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Sandy a 'Massive and Highly Destructive Storm'

How fitting to have evil Sandy for Halloween.

I wanted to pass this along, just got this a few minutes ago...

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E-mail from Jeff Lindner (Pro Met Harris County, TX Flood Control District):

Unprecedented cyclone impact to the NE US and mid Atlantic over the next 72 hours will require a significant and coordinated local, state and federal response. 

Life threatening record breaking storm surge event likely for northern New Jersey and New York Harbor including Long Island Sound, the Hudson River, and Raritan Bay. 

Preparations to protect life and property must be completed by dark today…failure to comply with mandatory evacuation orders will place lives in danger. 

Hurricane Sandy becomes the second largest tropical cyclone ever in the Atlantic basin with tropical storm force winds extending outward 520 miles from the center and hurricane force winds 175 miles from the center. 

Discussion: 

Unfortunately, historic ingredients coming together exactly as forecasting models have predicted to bring a massive and highly destructive storm to the eastern 1/3rd of the United States. 

Hurricane Sandy moving to the NE this morning well off the North Carolina coast however tropical storm force winds and high seas are battering the eastern part of North Carolina and spreading northward toward the lower DELMARVA area. Latest recon passes indicate a central pressure down to 951mb or nearly equal to Hurricane Ike….only much larger in size. The wind field continues to expand outward as Sandy is increasingly coming under more mid latitude influences however deep convection is being maintained near the center of the system and Sandy remains a tropical cyclone at this time. 

There is little spread now in the forecast track of Sandy and its post tropical “mega” storm with nearly all available meteorological tools showing the center of the system crossing the central New Jersey coast Monday evening near the time of high tide! The GFS is forecasting an absolutely astounding 53mb pressure fall in 6 hrs along the New Jersey coast Monday evening as this storm moves ashore. 

Forecasted central pressures for the system as it makes landfall look to break historical pressure records which range from the mid to low 960’s for nearly all the major eastern US cities. For comparison, the current central pressure of Sandy would break all pressure records in this part of the country by 10-15mb. The current 951mb pressure is already significantly lower than the 1991 Perfect Storm: 972mb and the superstorm of 1993: 960mb both of which crippled the eastern US. 

Impacts: 

Storm Surge 
A “worst case” track for life threatening and devastating storm surge is likely for northern New Jersey and New York City including Long Island and Long Island Sound. It is likely that Sandy will be moving onshore Monday evening very near the lunar high tide peak only worsening the potential for record breaking storm surge. Extra-tropical storm surge modeling is producing record values for the northern New Jersey coast at Sandy Hook and at the NYC Battery. The previous Sandy Hook, NJ record is 10.1 ft in 1960, and the forecast for Monday evening is a peak surge of 11-12 feet. Surge values at the western end of Long Island Sound pushing toward eastern New York City are on the order of 11-13 feet and 10-11 feet at “The Battery” in NYC. For comparison, Hurricane Irene last year produced about a 6 foot storm surge into western Long Island Sound and NYC. This is a perfect setup for a large and destructive sea water inundation event over the north New Jersey and New York coast. Areas that have never flooded before will likely flood with sea water in this event and it is likely that sea water will enter and flood the New York City subway system. 

Wave watch III models and local SWAN modeling shows massive offshore waves of 25-40 ft breaking at 15 feet on the beaches. Dune protection will be completely destroyed and as the storm surge and high tide peak Monday evening, large and destructive wave action will be aimed into coastal structures….many structures will be battered to the point of total collapse or washed into the ocean. Surge and wave action will likely overtop the Jersey boardwalk and seawall protection especially along the northern New Jersey coast. 

On a scale of 0-6, this storm has a 5.2 storm surge damage rating! 

Winds: 
Strong winds will begin to arrive on the coast this evening and spread inland on Monday with the greatest winds expected Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning. Sustained winds of 35-50mph with frequent gust to 65-80mph will occur from the DELMARVA To southern New England and well inland over much of the NE US, eastern Canada, and portions of the OH valley. Winds will batter this area for 20-48 hours producing a long duration event. Trees and power lines will give way over time and suspect that this storm will produce one of the largest if not the largest power outages ever in the US. It is likely that over 10-20 million persons will be without power as this storm passes. Power restoration and debris clean up will take weeks! 

