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October 26, 2012

Hurricane Sandy 10/27 update (tmi3rd)

Hi there, Morons and Moronettes. tmi3rd here again, and relatively little change in the forecast track so far, but the timeline is beginning to firm up. For the above-the-fold discussion, if you're anywhere from DC to Boston, you need to be finishing up your preparations for a strong tropical storm to Category 1 hurricane hit. You need to also expect extremely high tides and for the possibility that this storm may linger for a bit.

More beneath the fold...


As you can see from the map, Sandy is emerging from the Bahamas, with maximum sustained winds still at 75 mph (hurricane strength) and gusts to 90 mph. Movement is currently to the north at 6 mph, and minimum pressure is still a robust 969 mb. The current forecast track takes it south of where it was anticipated to hit at this time yesterday- yesterday, the thinking was that the center of circulation would go ashore around the New York City area, and now they're thinking Delaware Bay. That will probably change again, so just allow for a wide swath.

That doesn't let anyone off the hook, though. If you're on the northern side of the storm, you'll have those winds blowing water in towards the shore as the storm comes ashore. The other thing is, the storm is pretty asymmetric right now. Here's a satellite shot of it...


The center of circulation is that little notch just north of the Bahamas, and it's very exposed to the south. It's beginning to take on some hybrid characteristics, which is just to say that it's beginning to lose some of the warm core-characteristics that make tropical cyclones tropical cyclones. It's sucking up some cooler frontal air, and it'll encounter a pair of weather features that will move it first to the northeast (in which time it will weaken slightly), and then make it take a hard left turn on Monday evening. It is anticipated to have re-strengthened by that time.

Now, glance back up at the satellite shot. This is a BIG storm, and if you're anywhere from North Carolina to probably southern Maine, you're going to feel some effects from the storm. Also, if you look at the forecast map, it's anticipated that Sandy will slow way down over central Pennsylvania and New York, and that will be where the real threat to life and property comes in- inland flooding.

Plan for substantial power outages in that area, and it may take several days to get power back. If you haven't already, you'll want to charge up all your electronics, and all of us who were in the neighborhood for Katrina have a new-found appreciation for generators. Gas up the cars now, and you'll want a few days' worth of non-perishable food and medication.

If you're on the coast- should the order be given to evacuate, don't screw around. Slow movers are the worst- the winds stay up, the water keeps coming in, and the rain just hangs out forever.

There has been some discussion of some winter weather on the trailing end of the system- it's too early to say what we're talking about there, but just plan for a big mess. The leading edge of the storm will likely just be rain.

So, to reiterate- DC to Cape Cod, be finishing up your preparations for a big, persistent storm. If you need to get a hold of me with questions, I'm on Twitter at @tmi3rd, and as many will tell you, I'm approachable and friendly, and there are no dumb questions.

Everyone stay safe!


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posted by Open Blogger at 11:41 PM

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