Monday, October 29, 2012

Thought about Sandy as she approaches NJ

The long wait for Sandy is over.  As she approaches the coast the "Hurricane" aspect will rapidly transform to a full blown Nor'easter.  Similar to Irene (2011) expect belts of high wind and heavy rain/snow to form far away from center.

At the center of the system, the wind will become a non-event b/c of a lack of pressure gradient.   The big problem (also similar to Irene - 2011) is the central pressure of 943 mb (Strong Category 3) that may yet reach the Category 4 range.  Expect storm surge flooding well above and beyond the bogus Category 1 designation given to the system right now.

One of my lingering concerns is the storms hurricane force+ winds being displaced up to 175 mile s SW of the Center.  Could this imply that those well SW of the Center could see the highest inland winds?

My expectation continues to be that Central VA, north and east of RIC will see top wind gusts in the 60 mph range (original expectation 50-70 mph).     Here in RDU, the National Weather expects gusts to 45 mph.   There is some argument to go a tad higher but... what's 5-10 mph among friends?   On the other hand ... we do not seem to be a very windy area.

Stay safe and stay informed about the weather.  Sandy is a historic storm with a 1000 mile sphere of influence.   I am sure that there are variables that are not being well accounted by weather models.

I am impressed with the overall 72 hour accuracy of model solutions in regards to the track of the center.  It will be interesting to see what happens after the storm completes it Nor' ricane to Nor'Easter cut-off low transformation.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy a massive scale is bad news for Eastern US

My long breaks between writing have been unavoidable.  Winter is coming, therefore I know there will be plenty to write about.  Also my job transition is coming more under control.

The subject right now is Hurricane Sandy.  She is already transitioning to a massive nor'easter with a tropical core en route to a probable disastrous impact on the middle and north eastern seaboard and thousands of square miles inland,  The satellite image below  shows the tremendous inflow from across the equator and from the central Pacific.   

Hurricane Sandy well on the way to becoming a Nor-icane (Hybrid Storm)
Image Source: University of Wisconsing SSEC

This storm is not going to live the life of a traditional Hurricane that hits land and fades quickly.  This system will not only make its presence known in the form of gale and hurricane force winds but also coastal flooding and even snow!  

Tomorrow, we will look at the storm track and projected impacts.  Now that Sandy is on the move speculation will transition to greater accuracy in forecasting.   The ECMWF 3 PM run was particularly disconcerting because of a direct hit on the DelMarVA peninsula followed by a track into North Central VA.  Regardless of where she hits, there will be a lot of damage done.  If she took that more SW route then my friends and family along I-95 from RIC on north would get their 3rd hurricane-force impact in less than 10 years!  

Have a good night!  It's going to be a long weekend.