- As we approach the 3 year anniversary of what was one of the biggest storms to impact the Northeastern US/Mid Atlantic, I want to do a bit of a documentary and dedicate a page on this site to Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy
October 22nd 2012 :
Exactly 1 year ago today is when we started seeing signs of a major storm system impacting the eastern US, at 5 pm on October 22nd 2012 the National Hurricane Center upgraded a tropical depression the Caribbean to Tropical storm Sandy
...DEPRESSION STRENGTHENS INTO TROPICAL STORM SANDY... SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...12.5N 78.5W ABOUT 395 MI...640 KM SSW OF KINGSTON JAMAICA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...STATIONARY MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...999 MB...29.50 INCHES
Image curtosey of Keith Latteri OF FWX
At the same time many Tropical models and the NHC began picking up on the potential for Sandy to highly impact Hatti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republican while strengthening into hurricane status with flooding rains and strong winds
Thereafter the models began hinting at a turn NE before a turn back to the west towards the Northeastern US, and some global models namely the Euro and Canadian models were showing a similar situation. Still , more models than not were turning the storm out to sea after impacting the Caribbean , and based on October climatology with increased troughs and cold fronts that seemed to be the most likely solution at the time, and of course the fact that it was one week ahead of time there wasn’t enough data yet , so this remained strictly just something to watch and something to keep in the back of east coast residents minds
October 23rd 2013
On October 23rd 2012 Sandy slowly became a strong Tropical storm with now major impacts expected in Jamaica and Hati
TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 805 AM EDT TUE OCT 23 2012
TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA…CENTRAL AMERICA…GULF OF MEXICO…CARIBBEAN SEA…NORTHERN SECTIONS OF SOUTH AMERICA…AND ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE AFRICAN COAST FROM THE EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BASED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY…WEATHER OBSERVATIONS…RADAR…AND METEOROLOGICAL ANALYSIS.
TROPICAL STORM SANDY IS CENTERED NEAR 13.4N 77.9W AT 23/1200 UTC OR ABOUT 280 NM SSW OF KINGSTON JAMAICA MOVING NNE AT 3 KT. ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 997 MB. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WIND SPEED IS 40 KT WITH GUSTS TO 50 KT. SEE LATEST NHC INTERMEDIATE PUBLIC ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS MIATCPAT3/WTNT33 KNHC AND THE FULL FORECAST/ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS MIATCMAT3/WTNT23 KNHC FOR MORE DETAILS. NUMEROUS STRONG CONVECTION IS WITHIN 45 NM OF LINE FROM 11N78W TO 13N76W WITH SCATTERED MODERATE/STRONG CONVECTION COVERING THE REMAINDER OF THE AREA FROM 10N-16N BETWEEN 74W-79W AND S OF 15N BETWEEN 69W-73W. CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED MODERATE/STRONG CONVECTION ARE S OF 14N W OF 79W TO THE COAST OF PANAMA TO NICARAGUA. SANDY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES ACROSS JAMAICA…HAITI…THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC…AND EASTERN CUBA…WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 16 INCHES POSSIBLE…ESPECIALLY IN AREAS OF MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. THESE RAINS MAY PRODUCE LIFE THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUDSLIDES.
Meanwhile , the NHC forecast track continued to show the storm slipping harmlessly out to sea beyond the Caribbean while the same forecast models that showed the eventual westward movement of Sandy into the NE remained consistent, and the ones that showed the out to sea solution also remained consistent, on this day we began seeing a strong blocking pattern beginning to form over the North Atlantic , but it was still too early to see whether or not the block would become strong enough to force Sandy to go west and merge with a strong cold front heading east through the country and based on the strikingly strong climatology of storms in October going out to sea from that point was a much better chance.
October 24th 2012
On October 24th 2012 Sandy was upgraded to hurricane status as it approached Kingston Jamaica
320 PM EDT WED OCT 24 2012
…SANDY MAKES LANDFALL IN SOUTHEASTERN JAMAICA…
SUMMARY OF 300 PM EDT…1900 UTC…INFORMATION ———————————————- LOCATION…17.9N 76.7W ABOUT 5 MI…8 KM E OF KINGSTON JAMAICA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…80 MPH…130 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 5 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…973 MB…28.73 INCHES
THE EYE OF HURRICANE SANDY MADE LANDFALL ON THE SOUTHEASTERN COAST OF JAMAICA NEAR KINGSTON AT APPROXIMATELY 300 PM EDT…1900 UTC. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS AT LANDFALL WERE ESTIMATED TO BE 80 MPH… 130 KM/H.
