From Wrightsville Beach, NC Gray, Cold, NOT Very Tropical...
This is a satellite shot of when most of these images were taken at Wrightsville Beach. That is the little point of land that juts out into the Ocean...where surfers usually hang out, people catch some rays and fish from Johnny Mercer Pier.
Note the deep blue aqua that spells "WEATHER" that was over Eastern North Carolina as Sandy was further away, but with less weather. Again, her weather is FAR away from her center and she is a big, wide mess and wetter with strong winds on her Eastern Side..
Currently the wind is out of the NW 25MPH steady with gusts to 35..depending on a stray band of rain or stronger wind.
As you read this remember this is going on ALL up and down the coast from NJ where the winds are being felt to South Florida where the winds won't go away...
These are my thoughts and some images from today ... I hope it helps you appreciate the POWER of Hurricane Sandy... the COLD, GRAY, BITING POWER... of her blasting winds, swells and crashing waves and what will translate at some point to a high storm surge. This water has been traveling with her for days.. it is not going to just go away, even IF her winds die down.
I've got to tell you. If I had not one to Wrightsville Beach this morning I wouldn't really appreciate the cold, gray feel to "Hurricane Sandy" and I've got to tell you nothing feels very tropical about her..except for her wind and her winds were strong. Not as steady as in Miami in a storm, but she is so far off shore and she is producing strong, steady winds with gusts of Tropical Storm force but she feels as close to a Nor'easter that I will probably ever feel.
The wind was out of the NW, onshore as they say which means basically the wind was pushing the water out off the beach in a way that made it seem more like a tidal wave was coming in than waves crashing onto the shore. The waves were there mind... but on top of an ocean that was approximately 10 feet swells with waves on top as they finally crashed an rolled into the sand as the wind pushed them back just as fast. It was an odd, odd, surrealistic feel to the whole scene that played out in shades of gray.. not very tropical.
The surfers sat around in wet suits, very few girl surfers.. though a few of their girlfriends sat huddled in a circle. Not much to surf as the flow was more out than in or parallel to the shore with a wave here or there strong enough for the strongest of surfers to try to ride a little bit. Most sat out there on hills of water, mounds of water, pushing onshore and than back as the winds beat the waves back.
The birds huddled on the roof of the entrance to the Johnny Mercer Pier and a few stray sandpipers attempted to play at the Ocean's edge.
It was cold. I mean COLD. I mean.. it looked like it was going to snow... seriously. I was bundled up and I was freezing. Usually in Miami I chase storms barefoot at the beach... not here, not this storm.
And, the comparisons to the Perfect Storm were indeed easy to understand.
We went out on the Pier when the winds died down a bit.. yes the pier was open but only a few people ventured out onto it. I saw this mother and her son standing looking a the water.. LOOK HOW THEY ARE DRESSED... this looks like a cold day on the beach on Long Island in the dead of winter, NOT a "tropical event" and it made me think of myself many times in the past on Miami Beach watching the waves with my kids..
She was holding on tight, he was suited up for a snow storm and having a blast..
A the end of the pier was ONE fisherman ... just one and the water at the end of the pier was HIGH..higher than I am used to... the wind wild.
My daughter called back from NY. The winds were there already...as I have said they would be there early. A son is hunkered down with his girlfriend and other friends. Another... well... I have a lot of loved ones in NYC and Brooklyn tonight. My ex-husband seems to be missing from the NY scene and stranded in Providence Town for some reason I can only imagine.. mainly Amtrak stopped running. I imagine a lot of people are indeed stranded.
It's raining here. Another squall line came through and the rain sounds more like hail than rain. The wind is loud and Sandy is far away and today it was supposed to be better weather than yesterday, but Sandy is not playing games. The wind has shifted and now it's cold, even colder.
Look at this image of the Cape Fear River... it was taken in color... there is no color.
This morning we were having sustained winds of 29mph ... maybe 30 and gusts to tropical storm force. Later in the day they were around 20 mph with stronger gusts. It gets quieter than wilder. Sandy doesn't really go away.
My brother was in Ft. Lauderdale today on the back side of the storm and saw what seemed to him the largest waves he had ever seen in South Florida... yet she's far from Ft. Lauderdale.
The winds, the pressure gradient.. the whole thing is nuts. Crazy. Funky. Wild. Dangerous.
I'm inside, going through images, drinking tea and listening to a random rain shower and the wind.. the ever present wind.
I'll catch up later with more data on landfall and New York, but I want to convey to you tonight..to warn you.. Sandy is real and as I said in a post earlier on my phone... Sandy is NOT Irene..she is Sandy. The same killer Cane that made landfall 3 or 4 times and killed so many people in the Caribbean that the number climbs higher and higher.
I have too many friends tonight who are refusing to leave Long Beach, Far Rockaway and dangerous areas in Brooklyn because they insist they will be "FINE" as they are either 6 stories up facing the ocean?? but high up... or a block away and it never floods when they say it will.
They say God watches out for fools and drunks... maybe.. sometimes. Maybe Sandy will turn faster, harder and go in around Ocean City, Maryland.. could happen. It could spare NY and New England a direct hit and decimate the Del Marva. Hard to say and won't know for sure if the models are really that spot on until it makes the expected "hook" back to land.
I'll be back in a bit and THANK YOU for your patience and your correspondence.
I will be here all day tomorrow covering Hurricane Sandy or whatever we want to call it.
I looked her in the face today... as I usually do and I am telling you this storm means business.
Delaware is already getting 19 foot waves...NOW...Tonight..
Please I beg you...take her seriously...and check back here and often.
Hunker down if you are up north waiting for her.