Sandy on Track and Serious Trouble

By: Bryan Norcross , 2:59 AM GMT on October 29, 2012

And so it begins. Mega monster Sandy, with 40+ mph winds 900 miles across and embedded hurricane-force winds is going to hang a left and smash into the Northeast on Monday - a maneuver we've never seen before from system that originated in the tropics. There's no good news from the Hurricane Hunters or the computer forecast models. If anything, the storm is providing more drama in its first act than was expected.

Water is coming over sea walls. Flooding and whipping winds have already started. Just from the fringe of Sandy.

At the coast, by far the worst of this is going to come at high tide at the Jersey Shore and points north. The tide will peak along much of the Northeast coast around 9PM and 9AM, but around noon and midnight on the ocean side of Cape Cod. The difference between low and high tide can be 3 feet and more... a really big deal.

In a normal hurricane you can get lucky... the storm can come in at low tide, and then it's gone by the time high tide comes around. But in this case, the water will be high for a number of tide cycles, so there doesn't seem to be a way to avoid the full impact of the surging, smashing water and waves.

Waves of 10 to 20 feet on TOP of the storm surge and the tide are forecast for the south-facing beaches of Long Island. This will likely be the highest water and the most damage in many decades. On the north shore of Long Island and the south shores of Connecticut and Rhode Island, the water will be exceptionally high as well - likely exceeding Irene, which did major damage. Evacuations have been ordered. And water levels exceeding Irene are expected at many locations along the coast.

For folks staying home, if you're riding out the storm in a house surrounded by trees, stay on the opposite side of the house from the wind on a low floor. Close the curtains to cover windows facing the wind... but still be very careful near any glass that could break.

High rises in the big cities may be a problem. It's especially important that you stay away from the windows. If something flies off a neighboring building, it can smash windows downwind. Besides that, the wind is stronger because you're higher in the air, and the air gets squeezed between the tall buildings. The high wind stresses the glass, and makes it break more violently if something hits it.

It will likely take until Wednesday... or maybe longer than that... before we know what has happened. It's likely that transportation will still be difficult or impossible on Tuesday as the monster wind machine slowly spins down. Even Wednesday and Thursday we'll know that a giant storm is nearby.

That's it. Hunker down, be smart, and stay safe.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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8. WunderAlertBot
4:45 AM GMT on October 30, 2012
bnorcross has created a new entry.
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7. swpolski
11:40 PM GMT on October 29, 2012

My 7 year old grand daughter, Emma, has been experiencing big rain in Fairfax, VA and asked me why there was no thunder and lightning with this hurricane. Of course, I gave an answer but have no idea if it is accurate. Can you enlighten us? Thanks.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. lat25five
8:10 PM GMT on October 29, 2012
Thanks Byran, Looks like now its hunker down time.
Worry for my 85 yr old mom in NW N.J. thank goodness my grandfather was a stone mason so she is as safe as any shelter but I worry about all the old massive oaks that tower over the house.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. redagainPatti
4:15 PM GMT on October 29, 2012
Yall, hold in your hearts and prayers...
Word has gone out that two are missing in the waters under Sandy..
This is from the crew of the Tall Ship HMS Bounty. It was caught in Hurricane Sandy off the North Carolina Outer Banks. Two crew members are missing while 14 others have been rescued by the Coast Guard.
Looks like somebody was thinking they could slide around the storm.. but not this big one.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. Rocknj
3:53 PM GMT on October 29, 2012
New York City and coastal New Jersey are going to face historic flooding from Hurricane Sandy. Here's what it may be like later on today and tonight: How a Major Category 3 Hurricane Would Affect New York City Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. originalLT
3:37 PM GMT on October 29, 2012
At 11:37 AM mon morning, Pressure is down to 29.16" Cloudy, just some light rain, winds Generally NE at 20-30mpg with higher gusts. Stamford CT.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. FtLauderdaleMike
3:01 PM GMT on October 29, 2012
it's highly probable that a huge portion of the eastern United States will experience hurricane force winds and epic storm surge and the NHC doesn't issue hurricane warnings? Then to add insult, they make excuses for an insane bureaucracy that's risking human life. You guys should issue Whurricane Warnings. You are the only ones with both the respect and ability to do it.
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1. originalLT
5:25 AM GMT on October 29, 2012
Thanks Mr. Norcross. I think for me in Stamford CT. I feel my area will be on the low side with total precip, maybe 2-4". Seems the storm is very West Heavy with precip. and that very heavy precip may not make it here--not that 2-4' is light! At 1:24AM Mon. morning, My Baro. is down to 29.64". Top wind gusts so far, about 25mph, but very sporadic in nature. Just cloudy, no rain yet.
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