Rainfall: 
Rainfall totals of 4-8 inches will be common over a large area of the NE US and mid-Atlantic resulting in major inland flooding. Isolated totals of 12 inches will be possible over the DELMARVA. Historically flood prone areas will likely experience flooding with rivers and creeks possibly recording major flooding levels. 

Snow: 
Heavy wet snow will be possible on the backside of the system over portions of WV and eastern OH as the cold air sweeps into the backside of the system. Totals of 12-18 inches will be possible, but due to the wet nature of the event, trees will likely be brought down due to the weight of the snow. 

Significant and potentially long term disruptions in travel are likely!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Expert: In worst case, flooded subways 'could take as long as 29 days to pump out'
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Another view of the carousel http://t.co/vNLPQcw8
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 01:53 AM
NBC NY reporting water is on runways at JFK and LGA. Airports closed. Potential to disrupt landing lights, instrument aids.
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Update: Several reports of thundersnow in PA this evening
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 01:56 AM
National Hurricane Ctr advisory - hurricane force winds over Long Island and NYC metro area
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 02:01 AM
NYC reporting over 10,000 911 calls per 30 minutes! Do NOT call 911 unless an emergency! Call 311 instead!
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew October 30, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Now these ARE really fun to drive/hike in...
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 02:56 AM
JUST IN -- Alert declared at Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in NJ due to rising water
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 10:04 AM
7 million without power
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 10:08 AM
MTA Chairman Lhota Statement: The NYC subway system has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night.
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Nassau County Department of Health: Do Not Consume Water Order for the water districts of Long Beach and Mill Neck Estates.
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM
From the Atlanta NWS office: CURRENT SATELLITE LOOP SHOWS EX HURRICANE SANDY SPINNING OVER THE PA/MD BORDER THIS MORNING. SANDY IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE MOVING FURTHER INLAND AND NORTHWARD OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. WINDY CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TODAY ACROSS NORTH AND CENTRAL GA SO WILL CONTINUE WITH A HIGH WIND WARNING ACROSS NE GA AND AN ADVISORY FOR THE REST OF THE AREA. AS SANDY SPINS OVER THE MID ATLANTIC STATES...AN AREA OF MOISTURE ID EXPECTED TO ROTATE SOUTHWARD AROUND THE BACK SIDE AND CLIP NE GA TODAY. THE DEEPER MOISTURE IS STILL EXPECTED TO STAY NORTH OF OUR AREA BUT THIS MAY BE ENOUGH TO BRING SOME SHOWERS THIS AFTERNOON AND POSSIBLY SOME SNOW THIS EVENING TO NE GA.
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 10:33 AM
TEMPS STILL RUNNING ON THE COLD SIDE WITH FORECASTED LOW TEMPS TODAY AND WED RUNNING AROUND 10-12 DEG BELOW NORMAL. DAY TIME HIGHS WILL BE ABOUT 10-15 DEG COOLER THAN NORMAL TODAY AND ONLY 8-10 DEG COOLER THAN NORMAL WED.
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 10:45 AM
Meteorologist: The only comparison I can see to Katrina might be on total losses in dollars. This is certainly going to be #2 all time and it might approach Katrina's $108B. You left out one other interesting meteorological aspect - the 1000+ mi gale diameter. This was the largest Atlantic tropical cyclone on record.
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Hundreds evacuated after NJ levee breaks; people in trailer park on roofs awaiting rescue
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Morning update from Jeff L (HCFCD): Historic Sandy continues to battered much of the eastern US. Numerous weather records have fallen from lowest central pressures to highest storm surge heights (I will compile an e-mail on all Sandy’s records in the next few days once they are verified). Thus far the death toll stands at 16 with potential damages estimate at over 25 billion dollars. President Obama declares major disaster declaration for New York City and Long Island. Incredible record 32.5 ft wave recorded in New York Harbor overnight surpassing the 26 foot record in Hurricane Irene! 7.5 million persons are without power in 11 states. Con Ed indicates significant damage has occurred to the NYC underground power system due to flooding. Back-up power generation at some NYC hospitals have failed due to flooding and this is requiring unprecedented evacuation of hundreds of patients similar to what happen at the Texas Medical center during TS Allison. Levee failure in northern New Jersey has completely flooded three entire towns this morning with an estimated 1000 persons trapped in their attics and on rooftops. continued....
