Having quite the hard time staying awake at the moment so I'm really going to be briefly going into things. Sorry if it's short.. until I get back from work tomorrow this will have to do.
Here are things how they stand currently:
(Note: This will auto-update as time goes on.)
Hurricane Sandy is currently a Category 1 Hurricane sitting in the lower Atlantic near South Carolina. Within the next 24 hours, we are currently anticipating and expecting several main things that will set up an EXTREMELY NASTY
Monday-Wednesday. The main bulk of everything will be felt by Monday afternoon-night. Overnight hours will be the worst of the conditions. Tuesday AM and mid afternoon will still be dangerous. By Tuesday night the majority of the area should still be windy but things will start to taper down a bit. By Wednesday AM we will be left with windy conditions and showers.
1) The current location of Sandy is still prime for strengthening. Completely fine for strengthening, actually. Despite being this high in latitude, ocean waters are relatively warm (in the 80's still) and being right on-par with the Gulf Stream gives all the more reason for fuel being added to the fire. In fact, quite a few models actually strengthen Sandy further than expected, to a strong Category 1 Hurricane (90+mph winds) and even one has a Cat 2. While this is not entirely probable, the potential still exist. Overall, majority of the models agree the Sandy with further strengthen and continue to maintain it's Tropical Characteristics for the rest of today. I sincerely am beginning to think that the official forecast is underrated and we should be expecting a stronger storm than what is currently being predicted. The entire 0z model suites have a sub 950mb storm crashing into SNJ/CNJ. Just for the record, that most likely is the lowest recorded low-pressure system to be at our latitude if that were to pan out.
Here are current Satellite Images and Current Sea Surface Temps:
^ just to give you an idea on how MASSIVE this storm is.
2) There are a few other things we need to be on the lookout for today. One is the intensification as stated above. The second is the trough moving across the country, the piece of energy associated with the trough and when and where the phasing between the trough and Sandy begins. All models have general consensus of this happening around the benchmark area, which allows Sandy to begin to Retrograde back towards the coast and have that E->W flow. This, combined with the -NAO (Dome of High Pressure off the coast of Greenland that is preventing Sandy from going out to sea) is essentially why we are getting hit. The timing of this along with the timing of intensification will give us a good indicator of where and when the turn will happen. This is completely crucial for trying to pinpoint an accurate landfall. While the general overall event that accompanies Sandy (wind/rain) isn't as significant when we're talking about relevant to where it's making landfall, it's absolutely CRUCIAL to storm surge beach erosion.
Continuing on with what was said above, storm surge is something that is seriously worrying me. Not only does the fact that a storm moving directly perpendicular to the coast frighten me, but due to the nature of what Sandy will undergo after that interaction and phasing with the Trough and the retrograde begins, or even before that, truly terrifies me.
When a hurricane, tropical storm or any piece of tropical energy loses is tropical characteristics, it loses it's warm core (warm aspect to the storm) and loses that eye wall or convective banding around the center of circulation. The wind field starts to spread out and distribute itself over a much wider radius, as what we're currently seeing with Sandy. While Sandy still has tropical characteristics currently, it also posses extra-tropical or post-tropical signatures too. Being such a massive storm, currently, Tropical storm force winds can be felt for almost 300 MILES from the center of the storm, which will continue to even expand more. We're dealing with a semi-hybrid type of storm, and as today continues, we'll see how exactly it's structure will form and unfold. Until then, here's why this is so concerning.
a) With such an expansive wind field and for the amount of time Sandy has been spending over the ocean, ocean waters have been churning and swelling for quite some time. There is a very large area of water that will be accompanying Sandy into the coast when it reaches up here.
b) Coming in perpendicular or almost perpendicular with the coast will push this water directly INTO the coastline and surrounding areas due to the counter-clockwise motion cyclones have. The entire east coast will have an on-shore flow and will have water continuously pumped at the coast. This graphic below will show some information that I believe you all should be closely monitoring:
Probability that Storm Surge will be greater than:
> 2 feet
> 4 feet
> 6 feet
As you can see, even the probability of greater than 6 foot storm surge is still a possibility (20-30%). 6 feet of storm surge is DEVASTATING, especially in terms of the NYC area. This is something you seriously, seriously.. seriously.... need to take a look at your evacuation plans and determine tomorrow. I know the Mayor has not evacuated or issued mandatory evacs yet but if you seriously can afford to get out (for extremely low lying areas) please do. It's just not something to mess around with.
Here is a link to NY predictions for surge for locations:
Storm Surge NYC
That's just the beginning of it, assuming a Central NJ landfall. There are seriously a plethora of possibilities depending on location of landfall that storm surge has. Please monitor the local news and online sources to keep an eye on this if you live anywhere near a coastal section.
I haven't even touched up on the rain as of yet but I will let the maps do the talking. This is obviously an early guess at this stage still (please, like I said, continue to monitor online sources or your local news for updates throughout the day.
Here are current predictions for total rainfall through:
As a personal opinion, I feel those totals are on the lower side. It is safe to say we should all be expecting a general 3-6/4-8 inches of rain with locally 10+inches.
To kind of elaborate on the subject above, the reason why I'm worried about this is due to the leaves. Yes, the leaves. Here in Central Jersey a good 80% of the trees STILL have leaves on them. They surely will not after 30-50mph sustained winds for the first few hours. Those leaves are going to be a menace and completely clog and block drains all over. Factor this in with 8 inches of rain or coastal or tidal flooding.. and well, you get feet of water building up. I would honestly not be surprised to see low laying areas and river-shed areas to be completely flooded out. And just to touch on that, please, turn around, don't drown. It's really simple. If you cannot judge if there's standing water or not, moving water or not, take the safe route. Don't go through it. It only takes a few inches of moving/running water to take a car off it's wheels.
This is probably becoming extremely disorganized by this point as I'm falling asleep, but I hope it's informative and helps some people out. If anyone is wondering, no I am not affiliated with any agency or the government. I am a meteorology major and weather enthusiast. Any opinions or advice are solely my own and does not represent any company.
With that being said, please, please... carefully monitor the storm tomorrow. Here are a few links to sites that could be of use:
If you have not prepared for this, PLEASE prepare tomorrow morning. Sunday night we will begin to feel wind and see some of the outer bands in the form of showers. Not to mention, well, last minute... most places will most likely be out of supplies already. Batteries. Canned goods. Water. Etc.
To leave this off, expect power outages. Expect trees down, flooding and expect the worst but hope for the best. To leave it off on how serious people should be taking this, there is a scale that exists that measures the IKE:
Hurricane Katrina? 5.2. Ike? 5.4.
Yes, for wave/storm surge it's a 5.7. Don't think one storm has reached that high before.
That's it for me for now. If I get out early tomorrow I'll give you an update. In the meantime, if anyone is in desperate need for info or opinions feel free to PM me.
Hope this helps!