“Frankenstorm” Sandy May Become 1 in 100 Year Super-Storm
“We don’t have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting.…” – Jim Cisco, NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (via the Associated Press and The Capital Weather Gang). Details below.
Worst Storm in 100 Years for Northeast USA? Business Week speculates here.
Taste of Winter. Kim Twigg snapped this shot near Crosby Thursday morning – about 1 to 1.5″ of snow fell.
Friday Snowfall Amounts:
4.8″ reported at Orr, Minnesota
1.3″ Fort Ripley
Could Hurricane Sandy wind up being the “October Surprise” that political pundits have predicted? I’m starting to think so. Will even the threat of another Perfect Storm impact the 2012 Elections, on a local, state and national level? Research suggests that foul weather may have played a role in the 1960 and 2000 Presidential elections.
A Close Call for Florida. Most models take Hurricane Sandy 150-200 miles east of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, although the NAM model continues to “loop” Sandy directly into south Florida by Friday night. This is still possible, but you have to go with the majority of models and the trends, which keep the worst of the winds and waves out to sea. That said, it will be a very close call, with a potential for significant flash flooding across much of the Sunshine State. Map: Ham Weather.
Florida Flash Flood Potential. The highest-resolution 4 km. NAM model is hinting at some 5-10” rains from Daytona Beach and The Cape southward to Naples and Miami over the next 60 hours. Although the core of strongest winds and highest surf will pass east of Florida, the risk of problems from inland flooding is considerable. Map courtesy of Weather Bell.
Model Trends. Here is one map, courtesy of NHC and Ham Weather, which shows all the various model tracks. Meteorologists look for continuity from model run to model run, and we examine the trends. Are the models adjusting the track farther north or south over time? Right now the general consensus is for the models to nudge Sandy’s track slightly north, closer to Wildwood and Atlantic City by Monday, but coastal residents from Virginia Beach to Cape Cod need to stay alert. We expect the track to change several times, as new data initializes the computer models. Hopefully these simulations will converge around a similar solution as we get closer to landfall early next week.
A Rough Sunday For The Outer Banks. Here is the NAM solution for midday Sunday, hinting at hurricane force wind gusts for the Outer Banks of North Carolina, as well as Norfolk and Virginia Beach, with flooding rains overspreading Virginia’s Tidewater.
Solution #1. The ECMWF (European) model brings the center of Sandy, by then a “Frankenstorm”, a hybrid hurricane/Nor’easter, close to Ocean City, Maryland by Monday evening. This would imply the worst storm surge flooding and highest winds for points north of the eye or center of the storm, from Bethany Beach and Rehoboth, Delaware into coastal New Jersey. The ECMWF was the first model to “hook” Sandy inland, back on Monday of this week, so I tend to put a little more stock into the ECMWF solution than most of the other models. Flooding rains are likely 100-250 miles inland, with potentially serious flash flooding likely from Roanoke and Richmond into Washington D.C. and Baltimore Sunday night into Tuesday. Map: WSI Corporation.
Solution #2. The Navy NOGAPS model shows a similar solution, although farther north, with possible landfall Monday morning over New Jersey. The farther north Sandy comes ashore, the greater the threat to not only New Jersey but metropolitan New York City and Long Island. A long “fetch” over the Atlantic may result in a storm surge 5-15 feet above normal, with the greatest threat of coastal flooding and beach erosion over the southern coastline of Long Island eastward to Providence, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod. Map: Weather Bell.
Solution #3. The GFS model is coming into alignment with the Navy NOGAPS solution, suggesting a more northern track, one that would threaten New York City, Long Island, Groton, Providence and Cape Cod with the largest storm surge and most widespread coastal flooding. If this forecast verifies, still a big if, metro New York could see hurricane-force winds during the day Monday.
Solution #4. Lights out for The Big Apple? The Canadian (GEMS) model shows a direct strike on Long Island and New York City, with hurricane force gusts from Baltimore to Hartford, Worcester and Providence. The map above is valid 1 am Tuesday. Again, I’m struck by the sheer size of this storm.