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 12:42 PM
In the 108 years of the New York City Massive Transit System: “ it has never faced a disaster as devastating as last night” 7 subway tunnels under the East River were flooded. 6 bus garages were flooded. Hugh Carey Tunnel is flooded end to end and the Queens Midtown Tunnel is flooded. A massive fire has burned over 50 homes in Queens due to arcing power lines and strong winds. Showing the size of this event: 60mph winds and 24 foot waves are expected near Chicago today! 12,500 airline flights have been cancelled and many major NE airports are closed and have taken either flooding or wind damage. We have not fully grasped the scope and magnitude of this disaster, but based on sketchy reports from Long Island and the New Jersey coast, the damage is “incredible”! Sunrise this morning will reveal the full magnitude of the destruction. Note: I strongly advise everyone in this day of instant media “twitter and facebook” to be wary of reports. While much of the reports last evening were real time, only about 20% were actually true.
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Winds and wind gust at various airports: JFK - W: 53 G: 79 LGA - W: 56 G: 71 EWR - Newark NJ - W: 46 G: 78 ISP - Islip NY - W: 45 G: 82 (!)
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 02:26 PM
NJ Gov just said "The damage at the Jersey Shore is Unthinkable"
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 02:26 PM
There are currently 2.4 million households in NJ without power, twice the number from Irene.
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Little cold today? At 10:30am it's still 43.6ºF at Daculaweather.com
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 02:55 PM
: New snow totals from #Sandy: Redhouse, MD 26", Alpine Lake, WV 24", Newfound Gap, TN 18"
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Lake Michigan weather http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=lot&storyid=88755&source=0
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 03:34 PM
8.2 million without power
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Look at this https://twitter.com/AliBurnett/status/263298388731244545/photo/1
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Coney island http://controlgeek.net/2012/10/30/coney-island-sandy-flooding-aftermath-photos
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 09:58 PM
NASA's space view of Sandy from birth to current. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2012/h2012_Sandy.html
North Georgia Weather October 30, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Before and after... http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/liveblog/wp/2012/10/30/photos-before-and-after-hurricane-sandy/
North Georgia Weather October 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Last Sandy post... :-)) And actually, this is for us. Excerpt fro the Atlanta NWS Forecast Discussion this morning (you can always read the latest here: http://www.daculaweather.com/4_afd_ffc.php ) THE BIGGEST CONCERN WILL BE THE FREEZING TEMPS ACROSS OUR AREA. WITH THE WINDS CALMING DOWN TONIGHT MOST PLACES ACROSS NORTH GA WILL SEE TEMPS AT OR BELOW FREEZING. WILL ISSUE A FREEZE WARNING FOR MOST AREAS ACROSS NORTH GA TONIGHT.
North Georgia Weather October 31, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Bellevue Hospital Is Being Evacuated Bellevue Hospital Center, New York City’s flagship public hospital, is evacuating about 500 patients, hospital officials said moments ago. Bellevue, which is in Manhattan near the East River but not in the worst of the flood zone, has been operating on backup generators. Its lobby has been dark, with other lights working intermittently, doctors said. The health department has authorized “surge capacity plans,” hospital officials said. Appeals for other hospitals to take Bellevue patients have been marked “URGENT” and “ASAP.” Officials at other hospitals said that they were being asked to accept patients above their normal capacity, under rules put in place for catastrophic events. On Tuesday, signs of stress were evident as people could be seen carrying babies down the staircase. One doctor questioned why the hospital was not fully evacuating, and thought it might be that because the nearby NYU Langone Medical Center had been forced to evacuate 300 patients, after discharging 100, and there was not enough room at other hospitals. The hospital smelled bad, perhaps from fuel. Emergency lights were on. Ambulances were being diverted from the emergency room, which is one of the city’s major trauma centers.

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