Chilliest overnight temps. for the First Coast since Feb.! Temps. early Wed. will be in the 30s inland, 40s near the coast. We'll start a warming trend Wed. afternoon that will continue through the weekend. Some gorgeous weather is on tap for the rest of the week through Sunday. Highs will warm into the 70s with lows in the 40s to around 50 + low humidity. It's an "all go" for activities through Sunday:
So the "Superstorm, Frankenstorm, Storm of the Century" -- or "Sandy" is slowly winding down. Lots of hyperbole out there about the storm. I didn't watch a whole lot of t.v. Tue., but while I was "suiting up" for work, I did catch an interview by Anderson Cooper on CNN regarding the "anatomy" of Sandy. Some scientist of Asian descent was the subject of the interview though I could not find the clip on CNN's website nor do I remember the guy's name. In any case....his description was -- to say the least -- poor & ill-informed. I guess CNN decided any scientist would do as the guy was some kind of physicist if I remember correctly, NOT a meteorologist. This scientist made 4 main points from Anderson's questions which I'll paraphrase below (could not find the script online): (a viewer from St. Augustine [thanks!] later sent me the link - click here).
(1) "never have seen a storm like this before" - while "Sandy" will go down as one of the most damaging ever in the mid Atlantic & Northeast, it has more to do with & where it hit rather than its size which -- admittedly -- was massive -- 1,000 miles across at one point. Not only have we had storms develop in a similar manner in the last 100+ years, we don't have a history of storms much before 1860 or so.
(2) "surprised forecasters" - say what??!! This possibility was touched upon nearly a week earlier - see my "Talking the Tropics With Mike". Within a few days -- by the end of the week -- hype from various media was already beginning about a mega storm on the east coast. The last thing this storm did was "surprise forecasters".
(3) "forecast models couldn't handle the storm" - that's pure B.S. I'll just examine 2 models: The American GFS model developed hurricane "Sandy" well before it happened. Did an excellent job of the genesis. The GFS did struggle with the north then northwest turn towards the U.S. until about Thu. night/early Fri. but then figured it out. The track forecast was too far north at first but the corrected to the New Jersey landfall over the weekend. The model had no problem with the transition to post-tropical & the involvement of a tropical system & the polar jet stream as was described by this "scientist". The European model had difficulty with the genesis of "Sandy" in the Caribbean was very good about the bend back to the W/NW as a powerful storm. The model was insistent on a Chesapeake Bay landfall so was a little too far south in the end. By late Sat.-Sun.-Mon., a compromise for placement of the storm between the 2 models was just about right on. The intensity was good by both models.
(4) "the Caribbean was unusually warm, possibly due to global warming". That's a bunch of baloney - a big gong on both points. Check out the map below showing sea surface temp. anomalies - just about right where they should be in the Caribbean. Yes....the water is very warm -- still in the 80s -- but is not uncommon for late Oct. In fact, the Caribbean is the climatalogically favored area for tropical cyclone genesis late in the season. That's what "Sandy" was - a textbook case of last season development. As for the global warming comment: NOT!
Photos below are from Dave Turley in Beaver, W. Virginia where "Sandy" is snowy.....2nd photo from Ashley Soto - N.Y.C. subway station filled with water!
And check out an interesting perspective -- including a global satellite time lapse -- from NASA. See satellite photos/images below & click here to see the time lapse.