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Superstorm Sandy

Good afternoon everyone,

As promised, I will relay my dad’s story about Hurricane Sandy from his perspective. He lives in Mid-town Manhattan, about 0.75 miles inland from the eastern edge of the Island. Now, onto the story.

As you all know, Sandy made landfall around Atlantic City on Monday, October 29th around 8PM EST. Now, my dad told me that around 4PM, things weren’t really all that bad in NYC and that many people were actually down watching the waves on the eastern shore at that time. He went down to take a look as well and said that the water at that time was at least a foot below the seawall. There were police officers there that were telling people to leave and that a curfew was in effect. They were told to return to their homes for the night.

The winds really picked up after 8 or 9 PM that night and the surge and coastal flooding were significant. This storm did a number on NYC. The next morning, my dad was able to get out of the apartment for a little while and the damage he saw was unbelievable. He lives about 3 blocks from the Con Edison Power Plant and he ventured down to try and get an idea of when the power would be back on. He overheard a police officer talking to one of the ConEd workers and the worker said that the entire lower levels of the plant were flooded with over 4 feet of water. The man thought that power might not be returned to customers for over a week. Fortunately, power was back on within 4 days.

After that, he decided to head back to where he was the day before, down by the eastern shore and the damage was very bad. In NYC, 1st Avenue is about 0.25 miles inland from the eastern shore. My dad tells me that he saw cars moved all the way up to 1st Avenue. Many were smashed and packed together and many of the wooden piers from the edge of the shoreline were on top of the cars. One man, whose Mustang is in the picture that I posted, said that he hadn’t even parked his car near where it ended up. He’d parked it almost 100 yards from where it was that morning. To make matters worse, two large wooden piers were on top of his Mustang, in effect, totaling his car. That can give witness to the tremendous power of water. In fact, just one foot of moving water can sweep you off your feet.

This storm wasn’t bad for the rainfall in NYC, but for the high winds and coastal flooding and storm surge that it brought with it. There are many other stories, but my dad’s is just one of them. NYC will need to be better prepared for coastal flooding and surge in the future, or it could be much worse next time this happens.

For next time, I will talk about the Blizzard unfolding in the Northern Plains and the unseasonably mild weather for the Midwest this weekend.

Until then, stay tuned.

Meteorologist Mack

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Hey everyone!

Sorry I wasn’t able to post anything new yesterday. I got caught up in the Presidential Election. For starters, I may not always agree with every stance our president takes, I will support Mr. Obama in his next four years as our President. This is a great country and freedom should never be taken for granted.

Now, I will briefly touch on the Nor’easter that is ongoing as I write. I want to start out with a little graphic that the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) uses to indicate where heavy snow is most likely. They call this graphic a Mesoscale Discussion (MD), which is a meteorological phenomenon between 10 and 1000 Kilometers in horizontal extent. This particular MD is for Heavy Snows of up to 1″/hour in the Philadelphia to Newark areas. Often times, mesoscale events cannot be forecasted beyond 24 hours, and these events typically last for a few hours. Another example of a mesoscale type of event would be a Supercell Thunderstorm > 10km in Horizontal extent. Well, now I am rambling, so for more information, if you are interested, take a look at this link: http://forecast.weather.gov/glossary.php?word=MESOSCALE%20DISCUSSION

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The area above within the pink bubble, is the area of interest. Interestingly, the National Weather Service in Philadelphia opted to issue a Winter Storm Warning (WSW) for much of New Jersey and parts of extreme eastern Pennsylvania, despite the very low snowfall totals expected. Only 2″-5″ is not usually used for a WSW, but in this case, early in the year and with all of the people who have been left without a home and without power or shelter. Without a doubt, a bit more snowfall than I originally thought would be seen with this storm, but not entirely out of the question.

I’ll leave you with a picture that my Dad snapped in Mid-town Manhattan last Tuesday morning. Ill tell you the story of how that car got to where it is and more later tonight. Stay tuned!

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Until next time.

Meteorologist Mack

Hey everyone,

The latest weather model guidance continues to come into agreement on the development of a coastal low off the coast of South Carolina on Tuesday evening, and then strengthen rapidly as it moves northward. From Wednesday morning through Thursday evening, the storm will hit the East Coast with heavy rain, strong winds, and coastal flooding. The possibility of snow is looking less likely, but the further inland, the better the chance for accumulating snowfall. More on this in the coming days as the models hone in on the precipitation scenarios surrounding this complex Nor’easter.

Now, in the lovely world of weather, we Meteorologists have many computer weather models on which we rely on to help us determine where a storm might be headed and how it will develop. In the case of this storm, the models have been pointing to a coastal low developing almost a week out, and that is what we like to call run-to-run consistency. When this happens, we can become confident in the idea of such a storm occurring. This is very good for the public, as we are able to provide a great warning time for people in the path of the storm. Preparations and the necessary precautions can be taken in due time. With this storm, we have a lot of time to prepare and the computer models are in good agreement on the timing of this storm. The hardest part though is forecasting precipitation type this far out. That is something that will be much easier to forecast by tomorrow afternoon and into Tuesday. I will certainly bring the latest information to you as that becomes available.

