Friday, October 26, 2012

Sandy the "Frankenstorm" of the East


It's incredible that a storm can come along so late in the hurricane season and be described as either "The Perfect Storm" (as in the Storm of the Century in 1993) or even worse - "The Frankenstorm" because it is supposed to hit close to Halloween. There's also another "spin" on Sandy (pardon the pun) that it will become a "Hybrid Freak" thanks to an arctic cold front moving across the country that will merge into the tropical low.

All of it spells trouble for New Jersey north into New England next week. 

STATUS: Sandy remains a Category 2 hurricane, as of 10:30 p.m. Thursday
STRENGTH: Maximum sustained winds of 100 mph; 965 mb pressure
LOCATION: Center of the storm is between Cat Island and Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas, 105 miles east of Nassau in the Bahamas, as of 9 p.m. Thursday
SPEED & DIRECTION: Moving north-northwest at 17 mph
Source: National Hurricane Center


. . . the forecast for the storm is highly complex, and has little to no historical comparison, according to David Robinson, the state climatologist at Rutgers University.

“It borders on rare to unprecedented on its potential,” he said. “This is a threat that should be taken seriously. I’m not suggesting people should run right now to the grocery store for your bread and milk, but it needs to be watched closely.”

A myriad of scenarios for how the situation will unfold exists, according to forecast guidance. Were Sandy to track inland just south of or on the New Jersey coast, major coastal flooding, hurricane force winds and torrential rain are all distinct possibilities. A track further to the north, in New England, and the Garden State may be spared some of the more severe impacts. Even the potential for Sandy to move out to sea (while the least likely) can’t be completely discounted at this point.

Because the ceiling of the storm’s impact is so high, forecasters and state officials are urging residents to monitor it closely. The threat of major coastal flooding, inland flooding and wind damage is very much in the realm of possibilities for New Jersey – a threat that should not be taken lightly, regardless of the outcome.

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