Friday, October 26, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: October 26, Update A

A quick lunchtime note…

Sandy’s center is now very easily seen because of the dry air and wind shear. Here is a visible satellite image that I just grabbed, and the corresponding infrared and water vapor satellite images to show how much convection she has near her center and how much dry air there is:

The NHC downgraded her last night after a plane found lower wind speeds (I’m decidedly not surprised)… but they still keep her as a weak cat 1 hurricane with winds of 80mph, central pressure 970mb. I would say she’s a bit weaker (maybe a strong Tropical Storm/borderline cat 1), but this isn’t as egregious as what we saw yesterday, so I’ll let it go for now.

She’s at about 26.7N, 76.9W, and officially she is heading N at 6mph. This shows that two things have happened. First, she’s slowed down as I mentioned she would a few days ago. This is because she is bumping into that high pressure to the north. Secondly, she’s shifting from NW to N, which suggests there is a weakness in the high pressure and she may be making that forecasted turn towards the NE. I see that Bermuda has issued a Tropical Storm Watch. Looks like it’s a bit breezy with odd (not normal ;-)) showers over yonder already.

<Observations Alert!> The storm surge from tidesonline is showing almost 2 ft above normal in northeast Florida, and 1 ft above in southeast Florida.

If you want to look at some fabulous actual, real-life, in the water, under the storm data of winds and pressure, you can go to Note that if you use Internet Explorer (like me), it is a bit slow in uploading but I think that someone somewhere is trying to fix that. But it gives one enough time to go and get a cup of tea or a gin and tonic, depending on the time of day somewhere in the world, while you wait for it to upload ;-). How to use this site:
1. First click on the square button that says ‘Sandy Track’ (near the bottom on the left side). If you want to see the cone of uncertainty, click on ‘Sandy Cone’ as well. It lets you ‘activate’ more than one button at a time – it smart! ;-)
2. Now, on the left side, if you click on the round button next to ‘Real Time Observations’, you can scroll your mouse over any of the stations and a little display will tell you what the observations are.
3. Then if you click on a station you are interest in, you get a graph that shows the observations as they have changed in time. If you move down the list of observations next to the graph and click, the graph shows that observation. It’s like magic! J
4. If you want to move the map, put your mouse over it, click and hold and move. Easy peasy.

For example, I clicked on a buoy off the coast of Florida, in the Atlantic, closest to her track at the moment (and definitely under her if you look at the satellite images above) and the wind speed out there is only 44mph, with pressure at 999mb at the moment, but the graph shows me that the wind speed at that location is still rising and the pressure is still falling, so she’s not quite close enough. But we can watch as she gets closer how much it agrees with the official estimates.

This site will give us observations from Florida to North Carolina. I know some of you are in ‘those’ northern states ;-)…. I’ll get the equivalent one for you later (or tomorrow). And there’s a similar system for the Gulf, so I might just throw that in at some point for good measure.

<End Observations Alert!>

Time to sleep… er I mean work…. ;-)
Adieu for now!

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DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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