The latest on Sandy (10-25-12)
We are still about four days away from a hybrid tropical system making landfall along the East Coast. It looks like all the major computer models are on board. Even the GFS seems to be board now. I also noticed that all of the ensemble runs from the GFS bring the storm inland somewhere along the East Coast. Just a couple days ago the ensemble members were split with half or more showing the storm heading out to sea.So while the confidence is high for a landfall there is still a range as to exactly where the storm will hit. While the European model takes Sandy on a hard left turn and drives the storm into Ocean City, Maryland Monday evening. Landfall on the GFS comes later and much farther north.
This has the storm close to New York City Tuesday evening. I will say, that this is farther south than what the GFS was saying yesterday. Here is the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
To underscore the uncertainty of the landfall notice that the potential landfall stretches from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Boston. That seems to be a large spread but for a tropical forecast 4 days out that’s not all that unusual.So we still have a lot to sort between now and early next week but it looks like the biggest impacts for us here in central New York will come Monday and Tuesday of next week. I would say first and foremost I would be concerned about heavy rain with the possibility of strong gusty winds. It doesn’t look to be hurricane force winds for us but more like 50 mph winds. That is typical from a strong storm we would see around here a couple of times during the middle of winter.With the confidence rising the inevitable has happened--the storm has now received a new name. It started rather innocently this morning with this thread in the extended forecast discussion out of the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center in MarylandTHE HIGH DEGREE OF BLOCKING FROM EASTERN NORTH AMERICA ACROSS THE ENTIRE ATLANTIC BASIN IS EXPECTED TO ALLOW THIS UNUSUAL MERGER TO TAKE PLACE, AND ONCE THE COMBINED GYRE MATERIALIZES, IT SHOULD SETTLE BACK TOWARD THE INTERIOR NORTHEAST THROUGH HALLOWEEN, INVITING PERHAPS A GHOULISH NICKNAME FOR THE CYCLONE ALONG THE LINES OF "FRANKENSTORM", AN ALLUSION TO MARY SHELLEY'S GOTHIC CREATURE OF SYNTHESIZED ELEMENTS.It didn’t take long in this age of social media for the term “Frankenstorm” to go viral. The biggest surprise is that it was written by a National Weather Service and not by someone in the National media. To me, this may be the tipping point in naming storms. First you had “Snowmogeddon” a couple winters ago. Now, we have the Weather Channel planning to name winter storms.The first reaction I had to “Frankenstorm” early today was that it sounded too much like a kid’s cereal. I realize that the goal is to raise awareness of storms by naming them but it seems to me that we’ve kind of gone over the edge and we run the risk of trivializing the life and property threatening storms. For now can we just call the storm ‘Sandy’ and be done with it?
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