She strengthened pretty rapidly into a Category 2 hurricane between Jamaica and Haiti/Cuba later on the 24th and into the 25th , making landfall in Jamaica at an 85 mph storm than in Cuba as a 115 mph hurricane
Meanwhile as we began to see the NAO values tanking and 2 storms merging over the north Atlantic to create a block for Sandy, the threat of the worst case scenario for the Northeastern US and east coast was becoming an increasing threat
On October 25th 2012 Sandy impacted then exited Cuba with very heavy flooding rains and wind moving towards the North-Northwest, after passing over the high terrain of the land there, she weakened upon approaching the Bahamas but still remained a weak hurricane regardless
By the 25th the door for Sandy to exit to the east and out into the Atlantic began closing quickly as an already negative NAO and strong trough began to merge with another tropical system , on this day the NHC shifted the track to what the European and some other models were showing for about a week days up to this point, a worst case scenario was clearly setting up and many along the eastern seaboard we alerted of the impending storm by news media once the NHC changed their track, although some meteorologists and enthusiasts saw this threat well before this point, most of the viewing public doesn’t see stuff like this until the news media picks up on it
On the 25th and into the 26th Sandy began her first impacts on the US, along the Florida east coast Tropical storm watches and warnings were issued and parts of the state were impacted by heavy rain and tropical storm force winds through early on October 27th
October 26th 2012
October 26th the storm cleared the Bahamas and continued to impact the east coast of Florida while turning from the NW to the NNE , maintaining minimal hurricane strength although with some interaction beginning with the trough approaching from the west, Sandy began growing in size
This is mid day October 26th through October 27th and we can see the storm rapidly increasing in size as the ingredients begin coming together for indeed a super storm.
Later on the 26th and into the 27th Sandy began impacting NC/SC/VA in significant ways with coastal flooding, heavy rains and strong winds of tropical storm force , this became a very long duration event for these areas as the track was in such a way to just inundate coastal VA/NC with rain/wind and coastal flooding
October 27th 2012
Early on October 27th she was very briefly downgraded to Tropical storm Sandy as the center weakened a bit but shortly after On October 27th Sandy became and remained a minimal hurricane through much of the day, but while the center of the storm was WELL off the coast, very significant impact was spreading up and down the east coast with coastal flooding issues already beginning for the Northeast coast and significant coastal flooding, flooding rains and high winds continuing along the VA /NC coast and slowly spreading north towards the Delmarva later in the day.
Here is the forecasted track ahttps://northeasternnjwx.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2727&action=edits of 11 am October 27th, it is now clear the east coast is in for a huge storm
As Hurricane Sandy began to really interact with an incoming trough, a swath of extremely heavy rains developed through the day on the western flank over NC/VA and slowly spread N & W and by the 28th was impacting southern NJ and the Delmarva and later in the night spread towards Central NJ
On the 26th-27th NJ, NY parts of PA ,Delaware MD and VA all issued states of emergencies ahead of Sandy
October 28th 2012
Above is a satellite image of Sandy early on October 28th as she makes her trek up the east coast, maintaining hurricane status. Despite the center being well out to sea much of the east coast really began seeing significant impacts, at this point the center was moving NE away from land too
Minor to moderate coastal flooding was occurring along the Jersey/NY coast lines , significant coastal flooding issues began by the late afternoon even with the storm WELL to the southeast, this is when people started to realize just how serious this storm would really be
During the afternoon hours tropical storm force winds began along the coast lines and especially the night-time hours, tropical storm force winds spread throughout the NYC/Philly metros and spread their way north and west, this is when the rain really began picking up for the Delmarva to southern NJ/SE PA and the Washington DC/Baltimore areas , as the storm began merging with a negatively tilted trough whose axis was right over this area, this lead to a strong crash of tropical air coming from the east and cold air trying to come in from the west and lead to EXTREMLEY impressive rain bands. The rain was far less impressive as you headed north towards Central/North Jersey/NE PA and NYC as the best dynamics and lifting were to the south
October 29th 2012
October 29th 2012, the day many people who live along the east coast will never forget, the day Sandy really laid down her wrath on our area and bought the biggest impacts to the US.
