Title: Massive Hurricane Sandy building a huge and destructive storm surge
Source: Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog
Date: 2:34 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
Massive and dangerous Hurricane Sandy has grown to record size as it barrels northeastwards along the North Carolina coast at 10 mph. [...] Since records of storm size began in 1988, no tropical storm or hurricane has been larger [...]
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 destructive potential of the storm surge was exceptionally high: 5.7 on a scale of 0 to 6. This is a higher destructive potential than any hurricane observed between 1969 – 2005, including Category 5 storms like Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Camille, and Andrew. The previous highest destructive potential for storm surge was 5.6 on a scale of 0 to 6, set during Hurricane Isabel of 2003. Sandy is now forecast to bring a near-record storm surge of 6 – 11 feet to Northern New Jersey and Long Island Sound, including the New York City Harbor. While Sandy’s storm surge will be nowhere near as destructive as Katrina’s, the storm surge does have the potential to cause many billions of dollars in damage if it hits near high tide at 9 pm EDT on Monday. The full moon is on Monday, which means astronomical high tide will be about 5% higher than the average high tide for the month. This will add another 2 – 3″ to water levels. Fortunately, Sandy is now predicted to make a fairly rapid approach to the coast, meaning that the peak storm surge will not affect the coast for multiple high tide cycles. Sandy’s storm surge will be capable of overtopping the flood walls in Manhattan, which are only five feet above mean sea level. [...] I give a 50% chance that Sandy’s storm surge will end up flooding a portion of the New York City subway system. [...]
Published: October 28th, 2012 at 11:46 am ET