An Historic Sandy Slams the Northeast with Signficant Impacts

  • Blog Post by: Paul Douglas
  • October 29, 2012 - 8:13 PM

An Historic Storm

By Todd Nelson

It's a little surreal to look at the images coming out of the Northeast. It's almost hard to comprehend the scope and magnitude of the system that we are dealing with here.

Sandy roarded ashore Monday evening over southern New Jersey with an ear-popping central pressure that was nearly 30mb lower than that of the storm deemed "The Perfect Storm" nearly 20 years ago to the date.

Remnants of Hurricane Sandy merged with a trough of low pressure over the Northeast and created a massive wind field that churned up a significant winds from the Mid-Atlantic to New England States. New York was a ghost town yesterday; the New York Stock Exchange was closed for the first time in 11 years and subway system was shutdown. More than 10,000 flight have been cancelled across the nation this week due to Sandy. Snows in the Appalachians will be measured in feet. Power outages will be tallied in the millions. Folks in the Northeast are going to need some serious help to get back to normal, cleanup efforts will last for weeks.

Be thankful that Minnesota isn't dealing with a mega-storm like this. A weak clipper rolls through with sprinkles by Saturday.


Todd's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota (and western Wisconsin too):


TUESDAY: Parly cloudy, cool breeze. High: 48. Winds: SE 5-10mph

TUESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and chilly. Low: 29

WEDNESDAY: Witch Watch. Clipper arrives late with sprinkles possible up north. High: 50

THURSDAY: Clearing trend, a touch cooler. Low: 30. High: 48

FRIDAY: Sunny start, fading PM Sun. Low: 30. High: 48

SATURDAY: MN Deer Hunting Opener. Weak storm system arrives, spotty showers possible. Light flurries possible up north. Low: 34. High: 49

SUNDAY: Lingering clouds and sprinkles. Low: 36. High: 47

Monday: Breezy. Sun/cloud mix with a slight chance of showers up north. Low: 37. High: 50


Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Summary: The (super) storm we’ve been tracking and warning of for nearly a week continues. The height of the storm comes moved in Monday Night, The storm is tracked (very) slight farther south of New York City than models were suggesting yesterday, bringing a major storm surge for Long Island Sound, inundating low-lying areas of Brooklyn and Queens (including some of the runways at JFK and LGA). Lower Manhattan seeing flooding Inland rains will create flash flooding capable of shutting down even major highways, but rainfall amounts won’t be quite as severe from New York to Boston. It’s hunker-down time, venturing outside to drive (or shoot video/photos) a fairly bad idea from D.C. to Boston. 

Sandy (Hybrid Superstorm) Makes Land PM Monday Over Southern New Jersey


Worst Case Scenario Came True

If you recall last week, we were talking about the worst case scenario that would unfold if this storm were to make a landfall in the Northeast, more specifically just south of Long Island. As Sandy started to interact and merge with the cold air mass over the Northeast, it intensified even further than previously thought! The 11am update from the National Hurricane center actually had the central pressure of the storm at 940mb (sustained winds of 90mph with higher gusts)… to put that into perspective, the central pressure of “The Perfect Storm” back in 1991 was that of a 972mb low, which actually stayed offshore!



Sandy: Record Setting Superstorm

Thanks to WeatherNation Meteorologist Bryan Karrick for the info below:

The Great Hurricane of Sept. 1938, also known as the “Long Island Express,” had the lowest pressure of an Atlantic Basin storm north of Cape Hatteras, NC at 946 mb. Hurricane Sandy broke that record this morning, dropping to 943 mb! She is forecast to make landfall with a pressure between 944-952 mb, with a tropical storm wind field close to 1000 miles across. As our own Addison Green says, “It’s like flying from NYC to Tampa, FL!”


 Other Historical Low Pressure Records

This may also help to put into perspective how strong this storm may be. Note that the lowest pressure ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin was that of Wilma at 882mb in Oct. 2005. 


 Sandy (Hybrid Superstorm) Made Landfall PM Monday

This is the approximate track of Sandy the (hybrid superstorm) as it made landfall Monday evening on the southern tip of New Jersey.


