"Sandy" Makes Landfall 8pm EDT Mon. near Atlantic City, NJ......
Click here for a map of storm-related warnings.... here for the Ocean Prediction Center.... here for Hydrometeorological Prediction Center Updates... here for current water levels in the Northeast.
"Sandy" transitioned to a post-tropical storm -- or nontropical -- as the big ocean storm merged with a surface front & upper level trough near landfall. "Sandy's" storm surge from the ocean + freshwater flooding from rainfall have -- & will -- combine to cause considerable damage & disruption of normal transportation & public services for at least much of this week.
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.
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 is in the Central Caribbean but few signs of immediate development though there is quite a bit of t'storm activity.