Sandy The Hybrid

There is not a meteorologist in the Eastern US who isn’t poring over the 00Z data that’s coming in. Hurricane Sandy is still a major threat to the East Coast and a major threat to Connecticut.

The GFS is open in front of me using BUFKIT&#185. It’s a vertical wind profile for New Haven. The plot for Motion Transfer, the ability to bring to the ground strong winds from higher altitudes, looks like a steep mountain. It peaks late Monday evening.

That’s a change. In the new run of the GFS all the timing is sped up. What was Tuesday now looks Monday.

I worry about changes like that. At this stage I want the models ‘quiet’ as far as variability is concerned.

It is difficult to be a forecaster at a time like this. You want… I want… accuracy at a level beyond science’s current capabilities. If this forecast goes wrong you will be justified in being upset. I’ll certainly be upset.

The indicators at my disposal point toward landfall between Delaware Bay and Long Island. For a pure hurricane we’d hardly feel that in Connecticut. Sandy is different.


In other words it looks like a mid latitude system, the kind that might dump a few inches of snow on us in a typical December. It doesn’t look like a hurricane.

Hurricane Sandy is a hybrid. It’s a little bit country tropical and a little bit rock and roll cold core.

The Hurricane Center’s latest track surprised me. It was farther south than I expected.

It’s still awful news for us!

The GFS MOS shows wind at Groton/New London Airport as ENE@42 mph, Monday evening at 8:00 PM EDT. That’s a lot of wind and there will be gusts on top of that!

In Connecticut coastal flooding, trees/power lines down, damage to some structures and limited inland flooding seem likely. The impact will probably greater than Irene last year.

It’s tough to say what I just said. It’s scary talk. I am a little scared.

I keep looking at the data trying to find a reason to dismiss the threat. I can’t find it. I’m not 100% certain we’ll get blasted, but there’s nothing I see that says we won’t.

The ECMWF is in between 3:00 and 4:00. If there’s anything to report (and I’m awake) I’ll do a brief update.

Prepare for Sandy. Start your preps now. Keep your safety and the safety of others at the top of your list. Strong storms, like Sandy, can close escape routes very quickly. If asked, evacuate.

&#185 – BUFKIT is the Swiss Army Knife of weather. It is produced within the Weather Service. It’s available for free as is the data.

12 thoughts on “Sandy The Hybrid”

  1. Scary stuff indeed!! I can’t do anything about it tomorrow – I have to work all day. I did notice increased traffic today – people gearing up. Personally, I’m worried about a power outage that will disable my sump pump. And the huge,old oak tree next to my house. On a larger scale, I am concerned for everyone else too!

  2. I promise you, if this forecast goes wrong and we get nothing but a mild breeze, I won’t utter a single complaint. I’d prefer you err on the side of overreaction than non reaction. However, I’m certain you’re predictions are correct and we’re in for it. Thank you for all your hard work both at work and at home. You’re always looking out for us and it’s very much appreciated.

  3. Will she move more north or is lower NJ the def point of impact? Will winds on the shore line be in the 60s or more towards the 80s? Will it be a 12 or 24 hour event?

  4. We had a customer at work yesterday who said she’d start preparing on Saturday. I told her that if she could, she should start TODAY (Friday) because the stores will be jammed on Saturday and to a lesser degree on Sunday. If she waited she wouldn’t be able to get the things she needed. She thought about it and said she figured I was right and she’d see what she could do.
    Me? I dug out my emergency candles. Should grab some ice for the freezer too.

  5. I started two days ago, but I am so not looking forward to another extended period without power. Did it twice last year. One thing that occurred to me, in the last two storms, the deck became the kitchen with gas grill, Coleman camp stove and backpacker stove all set up for use. If the rain and wind persists well beyond the point where we lose power, we’ll be subsisting on PB&J until it calms down. I also worry about the many very tall oak trees surrounding my house here in North Guilford.

  6. We started our prep yesterday. If we lose power we have no water, so we’ve filled buckets, etc. Have lots of non-perishables stocked. I always trust your forecasts and judgment – better to err on the side of caution. Thanks for all your updates.

  7. i can feel sandy coming. i am hurting so much. can pressure be related to the pain of arthirts? I hope we don’t have snow. We are prepared for sandy this year.


  8. I can hear it now. If, God willing, Sandy surprises everyone and turns out to sea. It will be the Meteorologists fault., causing hysteria. I say, LET THEM BE WRONG! I test my generator every month anyway. We always have batteries on hand so this stock up was due and not out of the ordinary. We had like 90 cents off gas from Stop and Shop, so it was use it or lose it. The cupboards were bare
    about a week ago so my wonderful wife had just finished her shopping last weekend. And, just in case, the snow blower had to be prepped for winter anyway. See where I am going here?.

    Sandy! You big blowhard! Get out of here, we don’t need your stinking wind, rain and snow!! Hopefully your remnants will get the rest of the leaves off the trees and I can finish my raking! And if you take my advice, I thank the Lord and Geoff Fox for me getting a lot of my fall work done ahead of time!

  9. Anybody know what station Jeff broadcasts on TV and what times? I haven’t been able to find anything.

    I trust him the most in terms of explanations and rationale for his forecasts.

  10. Last year Irene blew down many of the weaker trees. The ones left standing have effectively been “proof tested.” They also have fewer leaves, and they have been cutting a lot of trees close to power lines. A hopeful thought. I’m still preparing for real.

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