Now the track of this storm looks to be almost parallel to the coast, with very heavy rainfall expected from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia, to New York, and Boston. Unfortunately, this storm could bring coastal flooding to areas that have been recently decimated by Hurricane Sandy a little over a week ago. Erosion of beaches and flooding will be a serious concern, as well as strong winds, with sustained winds of 25-35 mph, and gusts from 40-55 mph likely. The closer to shore, the stronger the winds will be. I expect to see many places with storm total rainfall approaching 2 inches or more by the time all is said and done. Now, the Presidential Election is being held on Tuesday and hopefully, this storm won’t disrupt voting in the southeastern US on Tuesday evening. Fortunately, the storm should just be beginning to develop on Tuesday evening and many people will have voted by that time.

I will be back tomorrow with more details on the track of this developing storm and where the heaviest rain and even snow may fall. As always, my thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of people that have been affected by Sandy this past week. Keep sending in donations and give as much as you can. This is important. People always come together in times like this.

Until next time

Meteorologist Mack

Hello Everyone,

What a roller coaster ride the past 10 days has been, with the incredible temperature swings seen in the central US, followed by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy wreaking havoc on the Northeastern United States earlier this week. Unfortunately, the changing of seasons, from late Fall to early Winter, is often accompanied by large pattern changes and temperature swings. With that, the Northeastern United States will likely see a coastal storm develop Tuesday and then parallel the coast as it moves north and east Wednesday and Thursday. Obviously, the people of the Mid-Atlantic states should be prepared for another strong storm, however, it will be nothing compared to the devastation that Superstorm Sandy brought to the region this week.

Now, one of the main questions here will be whether or not this system will produce a heavy snowstorm inland or if it will be a purely rain event. Nevertheless, strong winds (up to 40mph) and coastal flooding is a serious concern in the wake of Sandy. With the unimaginable damage, flooding, and loss of life seen in the Northeast, the cleanup and rebuilding might need to be put on hold. I will continue to bring updates on this developing situation over the next couple of days as the exact track of this storm is still uncertain, and we will know more about the track as it gets closer.

With regard to the possibility of a large storm developing over the western Great Plains and moving into the Upper Midwest late next week, I believe this could be the first major snowstorm of the year for the Plains, so stay tuned for updates on that later this week, as the forecast becomes more clear with time.

Until tomorrow,

Meteorologist Mack

(P.S. If you haven’t thought about it already, please consider donating blood, or donating food or relief money to the disaster relief in the Northeast. Every little bit counts.)

Hey everyone,

Sorry I didn’t get a post up yesterday. I will keep this one brief, but I will return tonight and I promise I’ll have something up for next weeks possible Nor’easter.

The death toll has risen to 165 in the Caribbean and Canada including the United States. 96 total deaths have been confirmed in the U.S. It is truly sad to see this, but thanks to many of the actions taken before the storm to evacuate and protect property, that number could have certainly been higher.

If you would like to know more about the victims, CNN has a page with details on many of the victims, including the toll by state. Here is the link: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/10/us/sandy-casualties/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

I’ll be back later tonight.

God Bless and keep the families of those lost in your prayers.

Meteorologist Mack

Good morning everyone

Hurricane Sandy officially made landfall yesterday evening, October 29, 2012, at 8:00PM EDT near Atlantic City, New Jersey. The images coming in this morning out of the east are devastating. In Queens, at least 80 homes have been burned to the ground after a fire broke out last night. Crews were unable to get to the fires due to flooding and high waters.

Over 7 million people are without power and the cleanup is only beginning. One of those people without power, my dad, who lives in midtown Manhattan, is without power and sent our family a text this morning letting everyone know that he is safe, but due to power loss, his phone was low on battery and he had to shut it off. I got a call from him just in the past 10 minutes and the connection wasn’t great but he says the devastation is unimaginable. He said that cars were pushed all the way inland to 1st avenue from the eastern bay. That is incredible and it speaks volumes to the power of water. My older sister, who lives in Jersey City, had to turn off her cell phone as well, but she is safe. Certainly, her and her roommate took the necessary precautions and filled their bathtub with water and had all of the supplies they needed before Sandy hit.

In addition to the millions without power, the NYC MTA Subway system is almost in ruins. Record high surge and flooding took place in the city of Manhattan. New Jersey, to the west of Manhattan, had very bad flooding. La Guardia Airport, and Newark Airport have reported extensive damage and over 15,000 flights cancelled. Planes flying in from across the Atlantic are all landing in Boston due to the issues at La Guardia and Newark Airport.

Some of my friends from Valparaiso University ventured up to Porter County Beach this morning to see the waves on southern Lake Michigan, and I’ve heard reports of waves up to 25 feet. That’s how far reaching the impacts Superstorm Sandy are.

Now, not only is there a flooding issue, but heavy snowfall fell in the higher elevations of West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. Up to 3 feet of snow has fallen in these areas. The snow is being compared to the consistency of wet cement. Many have lost power in these areas as well.

I will try and bring another update before I leave for work at 3pm. Until then, once again, stay SAFE and my thoughts and Prayers are with those affected by this storm.

Some photos of flooding courtesy of CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/us/gallery/ny-sandy/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Meteorologist Mack