Schools and businesses were shut down on this Monday morning, NYC and Philadelphia through DC were like a ghost towns compared to usual as the transportation systems all closed down Sunday afternoon evening
Most people woke up to tropical storm force winds and heavy rain south, light to moderate rain north, the coastlines were experiencing major flooding and hurricane force gusts were making thier way towards the shore
Sandy that morning strengthened to a category 2 hurricane as she began making the turn north then west with 90 mph winds and gusts 100+ , she maintained this strength all the way to the NJ coast line
While Sandy was clearly turning no tropical and more into a hybrid/nor’easter her strength increased due to the atmospheric players , with a strong cold front and Sandy merging it allowed for her barometric pressure to fall all the way down to 940 mb! This transition that started occurring on the 28th lead to her wind field expanding exponentially with tropical storm force winds extending as much as 1000 miles out from the center, and hurricane force wind extending as much as 400 miles out from the center.
By the afternoon hours as the storm turned NW , heavy flooding rains continued over the same areas, hurricane force winds began occurring over southern New England and LI and along the coast , tropical storm force winds increasing elsewhere , many people already either lost power or had flooded and possibly destroyed homes and the worst was yet to come.
Sandy late on October 29th-early October 30th
Last minute Sandy picked up speed and sped towards coast at around 28 mph ,this is when the storms impacts began peeking over the forecast area, as the storm moved west towards the coast much of the area was put in the eastern quadrant of the storm ,where the strongest winds occur, this began to enter coastal areas later in the afternoon then over spread the area from east to west, winds were blowing at 50-70 mph with gusts exceeding 90 in many places , driving water in from the oceans and bay, high tide on the night of October 29th was one that was unprecedented with this onslaught of hurricane force winds plus an already high storm surge driving water ferociously on shore, with water rises ranging from 8-14 feet on the NYC coast line and Central/NNJ coast lines down to about Atlantic City this is the area where devastation was at its worst, this pounding surf and storm surge destroyed many board walks and went beyond that to flood and destroy hundreds and thousands of people homes , south of Atlantic city the coastal damage was not as severe as those areas were south of the landfall point and the winds changed offshore much more quickly
Meanwhile inland areas away from the water were seeing the same types of wind, so while they didn’t have to worry about the ocean, many trees were brought down by the wind, there was also a strange flashes in the sky that were blue and yellow, which were transformers blowing up and knocking out power to millions of people
NYC had an extreme version of a transformer explosion as seen in the video below
These conditions lingered for hours before finally winding down in the morning hours of October 30th
***********************PEAK WIND GUST*********************** LOCATION MAX WIND TIME/DATE COMMENTS GUST OF MPH MEASUREMENT
CONNECTICUT… ANZ330… 2 S GROTON 76 300 PM 10/29 MESONET
…FAIRFIELD COUNTY… BRIDGEPORT AIRPORT 76 549 PM 10/29 ASOS GREENWICH 70 520 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER NORWALK 69 830 PM 10/29 PUBLIC TRUMBULL 68 540 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER DANBURY AIRPORT 68 711 PM 10/29 ASOS
…MIDDLESEX COUNTY… 3 SW MIDDLETOWN 58 643 PM 10/29 MESONET
…NEW HAVEN COUNTY… MADISON 85 520 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
