"Sandy" Makes Landfall 8pm EDT Mon. near Atlantic City, NJ......
Post-tropical storm "Sandy" made landfall near Atlantic City about 8pm Mon. evening with winds sustained near 80 mph.
"Sandy" transitioned to a post-tropical storm -- or nontropical -- as the big ocean storm merged with a surface front & upper level trough near landfall. It's really just semantics, however, as the storm will still produce hurricane conditions in the from of rain, surge & wind. This may turn out to be a historical storm from the Mid Atlantic to the Northeast including such major metro areas as Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City & Boston with the worst concentrated over Maryland, D.C., New Jersey & parts of Pennsylvania with heavy mountain snows over W. Virginia, parts of Pennsylvania & the "Panhandle" of Maryland. The greatest storm surge will be north of landfall across parts of Jersey & Long Island. The NHC has posted a link on their website explaining the transition & forecast protocol as "Sandy" becomes post-tropical - click here. Click here for a summary of all advisories & warning that are in effect. The Mount Holly, NJ NWS has not minced words:PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
MOUNT HOLLY NJ 241 PM EDT SUN OCT 28 2012
...AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM TO IMPACT THE AREA... SANDY IS EXPECTED TO SLAM INTO THE NEW JERSEY COAST LATER MONDAY NIGHT, BRINGING VERY HEAVY RAIN AND DAMAGING WINDS TO THE REGION. THE STORM IS A LARGE ONE, THEREFORE DO NOT FOCUS ON THE EXACT CENTER OF THE STORM AS ALL AREAS WILL HAVE SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS. THIS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE AN HISTORIC STORM, WITH WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE AND POWER OUTAGES, INLAND AND COASTAL FLOODING, AND MASSIVE BEACH EROSION. THE COMBINATION OF THE HEAVY RAIN AND PROLONGED WIND WILL CREATE THE POTENTIAL FOR LONG LASTING POWER OUTAGES AND SERIOUS FLOODING. PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE WRAPPING UP AS CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO WORSEN TONIGHT AND ESPECIALLY ON MONDAY. SOME IMPORTANT NOTES... 1. IF YOU ARE BEING ASKED TO EVACUATE A COASTAL LOCATION BY STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS, PLEASE DO SO. 2. IF YOU ARE RELUCTANT TO EVACUATE, AND YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO RODE OUT THE `62 STORM ON THE BARRIER ISLANDS, ASK THEM IF THEY COULD DO IT AGAIN. 3. IF YOU ARE RELUCTANT, THINK ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES, THINK ABOUT THE EMERGENCY RESPONDERS WHO WILL BE UNABLE TO REACH YOU WHEN YOU MAKE THE PANICKED PHONE CALL TO BE RESCUED, THINK ABOUT THE RESCUE/RECOVERY TEAMS WHO WILL RESCUE YOU IF YOU ARE INJURED OR RECOVER YOUR REMAINS IF YOU DO NOT SURVIVE. 4. SANDY IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM. THERE WILL BE MAJOR PROPERTY DAMAGE, INJURIES ARE PROBABLY UNAVOIDABLE, BUT THE GOAL IS ZERO FATALITIES. 5. IF YOU THINK THE STORM IS OVER-HYPED AND EXAGGERATED, PLEASE ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION. WE WISH EVERYONE IN HARMS WAY ALL THE BEST. STAY SAFE!
First Coast sea & surf conditions will be slow to improve given the powerful storm to the north combined with incoming surface high pressure + high astronomical tides thanks to Monday's full moon. This storm reminds me of the late Oct. hurricane -- "Wilma" -- in 2005 that crossed S. Fl. in that it was followed by a big temp. drop (though "Wilma" continued out to sea). On Sandy's backside there will be quite the dump of chilly air for the First Coast the next few days as subtropical/hybrid "Sandy" moves into the NE U.S. hundreds of miles up the U.S east coast.
Wave heights courtesy NOAA:
Just a quick diagnosis/discussion on why the First Coast was spared "Sandy". The track is/was related to the atmospheric set-up & not because of water temps. or our local geography. First of all...."Sandy" was a classic late season storm that developed in the Caribbean (climatalogically favored late in the hurricane season & an area to possibly watch near Nov. 10th). Because the jet stream is usually starting to dip farther south this time of year as we get deeper into autumn, Caribbean storms in Oct./Nov. typically are swept north &/or northeast as was the case with "Sandy". Intensity of such storms are usually greatest in & near the Caribbean because the water temps. are still plenty warm (85+) & shear is typically minimal. In Sandy's case, a weak upper low was located near Fl. so once "Sandy" moved from Cuba into the Southern Bahamas, the storm was steered north then northwest for a short time (Thu. night-Fri.) before the upper low weakened allowing "Sandy" to turn back to the north then northeast. So the weak upper low became the primary steering influence that kept the storm well east of Fl. A tropical storm watch/warning was issued for the Fl. coast because of the wide & expanding wind field to the northwest of the center though sustained tropical storm force winds never occurred anywhere on the First Coast. The next major steering mechanism for "Sandy" will be a large upper level high over the N. Atlantic & -- more importantly -- a strong & intensifying upper level trough of low pressure that will sweep into the Eastern & NE U.S. the next few days. This trough is the system that will draw "Sandy" back to the west & northwest with an eventual landfall between Chesapeake Bay & Boston early in the week as a large & intense hybrid storm system that will produce strong winds, heavy rain, flooding & heavy inland higher elevation snow. The map is below is the upper level forecast by the GFS model for early Mon. The dip to the west is the strong upper level trough that will "suck in" Sandy from east to west....the bright colored "ball" in the W. Atlantic is "Sandy" while a huge blocking upper level high pressure ridge is established near Newfoundland.
The rest of the tropics in the Atlantic Basin
are quiet for now. There are some hints by long range forecast models of perhaps
development again in the Caribbean in roughly 1-2 weeks. A weak tropical wave will approach the E. Caribbean this week but few signs of immediate development.