Sorry Jets fans, this post isn't about the Jets. I thought it might be helpful to update everyone on the increasingly serious situation the entire Tri-state region faces starting Monday.
Forecasters are currently saying that several computer models suggest that Sandy could produce the lowest barometric pressure in the history of the United States. The high-pressure cold front moving toward the Northeast could help create especially strong gales, since wind is created by differences in pressure, as air wants to flow from high to low pressure. Jeff Weber, a meteorologist with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, predicts Sandy’s winds could reach more than 100 mph in the tri-state area.
This storm has all the elements in place to surpass even the Perfect Storm of 1991. The name "Perfect Storm" refers specifically to the 1991 cyclone. But the term has been adopted to refer to other storms formed when conditions are just right to produce a large tempest.
What are those conditions? They are pretty much all in place right now. For one, the waters of the Gulf Stream, which ferry warm seawater from the northeast Caribbean into the Atlantic, are warmer than usual, providing fuel for Sandy. Secondly, the North Atlantic is "blocked" by a low-pressure system over Greenland. That has backed up the jet stream, the current of air that runs eastward over North America and into the ocean. Not only will this allow Sandy to curve to the west and hit the East Coast, but it will also allow powerful jetstream winds to supercharge Sandy's wind circulation as it approaches the East Coast.
Then there is the advancing cold front/high-pressure system, which will create strong differences in temperature and pressure as the hurricane and the cold front collide, further intensifying the storm and creating especially high winds, likely stronger than those during the Perfect Storm.
Sandy is also a huge storm, with tropical storm force winds extending 300 miles or more from its center by the time it hits us, and rain bands extending beyond 1000 miles. This means that the storm will likely continue its ferocious assault for days, as it will take some time to traverse the entire massive wind field, beginning early Monday and all the way into Wednesday, if not longer. In addition, we will be located in the Northeast quadrant of the hurricane, the most powerful and dangerous sector of any hurricane.
For those of us in the tri-state area, it is still early, but this is setting up as a worst case scenario for us. Massive power outages that could last for days, massive flooding, huge wind damage, downed trees and power lines - it is all not only possible but increasingly likely. It would probably be advisable to begin thinking of contingency plans in the event of massive power outages, as well as bringing inside any items which could become deadly projectiles in the height of the storm. This is a potentially extremely serious, even deadly situation. Be safe everyone.