At 8am, the National Hurricane Center has Hurricane Sandy with winds of 85 mph. That is a moderate Category 1 storm, but this is no ordinary storm. Hurricane force winds reach 175 miles from the center and Tropical Storm force winds extend 485 miles away. This is a little smaller than yesterday, but it will expand again when it reaches the coast.
The Pressure level of 946 mb (27.94 inches) is equal to a Category 3 storm, but the massive size has spread out the wind field. Have you heard about the figure skater reference? When a skater pulls her arms in close, she will spin faster. It is the same thing with a tropical cyclone. If it could wrap in tighter and smaller, the winds would be over 115 mph, but that is not the case.
Landfall is expected tonight, within a few hours of midnight. Today, ironically is the one year anniversary of the Snowtober storm that put millions out of power between PA through New England. This will be worse. Considering the large size of hurricane force winds, the forecast landfall is broad based. While computer models focus very close to Atlantic City, NJ there will be 350 miles of coastline feeling the impact of hurricane force winds. At the point of landfall and north of the center is where the strongest storm surge will occur. The funneling of water along the coast is expected to push 8-10 feet of waiter into New York City. Much lower surge is expected south, but still could be 3 feet or so to Ocean City, MD
*There are reports of major damage to piers and boardwalks along the coast. I am working to confirm those reports now.
Main concerns now:
Flooding: This will be from heavy rain, a large region is expected to receive over 6 inches. Leaves stripped from trees will clog storm drains.
Storm Surge: At landfall and north of the center will be worse.
Full Moon: The astronomical High Tide in on Monday. This time will vary by location, so check your local sources.
Tornadoes: These are common with land falling tropical systems
Blizzard: Warnings for over 1 foot of snow and winds over 35 mph (or much higher) have been issued for Western Maryland, and parts of western PA and West Virginia.
Important Storm Related Articles:
- Hurricane Sandy and The Chesapeake Bay in Maryland
- Hurricane Sandy floods the coast. One model shows snow wrapping in behind the storm
- Rumors of a perfect storm or a whole lot of nothing from TS Sandy
- Hurricane Sandy puts Maryland in State of Emergency, devastating impacts beyond
I will monitor local impacts of the storm on my Baltimore Weather Examiner page. I have video part of the Ocean City Fishing Pier being washed away. I will post that this morning. The track is expected to pass almost over my own home north of the city on Tuesday morning, so it will get really rough at my place, and I expect to lose power along with millions of others. Be safe and good luck.
Also follow along for updates through:
Facebook: Justin Berk, Meteorologist
SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
- LOCATION…36.8N 71.1W
- ABOUT 265 MI…425 KM SE OF ATLANTIC CITY NEW JERSEY
- ABOUT 310 MI…505 KM SSE OF NEW YORK CITY
- MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…85 MPH…140 KM/H
- PRESENT MOVEMENT…NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 20 MPH…32 KM/H
- MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…946 MB…27.94 INCHESSUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* NORTH OF SURF CITY TO DUCK NORTH CAROLINA
* PAMLICO AND ALBEMARLE SOUNDS
Tropical storm and hurricane history of naming. 2012 Atlantic list
Tropical Storm formation history: Storm origin maps every 10 days of season
Hurricane Preparedness Week: Storm Surge is the most deadly and destructive
Hurricane Destruction Animation based on Saffir Simpson Scale
NASA Global Hawk: Hurricane drone planes run by locals at Goddard