The Arrival Of Hurricane Sandy
It’s almost November, and we haven’t seen any major tropical storm activity out of the Atlantic Basin in quite some time. Most of us had come to the conclusion that the worst of Hurricane Season 2012 was over. That was of course before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
This latest hurricane to threaten the United States eastern seaboard has already claimed two dozen lives in the Caribbean as it stormed across Jamaica and then Cuba before beginning to sideswipe Florida with string winds and heavy seas. Meteorologists are warning that Sandy could sweep northward and slam into the East Coast between Virginia and New Jersey sometime early next week. In what is being described as a worst case scenario, Sandy may merge with a strong cold front moving in from the west, turning a Category 2 storm into a “superstorm” that could conceivably sit over New England for a period of several days, causing problems for millions of residents.
As of 11AM Friday, Sandy was a thinly defined Category 1 storm with winds of 80 mph. Meteorologists are recommending that we forget about the category, however, saying that there are going to be numerous trees felled, power lines downed, and considerable coastal flooding. Some computer models have Sandy making landfall between Washington and Boston, some of the most densely populated areas of the US.
Residents in those areas are being advised to prepare for several days without power, as Sandy could shape up to become a storm of historic proportions.
“This could be like the ‘Perfect Storm’ 21 years ago,” said CNN meteorologist Chad Meyers.
A combination of three weather systems produced the famed “Perfect Storm” in the north Atlantic over Halloween 1991 when moisture flung north by Hurricane Grace combined with a high-pressure system and a cold front, according to the weather service.
Sandy may also wreak havoc in an unexpected way, namely the upcoming Presidential election, as inclement weather may make it difficult for residents to get out and cast their vote.
For right now, predictions are for hurricane-force winds to lash exposed areas of the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. This could potentially lead to serious coastal erosion and coastal flooding. The buildup of tides over multiple tidal cycles may only serve to exacerbate the situation.