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2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Birdseye Discussion #145A (Special Update)
By: NCHurricane2009 , 2:46 AM GMT on October 30, 2012
...MONDAY OCTOBER 29 2012...10:45 PM EDT...
Sandy makes history as a major and potentially devastating storm to the state of New Jersey and the New York City metro area.
Sandy intensified more than expected to 90 mph maximum sustained winds and 940 mb central pressure just prior to landfall in southern New Jersey. Cool air advection on the west side of the storm amplified the incoming upper trough (paragraph P1 feature of discussion #145) into an upper vortex to the southwest...and in turn this upper vortex whilred Sandy northwestward into landfall. Because Sandy intensified more than expected...the cool air advection was stronger than expected...causing the upper vortex to develop stronger and faster and whirl in Sandy faster...which explains Sandy's earlier than expected landfall. As for the unexpected amount of intensification...I believe Sandy tapped into extrodinary split flow upper divergence between the NE quad of the upper vortex and North Atlantic upper anticyclone (this North Atlantic upper anticyclone is a combo of the NW and NE Atlantic upper anticyclones mentioned in paragraphs P1 and P2 of discussion #145). Sandy may have had an upper anticyclonic outflow channel around this upper anticyclone potentially enhanced by her t-storm latent heat release. Furthermore...the split flow upper divergence between the upper anticyclone and upper vortex may have been further enhanced by westerly upper winds flowing into a central Atlantic deep-layered low (paragraph P2 feature of discussion #145). Just prior to landfall across southern New Jersey...Sandy weakened to 80 mph max winds with her central pressure rising into the 950 mb range. Expect Sandy to continue weakening as her center whirls into a non-divergent region of the aforementioned upper vortex.
In addition to wind damage and widespread power outages...New York City has broken its record for coastal storm surge..thanks to Sandy's unprecedently large wind field that pushed tons of water against the coast. The strong winds across New York City were northeasterly several hours before landfall...pushing water from the East River southwestward into the east shores of Manhattan and flooding East Village in Manhattan. Just after landfall...the strong winds across New York City switched to southeasterly...pushing the Atlantic Ocean northwestward into and against northerly flow of the Hudson and East Rivers...creating a record-breaking storm surge against the south-facing shores of Battery Park of Manhattan. This storm surge was made worse by its almost perfect phasing with high tide. Reports have come in suggesting this storm surge is flooding parts of New York City's subway system...the World Trade Center re-construction site...the runway of Laguardia Airport...the area around the New York Stock Exchange of Wall Street...and other areas of lower (southern) Manhattan. As of this writing...it appears the worst of the storm surge is over...as the southeasterly winds driving in the Atlantic Ocean are weakening over the area as the center of Sandy pushes further inland and away from this area.
Devastating and record-breaking storm surge apperas to have also slammed the east coast of New Jersey...but the effects to major areas such as Altantic City are not fully known at this time...
My next full blog update will be released sometime in the early morning just after midnight. However...their is a slight chance of power outage from where I am blogging...as wind gusts in my area in southeast Michigan have actually increased to 40+ mph in the last hour. Amazingly...this is occurring far away from the center of Sandy. In the slight chance that a power outage hits...my blog update will be delayed. Meanwhile...return to full discussion #145 for an update on the rest of the Atlantic tropics.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.