Mitigating Factor: Unusually Warm Gulf Stream Waters. Sea surface temperatures (SST) are running as much as 5-8 F. warmer than average in the Gulf Stream, just off the east coast. This warm stain of water may help to sustain hurricane strength unusually far north (for late October). Map: NOAA.
The 1% Is Nervous. At least the 1% of Americans who happen to have estates on the south shoreline of Long Island. NOAA NCEP is predicting some 12-13 foot waves by Monday and Tuesday from near Cape Cod to New York Harbor.
Experts Sound Alarm On Hurricane Sandy, Like To Be Worse Than 1991 “Perfect Storm”. Here’s a snippet of an interesting story (providing some much-needed perspective) from meteorologist Jason Samenow, writing for The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang: “…“The Perfect Storm deepened to 972 mb…” Why Sandy could be more powerful, Will Komaromi: “Most of the models now indicate even stronger jet dynamics will occur next week than occurred during for the Perfect Storm, and that today’s storm could potentially deepen to well below 960 mb or even below 950 mb. The fact that the Gulf Stream is anomalously warm for this time of year means that Sandy will weaken less as a tropical system…” Sandy will be worse, Jeff Masters: “The Perfect Storm only did $200 million of damage and I’m thinking a billion.Yeah, it will be worse.”(via the Associated Press)...”
Evidence Mounting For Historic Storm To Strike The Northeast. Here’s an excerpt of a good post from Accu Weather meteorologist Joe Lundberg: “The weather from central and East Texas to the Florida Panhandle up to the Great Lakes is nothing short of stunning today. There is a lot of sunshine at this very hour, temperatures more reflective of early September, if not late August, and there’s seemingly not a care in the world! Yet, it has turned much colder overnight down into the Texas Panhandle behind a strong cold front. Snow accumulated a few inches around Denver and Boulder overnight, and a wind-driven cold rain is mixing with snow as I write this in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Meanwhile, on the southeast coast of Florida, winds are gusting to 30 miles an hour with bands of rain rotating through on northwest flank of Sandy, a strong hurricane that only lost some of her punch in crossing Cuba early today. The cold front coming across the Plains and Sandy coming out of the Caribbean appear to be on somewhat of a collision course that many now agree could lead to an historic storm early next week.…”
A Snowy Hurricane? Bitter air surging eastward will create the temperature contrast and high-level jet stream wind configuration necessary to intensify “Sandy” into a super storm, a massive Nor’easter capable of beach erosion and coastal flooding. Inland, enough cold air may be in place for a foot of snow for the mountains of West Virginia. GFS forecast courtesy of NOAA and Weathercaster.
What Are The Best Stories About People Randomly Meeting Steve Jobs? A friend e-mailed me this link from quora.com; here’s an excerpt: “I’m particularly curious to know what he was like outside of Apple Inc. He had a reputation for being “difficult” to work with, or work for. I want to know about what he was like as “the guy buying coffee…”, or “the customer who stopped into an Apple Store…”
- Welcome to the WeatherNation blog. Every day I sift through hundreds of stories, maps, graphics and meteorological web sites, trying to capture some of the most interesting weather nuggets, the stories behind the forecast. I’ll link to stories and share some of the web sites I use. I’m still passionate about the weather, have been ever since Tropical Storm Agnes flooded my home in Lancaster, PA in 1972. I’ve started 5 weather-related companies. “EarthWatch” created the world’s first 3-D weather graphics for TV stations – Steven Spielberg used our software in “Jurassic Park” and “Twister”. My last company, “Digital Cyclone”, personalized weather for cell phones. “My-Cast” was launched in 2001 and is still going strong on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. I sold DCI to Garmin in 2007 so I could focus on my latest venture: WeatherNation. I also write a daily weather column for The Star Tribune startribune.
com/weatherAnd if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me @pdouglasweather