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.