Deb and I have been working hard to push the track of Sandy
(East) West away from Bermuda. To some degree that effort has paid off. But, despite the fact that the center of Hurricane Sandy is forecast to pass 431nm to our West, we are being told to expect winds in the 40-45 knot range for 24 hours (Sunday/Monday) with gusts in excess of 60 knots!!
We are lucky to have an Etchells friend (Tim Patton) here in Bermuda that runs a marine business. Part of that business is maintaining a collection of moorings around Bermuda. He has set us up with a mooring in a protected cove that is normally intended for an 80′ boat!! My guess is that should be just fine.
A growing concern that we have is that we may have been too successful in our efforts to push Sandy to the West. It now looks like we may have sent her right into the Northeast, and towards both our son Patrick (in Manhattan) and many friends spread between Maryland and Maine. Be safe guys!!
Hopefully, the size and strength of this storm will not turn out to match the hype of the forecasts, but many are calling Sandy “one for the ages” with a unique combination of weather coming together at just the wrong time in just the wrong places.
It can be easily stated that should the forecast track and models “spectacular” low pressure verify, a storm of rare intensity and tremendous impacts will be felt along the NE and mid-Atlantic coast. Given the forecasted perpendicular strike on the coast, onshore winds will push the Atlantic Ocean inland along the New Jersey and New York coast including New York City. Due to the high blocking over Greenland, the fetch of wind will extend nearly across the entire Atlantic Ocean and this will result in massive wave action aimed at the NE US coast. Lunar tides are also near peak with the full moon on Monday and this combined with the wave run-up and long duration of onshore winds (20-30 hours at 60-80mph) will result in potentially record breaking storm surge values. The potential is there for coastal inundation of sea water never before experienced in the NE US including New York City, but this depends heavily on the exact track of the center of Sandy.
Strong winds will batter much of the mid Atlantic and NE for not hours but days as Sandy moves NW to WNW and slows. These winds will last anywhere from 20-30 hours at 60-80mph with higher gust resulting in widespread power outages and downed trees. Strong winds will spread well inland from the coast into Canada and the OH valley.
Rainfall will be extensive as tropical moisture is brought northward with Sandy and pushed against a stalled front nearly along the higher terrain of the Appalachian mountains. Flooding rainfall due to the high rainfall rates and slow storm motion is likely and it is possible some rivers will reach record crests.
Impacts over the open Atlantic will be severe with a massive area of sustained winds of 60-70mph over hundreds of miles. Wave heights will build into the 20-30 foot range and I would not be surprised to see heights build toward 40-45 feet. Visibilities will be reduced to near zero in blowing sea spray and heavy rainfall.