…NEW LONDON COUNTY… GROTON AIRPORT 75 335 PM 10/29 ASOS STONINGTON 70 300 PM 10/29 EMERGENCY MNGR
NEW JERSEY …BERGEN COUNTY… 1 SSE TEANECK 86 731 PM 10/29 MESONET TETERBORO 72 747 PM 10/29 ASOS NORTH ARLINGTON 73 348 PM 10/29 SKYWARN SPOTTER
…ESSEX COUNTY… NEWARK AIRPORT 88 751 PM 10/29 ASOS FAIRFIELD 72 741 PM 10/29 MESONET 1 ESE FAIRFIELD 72 741 PM 10/29 MESONET CALDWELL AIRPORT 80 614 PM 10/29 ASOS
…HUDSON COUNTY… 1 ENE BAYONNE 77 805 PM 10/29 MESONET HARRISON 68 720 PM 10/29 CO-OP OBSERVER
…PASSAIC COUNTY… CLIFTON 80 930 PM 10/29 SKYWARN SPOTTER
NEW YORK …ANZ338… 2 N TOMPKINSVILLE 90 824 PM 10/29 MESONET
…ANZ355… BUOY 44065 69 514 PM 10/29 NY HARBOR APPROACH BUOY
…ANZ370… BUOY 44025 74 250 PM 10/29 BUOY
…KINGS COUNTY… CONEY ISLAND 69 642 PM 10/29 MESONET FLATBUSH 58 905 PM 10/29 MESONET
…NASSAU COUNTY… SYOSSET 82 703 PM 10/29 SKYWARN SPOTTER 1 E POINT LOOKOUT 80 750 PM 10/29 JONES BEACH COAST GUARD 3 E LIDO BEACH 79 615 PM 10/29 MESONET BAYVILLE 77 521 PM 10/29 MESONET 2 NNE GLEN COVE 77 521 PM 10/29 MESONET OYSTER BAY 67 338 PM 10/29 SKYWARN SPOTTER
…NEW YORK COUNTY… CENTRAL PARK 82 313 PM 10/29 ASOS
…ORANGE COUNTY… ORANGE LAKE 61 745 PM 10/29 MESONET MONTGOMERY 58 740 PM 10/29 ASOS
…QUEENS COUNTY… 2 SSE JACKSON HEIGHT 79 802 PM 10/29 MESONET NYC/JFK AIRPORT 85 802 PM 10/29 ASOS (direction 100 degrees) BREEZY POINT 78 830 PM 10/29 MESONET NYC/LA GUARDIA 74 655 PM 10/29 ASOS
..SUFFOLK COUNTY… EATONS NECK 96 655 PM 10/29 MESONET-ELEVATED 71FT (Est 87 mph at 10m) ISLIP AIRPORT 90 626 PM 10/29 ASOS – 78KT 4 ENE PLUM ISLAND 85 435 PM 10/29 MESONET EAST MORICHES 81 600 PM 10/29 MESONET EAST FARMINGDALE 79 723 PM 10/29 ASOS UPTON 79 150 PM 10/29 MESONET PATCHOGUE 77 701 PM 10/29 SPOTTER FIRE ISLAND 75 435 PM 10/29 MESONET POINT O’WOODS 73 350 PM 10/29 MESONET 1 ENE MONTAUK HIGHWAY 73 220 PM 10/29 MESONET 2 WSW FISHERS ISLAND 71 300 PM 10/29 MESONET 1 S BLUE POINT 70 608 PM 10/29 MESONET OCEAN BEACH 68 715 PM 10/29 MESONET 1 NW EAST HAMPTON 66 355 PM 10/29 MESONET
…WESTCHESTER COUNTY… WHITE PLAINS 72 705 PM 10/29 ASOS
Live Coverage of the storm
Animation of Sandys track
On October 30th Sandy finally moved inland towards PA , condition’s were calming the areas hardest hit with just some rain bands and gusty winds left over as the storm was weakening, millions of people left In the dark have no idea what has happened and is happening around the area
The storm caused significant impact all the to the Great lakes where 20+ foot waves were recorded and the Mountains of West VA and Western MD had a crippling blizzard from the storm with snow totals 2-3 feet and winds up to 60 mph
Below are rain amounts that occurred from Sandy along with the final track which made landfall near Atlantic City NJ as a hybrid 940 mb super storm.
Final track of Sandy
Many people saw images like this on the morning of October 30th 2012
A fire sparked during the storm in Brezzy Point NY, weather conditions and storm surge flooding were too dangerous for firefighters to go in and fight the blaze so it just spread
The most famous picture of boardwalk damage out of Seaside NJ
Many boats were washed up on streets, houses washed off their foundations and literally floated away
NYC subway system completely destroyed and shut down
There is just so many images to post from this great but nightmare of a storm, way to much to post here but these pictures show the general idea on just how devastating this storm was
But as we have seen in the last year or so, no matter what nature throws our way we will always recover and get back on our feet! And while we are still recovering from this storm and there’s still a good amount of people who are still not back in their homes yet or are living in damaged homes , recovery efforts have come a very long way with a majority people back in their homes and to their normal lives.