Looking at the predictions regarding Hurricane Sandy, I’m reminded of the horror and awe I felt looking at the satellite pictures of Hurricane Katrina before it reached shore, knowing the damage and destruction it seemed certain to cause.
Only there’s a chance this might be worse:
“We looking at one of the worst storms on record that we’ve seen in this region.”
– Carl Parker, hurricane specialist for The Weather Channel
Brian Norcross of the National Weather Service writes on his Facebook page:
“Isn’t it strange that a hurricane in the Bahamas would somehow turn into a monster mega-storm and slam into the Northeast at the end of October? Aren’t hurricanes supposed to weaken as they move north over cold water? What the hell is going on?
The answers are… yes, yes, and we’re not completely sure. This is a beyond-strange situation. It’s unprecedented and bizarre. Hurricanes almost always bend out to sea in October, although there have been some exceptions when storms went due north, but rarely. No October tropical systems in the record book have turned left into the northeast coast.
The strong evidence we have that a significant, maybe historic, storm is going to hit the east coast is that EVERY reliable computer forecast model now says it’s going to happen. The only way we can forecast the weather four or five days from now is with the aid of these super-complex computer programs run on supercomputers. The two best, the European and the U.S. GFS (Global Forecast System) run by NOAA, are now in reasonable agreement that there IS going to be an extraordinarily unusual confluence of events that results in a massive storm….
The forecast is for an incredibly widespread and long-duration windstorm, meaning power will likely be out for an extended period of time in a lot of locations.
A transistor radio is your best friend in a situation like this. Get one and enough batteries to keep it going. Your cell phone may or may not be your friend after a big storm…. This storm, as forecast, will create dangerous and potentially life-threatening storm surge along hundreds of miles of coastline north of where the center comes ashore. Big storms move a lot of water, and this one is about as big as they come.
As Norcross notes, there’s a full moon Monday, meaning tides will be running high as well.
Mike Smith, a top executive of Accuweather, posts the following on his blog, along with a plea to people in the mid-Atlantic region to vote now, because “if the stronger models are correct, power could still be out in some places on election day:”
A very prominent and respected National Weather Service meteorologist wrote on Facebook last night:
“I’ve never seen anything like this and I’m at a loss for expletives to describe what this storm could do.”
Yes, I’ve never seen anything like it either nor have our modern meteorological tools. As I wrote yesterday afternoon, we don’t know whether our tools are up to the task because no storm of this nature has occurred in the modern meteorological era….
Power will fail in a large geographic area. There is a fair amount of inconsistent information this morning pertaining to peak gusts, i.e., will they be 60 mph or 80 mph? But, since power often fails with a 60 mph gust, it may not matter.
Because of the geographic extent (winds capable of causing power failures in a swath hundreds of miles in width), there could be massive power failures and, once out, the power may be out for weeks….
The storm surge will be destructive. Because wind speed and direction are so important, I can’t offer a map of predicted storm surges yet. But, there will be areas where the combination of full moon, waves of more than 20 feet, and storm surge cause great destruction in coastal areas.
We are in uncharted territory here. I believe this will be a major storm that will dominate the news for days. Prepare accordingly.”
– Jay Bookman