Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Simple Look at Complex Sandy K.I.S.S. A guide to understanding Sandy better..

I'm going to try and explain this in as simple a language here as possible with as little hype so that this difficult scenario is made easy enough to understand. I could wax poetically about how the ensemble models look and contradict each other or diffluence and divergence or potential wave heights or tropospheric conditions but my goal here is as an old boyfriend used to say to me.. Keep it Simple.

You know the old K.I.S.S. philosophy is going to go into effect here as all of the hype on the TV is annoying the hell out of me and the terms Frankenstorm, Megastorm, Perfect Storm are great for headlines but they don't really explain this complex situation that is evolving in a way that the average person in the path of this storm can understand what is going on and enable them to deal with it logically.

(really.. this is not about a landfall of a Cat 5 in Miami or New Orleans.. it is about effects as in wind, rain, snow, flooding.... may affect your area from Hurricane Sandy as it transitions into a Super Storm)

That shaded area can be impacted by a storm that was once tropical but transitions.
They will call it a Super Storm or a Hybrid or a Mega Storm.

What it will be is a massive gyre like a kaleidoscopic sort of image where the massive about of moisture that now covers an area half way across the Atlantic and down into the Caribbean still
gets pulled into another transformed larger swirl that will cover much of the Eastern half of the USA
and into Canada.. again as the image of the Perfect Storm took up the screen on yesterday's post.
And... that moisture will fall to earth as rain or snow depending on where you live..

Remember last night's image from the old infamous Perfect Storm on TWC in 1991

Look at the Navy map and then look at this and then maybe it's easier to understand what will play out.

Okay, I think you got it. Hope you got it. Let's move on.. 

You can loop the link below from the image above and see it this in motion. This is the Canadian satellite, I like the way you see the land and sea to the north, centered nicely over Sandy.

Visible Water Vapor - GOES East 12 hr Loop

Why I like this site when there are other newer sites? The shading and differentiation between systems makes it easier to see the steering currents with less distractions and again I like the wide view.

Another example.. this image from the above loop is 12 hours ago:

This is NOW as of 8 AM Friday, October 26th, 2012

You can compare and contrast an image 12 hours apart that gives you a feel for things that sometimes a loop cannot as least for me... sometimes you get lost in the many subtleties of the loop.

Look at the immense amount of moisture seen in the blue shading in this image.. that will ALL come in at some point as the storm folds in on itself and merges with front & digging trough.

Looking at the loop you can see the 3rd Player in this Disaster Scenario.

First hand off from the ULL
to the sliver of the cold front slicing down across moving towards Sandy NOW
then the system from up above lifting the whole messy mass IN NW somewhere into the US
somewhere within this coast... 

Again Sandy is now moving NW towards the front..
then the front is forecast to push her out a bit paralleling the coastline oddly or not so oddly
then the new system comes down...grabs her and hooks her back and slings her NW into _____.
The fill in the blank is the 64 million $$ question and the the price tag of this storm will be way higher.

Look at the 5 Day Cone and think about the shape of the East Coast:

It is currently moving NW (not N or NNW as it did yesterday) towards the front

Then it will get handed off like a big, sloppy, wet football in a rainstorm to the next player up to the N.

Wind Potential Map from the NHC at 8 AM

Look at the next graphic and understand this is NOT unprecedented it has happened time & time again......

Over and over and that is what has over time created the coastline of the US.. storms that followed this path and or went out to sea. I love when they say on TWC "the storm is taking the beach"... yes...
that is what storms do..they take the beach, they take the sand, they carve the beach a bit more with each storm over time and then the sand returns.. sometimes the beach is a bit rearranged and over time and years the coastline changes just a little more and more and you get the beautiful S that is the coast of the US.. they usually come close, pull away, take some sand with them and deposit that sand further up the coast and in Miami sometimes there is sand and shells from the Caribbean. 

And sometimes we get African Dust in Miami ... 

That is how the world works... 

It is not a Hollywood like disaster movie or some conspiracy or a punishment for polluting the earth.

It is just the way of the world since time began.

And, I bet you back in those pre-historic dinosaur days they have wild storms too.. but who knew?

The dinosaurs didn't alas leave a diary. 

This is not unprecedented it is one of those worst case scenarios.

Look at the world down below.. everything connects and loops in and out as cloud systems move
across the face of the earth feeding into each other.

Lows move towards lows.. that simple and it's survival of the fittest so the stronger low wins.

That simple.

So if you get scared hearing hype about this storm that very well may affect you.. 
Know it is normal. It is the way that energy is transferred around the planet from the equator to the poles... 

Happened before, it will happen again.

Look at Mother Earth on a large flat screen.. 
isn't she beautiful?

The Way of the World:

Where will I be for the storm?

Raleigh, NC

Shame I didn't go back to Miami earlier I could have seen Sandy in action.. 

But, I think I will here in Raleigh as well as we have a 34% chance of "something"
and depending on where the storm goes and how safe it is to travel on Sunday
I may be at the coast.. either way a trip to Wrightsville is in my crystal ball
sooner or later, timing uncertain....

A lot like the final exact track of Hurricane Sandy....

One last thing that MUST be understood.


The wind field will be spreading out wider and wider....
And areas along the Cone on the coast will most likely see almost the same winds and storm surge depends on your part of the coast..

This is not a Category 5 Andrew like storm where if you miss the eye and you miss the weather

It is indeed a giant windstorm that will affect many places all at one time. Not Cat 5 Winds.. most people will get tropical storm force winds or gusts but over a long, long time...they will take the leaves off your trees and we will transform from Fall into Winter really fast.

And... again the NHC often moves the cone just a little.. north or south and that little will make a big difference if it  moves in your direction so stay tuned and pay attention

Go to for all the models and loops.

My goal this morning was to help explain how a storm like this works without scaring anyone, 
but by educating you in a simple discussion of a very complex situation.

In this case size does matter and it is all about the size of Sandy 
and she is spreading out, getting wider and larger and so she will become a large
Super Sized Storm like the sodas that were outlawed in NYC. 

Not a small storm that will easily miss an area 100 miles south of landfall.
In Miami Andrew hit Homestead, West Palm Beach barely got weather.
If this was Andrew it would be as if Andrew hit Wrightsville Beach and
everyone from South Carolina dealing with high surf and winds
to Maine and inland as far as the Mississippi River and Canada
would feel "something" from Super Storm Andrew
if that makes sense.

Do not watch the middle of the Cone..
this storm doesn't work the way they usually do
but that has happened before and it will happen again.

Besos Bobbi

Keep It Simple Sweetheart.

Do not be afraid... be informed and prepare if you are in the shaded area below from the Navy Map.

As for me... I'm going out to take some pics this foggy morning of what the Peak of the Season
looked like in Raleigh before Sandy takes it away.. 

It is quiet, gray, sort of eerie in a funky way.. and little gusts keep grabbing at yellow oak leaves and they spiral to the ground like yellow butterflies falling down across the lawn and yeah it does feel like something wicked is coming this way but it is possibly coming to anyone in that shaded grid in one manner or another maybe snow, maybe wind, maybe flooding rains..

Hope this helped and I'll be back at the 11 AM with discussion on the discussion and some more specific information and miscellaneous thoughts.


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