 Mesoscale Analysis of Superstorm Near Landfall

This was a look at the pressure analysis of the storm near landfall PM Monday. The pressure analysis near 950mb, still made it a very intense storm with several reports of hurricane force winds lashing the coast. Note the tightly packed lines of equal air pressure. The tighter the lines, the stronger the winds.




RPM Model of Winds at Landfall

I thought this was an incredible map! Take a look at the significant wind field that showed up on previous model runs as Sandy was running ashore. The blue coloring over southern New Jersey would indicate the calm nature of the winds near the “Eye”. Note also the easterly fetch to the winds on the northerly side of the eye, this would indicate a worse case scenario for New York , Long Island and surrounding areas in terms of wind and storm surge.



Severe Lashing in New Jersey

Thanks to Epic Shirts for this picture from Bays Head, NJ... Now that's a storm surge!



An Eerie Sight in NYC

How about this… kind of an eerie sight out of NYC as the subways system was shut down on Monday! Thanks to for the images below.





NYSE Closes for First Time in 11 Years

Here’s another crazy sight from the NYSE, which was closed today for the first time in 11 years!

U.S. stock markets are closed as Hurricane Sandy nears landfall on the East Coast and are likely to remain closed Tuesday. The last time the New York Stock Exchange had an unplanned closing since the terrorist attacks of September 2001. (Oct. 29)”

See the full video HERE:


 Quiet Night at Times Square in NYC

Thanks to my good friend Peter Brooks for this picture out of NYC. He was around when Irene struck last year. Peter said that there was an eerily similar scene last year when some of the major spots were void of large numbers of people.






Significant Storm Surge/Flooding

Thanks to for this incredible image out of Manhattan from PM Monday. This was at 14th Street and Avenue C




Expected Power Outages… in the Millions?

An 18th Century Tuesday For Millions of Americans? An engineer at John Hopkins University has predicted power outages, based on Sandy’s characteristics and track. Here is an excerpt of his study: “Using a computer model based on a current forecast as well as data from past hurricanes, an engineer at The Johns Hopkins University predicts that 3 million people in New Jersey will lose power during Hurricane Sandy. Pennsylvania will follow closely behind with 2.5 to 3 million people predicted to lose power, and Maryland with 1.8 million people predicted to lose power. Washington, D.C., and Delaware will have fewer outages, with 200,000 and 400,000 people predicted to lose power, respectively.”



Significant Travel Headaches

WOW! Sandy is having a major impact on air travel across the country and flights inbound and outbound have been cancelled at most of the major hubs out east. According to there have been more than 12,000 flights cancelled likely due to Sandy.

See the latest info HERE:




Significant & Record Setting Rainfall… More to Come

I can’t get over the magnitude of this situation. From heavy winds, storm surge and significant beach erosion to coastal and inland flooding to heavy snows in the Appalachians. It really is hard to keep up with everything that is going on, again due to the magnitude of the situation. That’s why it is so important to follow your local government agencies when it comes to warnings and advisories regarding the weather and or potential emergencies/evacuations. One of the concerns (flooding) has already taken place in many locations along the Eastern Seaboard with more to come. The image below shows the rainfall associated with Sandy since yesterday.



Additional/EXTREME Rainfall

Take a look at NOAA’s HPC 3 day precipitation forecast over the Northeast. Some locations could pick up an additional 6″ to 7″ of precipitation or more, which is cause for concern in terms of significant inland flooding. It’s also interesting to note that some of this extreme precipitation will be falling in the form of snow across the higher elevations of the Appalachians.




Active Flood Headlines

These are all of the active flood headlines across the area as Sandy spreads moisture inland through the next few days. Check your local NWS forecast office for a more specific update on localized hazards due to the extreme rainfall expected.



Active Winter Weather Headlines

These are the winter weather headlines that the National Weather Service has issued for the higher elevations of the Appalachians. Significant snow and high winds could create blizzard like conditions for areas shaded in red.



Snow Forecast

Latest forecasts for snow looks extreme by all measures! There will be 1ft. to 2ft. amounts, but I won’t be surprised to hear reports of 3ft. or more!


 Snow in Charlottesville, VA

Thanks to Charlottesville, VA for this picture out of Charlottesvile... If you want snow, head out to these areas! It'll be an instant winter by Tuesday!




Thanks for checking in on this Monday, have a great rest of your week!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV



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