Hurricane Sandy open thread
[2012-10-30 1:30PM I'm leaving this sticky because even though I can't -- snarl -- find a current projection for Sandy's path, it's still blundering northward and no doubt causing plenty of damage. --lambert]
[2012-10-29 4:45PM EST Sandy is now predicted to make landfall in southern NJ this evening, so the 'left turn" predicted took place. Apparently, an "eye" did not form, making Sandy no longer technically a hurricane. In my non-expert interpretation, that doesn't decrease the dangers we already know, but does mean that Sandy can't intensify... Which is a good thing, I guess! --lambert]
How y'all doing? Sandy is now a very slow-moving tropical storm instead of a hurricane, but it seems to me that such a massive and unprecedented weather system is a 500-pound gorilla: It can do anything it wants. Turn back into a hurricane, forget about that oddball lleft turn into New Jersey and barrel up the coast... Who knows?
Anyhow, I'm following Dr. Jeff Masters on Weather Underground, because the sensationalism of weather.com and the networks reminds me of security theatre. If you're a weather geek, you'll like this:
Intensity and Track Forecast for Sandy
Sandy has a rather unusual structure, with the strongest winds on the southwest side of the center, but a larger area of tropical storm-force winds to the northeast of the center. Most of the storm's heavy thunderstorm activity is on the storm's west side, in a thick band several hundred miles removed from the center, giving Sandy more the appearance of a subtropical storm rather than a hurricane. Satellite loops show that the low-level center of Sandy is no longer exposed to view, and heavy thunderstorms are increasing in areal extent near the center, due to a reduction in wind shear from 35 - 40 knots last night to 25 - 30 knots this morning. Wind shear is expected to drop another 5 knots today, which may allow the storm to build an increased amount of heavy thunderstorms near its center and intensify by 5 - 10 mph over the next 24 hours. The NOAA Hurricane Hunters noted this morning that Sandy had a partial eyewall on the west through SE sides of the center, and the storm may be able to build a nearly complete eyewall by Monday morning. By Monday afternoon, though, Sandy will be moving over cool 25°C waters, which should slow down this intensification process. However, the trough of low pressure that will be pulling Sandy to the northwest towards landfall on Monday will strengthen the storm by injecting "baroclinic" energy--the energy one can derive from the atmosphere when warm and cold air masses lie in close proximity to each other. Sandy should have sustained winds at hurricane force, 75 - 80 mph, at landfall. Sandy's central pressure is expected to drop from its current 951 mb to 945 - 950 mb at landfall Monday night. A pressure this low is extremely rare; according to wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt, the lowest pressure ever measured anywhere in the U.S. north of Cape Hatteras, NC, is 946 mb (27.94") measured at the Bellport Coast Guard Station on Long Island, NY on September 21, 1938 during the great "Long Island Express" hurricane. The latest set of 00Z (8 pm EDT) and 06Z (2 am EDT) computer model runs are in agreement that Sandy will make landfall between 10 pm Monday night and 4 am Tuesday morning in New Jersey.
I have to confess to an ignoble and premature relief that the track isn't the same as Irene's -- straight at Maine, though Irene later deflected. Really shameful, this "Take them, not me!" attitude, though all too human and I suppose the flip side of the sort of attitude that thinks God was on their side when they won that high school football game. But perhaos I project my own anxieties for myself and what's become of the country.
This humongous, slow-moving, never-goes-away storm... Metaphor for the election? The economy? What?
And, pragmaticallly, what's to do? Windows? Batteries? Sump pumps? Water? I do remember reading somewhere that you should bring water to a rollling boil to purify it, which coffee makers do not do!