Hurricane Sandy Explained

Here is an satellite image of hurricane Sandy just before it reached the land on the East coast of the North America. A brief explanation is below but go to NASA Earth Observatory website to learn more. This animation shows the storms path more clearly.

In addition you may want to check out this video of Sandy taken from the top of the New York Times building. Watch how the cloud patterns alter.

The hurricane has been called a Frankenstorm which is a term used to describe the merging of weather fronts resulting in extreme weather conditions. This 60 Second Earth Podcast from Scientific American explains further.

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy approached the densely populated U.S. East Coast. An estimated 60 million Americans were expected to be affected by rain, wind, snow, or ocean storm surges from the storm.

At 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 29, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Hurricane Sandy was located about 110 miles (180 kilometers) southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and about 175 miles (285 kilometers) south-southeast of New York City. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 90 miles (150 kilometers) per hour. The storm was moving toward the northwest at about 28 miles (44 kilometers) per hour. The NHC stated that Sandy could change into a wintertime low-pressure system later in the day, but cautioned that this would not weaken the storm prior to landfall.

The NHC forecast that Hurricane Sandy would come ashore on the evening of October 29, along the coast of southern New Jersey or Delaware. The NHC warned of multiple hazards associated with the storm. Hurricane-force winds were predicted for the Mid-Atlantic States, including New York City, with tropical storm-force winds from Virginia to Canada. A storm surge, combined with astronomically high tides (at full Moon), promised to flood coastal areas with waters as much as 11 feet (3 meters) above normal. Sandy was forecast to drop as much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain, and the mountains of Appalachia were expected to receive up to 3 feet (1 meter) of snow.

The NHC urged potentially affected residents to consult their local National Weather Service forecast offices for more information. Government officials urged residents to heed evacuation warnings, and hundreds of thousands of people had fled their homes by October 29, CNN reported. More than 100,000 customers in seven states had already lost electrical power. In the days leading up to the storm, as residents stocked up on supplies and utility companies called in reinforcements from across the country, the U.S. Geological Survey deployed more than 150 storm surge sensors along the Atlantic Coast to monitor Sandy’s effects in real time.

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