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High Destructive Potential of Hurricane Sandy (18L), Eastern USA – October 29th, 2012

34.8N 77W

October 29th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Cyclones

Hurricane Sandy (18L) – October 28th, 2012

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Track of Hurricane Sandy (18L) - October 28th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 18L

As of 5 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC) October 28, Hurricane Sandy is located within 20 nautical miles of 32.4°N 71.3°W, about 270 mi (435 km) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and about 530 mi (850 km) south-southeast of New York City.

Maximum sustained winds are 65 knots (75 mph, 120 km/h), with stronger gusts. Minimum central pressure is 952 mbar (hPa; 28.11 InHg), and the system is moving northeast at 13 kt (15 mph, 24 km/h). Hurricane force winds extend up to 175 miles (280 km) from the center of Sandy, and tropical storm force winds up to 520 miles (835 km) from the center.

According to the Weather Channel, Hurricane Sandy appears destined to enter the history books as one of the most exceptional and potentially destructive storms to strike the Northeast in modern history.

Sandy, in terms of geographic size, is already the largest Atlantic hurricane of the past quarter-century. In a sign of how extraordinarily large Sandy is, a tropical storm warning is also in effect for Bermuda, while lakeshore flood warnings have been hoisted on parts of the Great Lakes including Chicago. The full extent of the storm is best observed in the full image.

Sandy has stayed close to the borderline between high-end tropical storm and low-end hurricane status, despite an impressively low central pressure. But despite the absence of sustained triple-digit winds, the huge breadth of Sandy’s circulation promises widespread disruption to life for tens of millions of Americans.

Sandy will produce its greatest impacts in the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic Monday into Tuesday. A huge area of strong winds is blowing water toward the U.S. mainland. Already by Sunday evening, tides in some locations were 2 to 4 feet above normal from the Outer Banks of North Carolina north to eastern Long Island.

Sandy’s rain bands and gusty winds continue to expand across the Northeast. The heaviest rain was focused on the Mid-Atlantic as of late Sunday evening. Winds were gusting in excess of 40 mph in several locations along the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coastline.

Numerous high wind warnings have been issued across the Northeast for Monday and Tuesday, along with a slew of flood watches and warnings both for storm-surge flooding at the coast and freshwater flooding from rainfall inland. Blizzard warnings have even been posted for the mountains of West Virginia. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for parts of the North Carolina coast. In addition, the National Hurricane Center is forecasting hurricane-force winds from the Maryland/Virginia border to Cape Cod.

Life-threatening storm surge flooding of over 10 feet will be possible in Long Island Sound, and surge up to 6 feet above ground level is expected for parts of coastal North Carolina if peak surge occurs at high tide. Many other East Coast locations can expect dangerous storm surge.

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