[QODLink]
Weather

Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

The US National Weather Service report on the 'superstorm' which devastated parts of the Caribbean and US.
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2013 10:44

    A flooded home along the New Jersey shoreline [AP]

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has released its assessment on Hurricane Sandy which produced a swathe of destruction from the Caribbean to the northeast of the US in late October.

Sandy began life as a tropical wave off the west coast of Africa on the 11th October, but it made itself noticed when it became a hurricane, just south of Jamaica on 24th October.

Despite strengthening into a category 3 hurricane over eastern Cuba, Sandy weakened again over the Bahamas.

The combination of events which followed made Sandy different from any other. It began to regain its strength whilst at the same time exhibiting classic frontal characteristics.

Any hope that Sandy would turn right into the North Atlantic were dashed by the presence of a blocking area of high pressure to the north.

An approaching trough of low pressure from the west and the exceptionally warm waters of the Gulf Stream contributed to Sandy’s development.

It was only when Sandy moved northwards over cooler waters and into the colder air over the eastern US that it became an extra-tropical system. Landfall was eventually made on 29th October at 2330 GMT just to the northeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Here are some facts about Sandy:

Death toll: 147

Damage: $52.75 billion ($50 billion of which was in the US)

Maximum wind: 150kph at Cabo Lucreta, Cuba.

Maximum rainfall: 713mm Mill Bank, Jamaica.

Lowest recorded pressure: 945.5 mb

Maximum wave height: 11m buoy east of Cape Hatteras

Maximum snowfall: 1 metre Richmond, West Virginia

The NHC point out that the forecast of Sandy’s track, intensity and storm surge were all excellent. However, the organization has been criticized for only issuing strong wind warnings in advance of Sandy, rather than hurricane warnings.

The NHC felt that to do so would have misrepresented the status of Sandy but acknowledged that changes to the system need to be made.

It has been proposed that hurricane warnings definition be widened to include post-tropical systems. The word ‘hurricane’ in the warnings keeps people attention and could bring about a greater awareness of impending bad weather.

387

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
join our mailing list