Hurricane Sandy looms as a very dangerous storm off the United States east coast. This storm will be a very large dangerous storm with far-reaching impacts as it slams into the east coast tonight. Damage to property is expected to be extensive. Many areas have been evacuated and public transit systems will be shutting down as the imminent threat approaches.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy presents elements of the worst case scenario. Currently, a category one hurricane expected to make a hard turn to the west during the course of the day. The hurricane, already taking on characteristics of a Nor’easter, is going to pummel the east coast, with rain, wind and surge, most likely during high tide, increasing surge damage potential and carrying those waves onto the shore.
The satellite imagery captures the large wind swath of Hurricane Sandy on the right side, with tropical storm force winds spanning 1,000 miles across. It also captures the cold front, as it approaches from the west, being pulled southward and under the hurricane into its counter-clockwise spin, which is what is causing the high wind advisories and unseasonably cold temperatures across much of the south, including Georgia. As the systems merge, it will only add to the damage causing potential of this monster storm.
The National Hurricane Center forecasters have been working tirelessly around the clock to bring frequent updates regarding Hurricane Sandy. The expectation is that Hurricane Sandy will be historic in many ways. President Obama has declared a State of Emergency for seven states plus Washington, D.C., in anticipation of the storm.
In yesterday’s 6:00 pm briefing from Gary Szatkowski at the National Weather Service in Philadelphia/Mt. Holly forecast office, offered a strongly worded personal plea:
1. IF YOU ARE BEING ASKED TO EVACUATE A COASTAL LOCATION BY STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS, PLEASE DO SO.
2. IF YOU ARE RELUCTANT TO EVACUATE, AND YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO RODE OUT THE ’62 STORM ON THE BARRIER ISLANDS, ASK THEM IF THEY WOULD DO IT AGAIN.
3. IF YOU ARE RELUCTANT, THINK ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES, THINK ABOUT THE EMERGENCY RESPONDERS WHO WILL BE UNABLE TO REACH YOU WHEN YOU MAKE THE PANICKED PHONE CALL TO BE RESCUED, THINK ABOUT THE RESCUE/RECOVERY TEAMS WHO WILL RESCUE YOU IF YOU ARE INJURED OR RECOVER YOUR REMAINS IF YOU DO NOT SURVIVE.
4. SANDY IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM. THERE WILL BE MAJOR PROPERTY DAMAGE, INJURIES ARE PROBABLY UNAVOIDABLE, BUT THE GOAL IS ZERO FATALITIES.
5. IF YOU THINK THE STORM IS OVER-HYPED AND EXAGGERATED, PLEASE ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION. YOU CAN CALL ME UP ON FRIDAY (CONTACT INFORMATION IS AT THE END OF THE BRIFING GARY.SZATKOWSKI@NOAA.GOV 609-261-6602 X222)
6. I WILL LISTEN TO YOUR CONCERNS AND COMMENTS, BUT I WILL TELL YOU IN ADVANCE, I WILL BE VERY HAPPY THAT YOU ARE ALIVE & WELL, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU YELL AT ME.
7. THANKS FOR LISTENING.
Coastal Flooding Resources:
Max Astronomical Tide
Storm Surge Model Guidance
Tides and Currents
Inland Flooding Resources:
Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service
National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mt. Holly