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Frankenstorm Gets Geeky

Hurricane Sandy is probably not actually going to make US landfall this week. An intense winter storm with hurricane force winds, high storm surge, and flooding rains will be coming off the Atlantic, probably centered in Southern New Jersey, but it won’t be Hurricane Sandy.

You are not seeing Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches and Warnings along the coast from Virginia to Massachusetts, you are seeing coastal flood watches and warnings and high wind advisories.

When the three storms merge over the Atlantic Sandy will lose its tropical characters and transition to a post-tropical cyclone. High winds and drenching rain do not a hurricane make. Much of the energy of Frankenstorm will come from the temperature differential among the systems involved, not the warm ocean water. The National Hurricane Center will stop issuing advisories and reporting will continue from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC).

Dr Masters gives his view of the storm which is already responsible for over 60 deaths, the majority in Haiti, and covers the 7.7 earthquake on the Canadian Pacific Coast that generated a small tsunami [a 3-foot wave in Hawaii].

Angela Fritz notes that Sandy’s 450 nautical mile wind field is second only to Olga’s 600 nm field in 2001 on the list of largest Atlantic tropical cyclones.

New York City is already shutting down the subway. That makes a lot of sense to turn off the power to prevent shorting from flooding. The storm surge in New York could be as high as 11 feet, which will cause flooding, even without the rain.

4 comments

1 Steve Bates { 10.28.12 at 4:47 pm }

Stranger and stranger…

2 Bryan { 10.28.12 at 5:24 pm }

Look at the damn pressure and the storm surge – this should be a Category 3 storm, and if the wind shear dies it will be. It has a scary amount of energy, and it will get more when the storms merge. Throw in the cold, my low will be in the 30s tonight, and you have are major mess across the Northeast.

The utility crews are already headed North, but they aren’t using I-95. They have had 6 inches of rain and tropical storm force winds for almost an entire day on the Outer Banks.

It is big, it is bad, and it is slow – everything you don’t want in a storm.

3 Moi;) { 10.29.12 at 6:35 pm }

You nailed that one – it’s a post-tropical cyclone. But, it’s due to hit land in about an hour. As you can see, we still have power/internets. But we haven’t gotten the worst yet. Power was out for a couple of minutes earlier, but that was all. Generator hooked up and ready to go.

Looks like AC has taken the worst of it. Funny, though, friends in CT have had a lot worse wind than we have.

4 Bryan { 10.29.12 at 7:31 pm }

It is slowing again, which is not good, even with the drop in maximum sustained winds. The rain will soften the soil making the trees easier to knock over. Your house should weather about anything, Moi, and you have a fireplace for a fall back position.

There are a lot of utility crews staged to come in on power restoration, but they have to wait until the winds die down before they can use their equipment. A crew from New Jersey hooked my place back into the grid after Hurricane Ivan, so Gulf Power is obligated to help out, and the crews have already left at the end of last week.

Stay safe and warm, and when you venture out for the first time be sure to look up, because these ‘little storms’ have a bad habit of blowing things onto roofs and up into trees that will drop down after the storm leaves.