12 in/hr*)
(*) Denotes suspect data
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1867. LargoFl
Quoting ces15hurricanes:
Sandy is a major hurricane. We don´t have the exactly peak winds of a storm so we are outting the speed winds 5 to 5.
Example: Hurricane Sandy 110 mph
Hurricane Sandy 115 mph and the category 3 storm is 111 mph. Its not possible, we need to put the exactly winds of storms...
local met just said winds of 105mph
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1866. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting LargoFl:
HH are on their way to Sandy mets just said.....


They are pretty much there, approaching the center from the NW. Tropical Storm winds so far.
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1865. Thrawst
Recon about to make first pass... interested to see what it gets.
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looks like a lot of rain over haiti right now :(
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1863. LargoFl
Category 2 Hurricane
Winds: 96-110 mph
Storm surge generally 6-8 feet above normal. Some roofing material, door, and window damage of buildings. Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees with some trees blown down. Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings.

Source: National Hurricane Center
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Sandy is a major hurricane. We don´t have the exactly peak winds of a storm so we are outting the speed winds 5 to 5.
Example: Hurricane Sandy 110 mph
Hurricane Sandy 115 mph and the category 3 storm is 111 mph. Its not possible, we need to put the exactly winds of storms...
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Quoting Autistic2:


I have very poor english but am glad I can at least speak and type.
So you know, I was just kidding around there...so you way down there in Miami? How is the weather? You're probably not getting anything from the storm right?
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Warm water might help Sandy. Looks like it should go west some.
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Gray and Gusty this morning on Provo.
We just had a gust of 43 mph at my protected location.
No rain squalls in the recent few hours.
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Off to Dr. Be back when I come home.
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1856. LargoFl
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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