Sandy slams Jamaica; Growing potenial of “billion dollar” East Coast hurricane disaster

“Sandy” slamming Jamaica today – still a threat to USA’s east coast

Wow… what an extraordinarily unusual scenario. What seemed like a fluke of an idea – a hurricane-like system hitting the northeastern U.S. – is gaining credibility. Originally the European model was on its own with the spectacular but somewhat bizarre idea that Sandy would be injected with jet stream energy and curve back toward New England as a stunningly strong storm. Now one model after the other, including the ensembles, are favoring a swing back toward the East Coast after the storm goes by Cape Hatteras.

-TWC’s Bryan Norcross on the unusual east coast strike scenarios of a potential Hurricane Sandy

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The Hurricane Hunters found a large 55 mile-diameter eye that was open to the WNW this morning, and it is very likely that Kingston will receive a direct hit from a portion of the eyewall, which will cause considerable damage to Jamaica’s capital. The eastern tip of Jamaica will be in the right front quadrant of the storm, and will receive the strongest winds. The eye is beginning to appear on visible satellite loops, and Sandy is showing an increasing degree of organization as it closes in on Jamaica.

-WxUnderground’s Jeff Masters on Sandy’s development today, and a possible devestating direct hit on Kingston, Jamaica.

Tracking Sandy: East Coast threat remains

Want to build a nightmare scenario for extensive hurricane damage?

Take a storm that brushes Florida’s east coast near Miami, rapidly intensifies over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream off the Carolina Coast, and then makes landfall somewhere along the east coast near New Jersey potentially affecting New York and New England.

That may be a stretch…but it’s exactly what some of the latest model runs are suggesting.

Sandy is near Hurricane force as it slams Jamaica today.

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NHC tracks the storm through Cuba tomorrow and the Bahamas Friday. Sandy is big enough that she should brush Florida’s east coast with tropical storm force winds.

Billion Dollar question: What next?

The overnight Euro has not backed off on taking Sandy into the east coast. The track and intensity shifted slightly, bringing a slightly weaker storm into New Jersey Tuesday night.

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Source: College of DuPage Weather Lab

The Navy’s NOGAPS model also brings a dangerous storm into New Jersey Monday…with a potentially devastating storm surge and wind field into New York City.

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Alarms are sounding today in the hurricane community. WxUnderground hurricane expert Jeff Masters elabroates on the potential billion dollar disaster unfolding for the northeast.

Such a storm would likely cause massive power outages and over a billion dollars in damage, as trees still in leaf take out power grids, and heavy rains and coastal storm surges create damaging flooding. The full moon is on Monday, which means astronomical tides will be at their peak for the month, increasing potential storm surge flooding. A similar meteorological situation occurred in October 1991, when Hurricane Grace became absorbed by a Nor’easter, becoming the so-called “Perfect Storm” that killed 13 people and did over $200 million in damage in the Northeast U.S.

The bottom line is, we still don’t know where Sandy will go…but odds of a potentially damaging east coast strike seem to be growing with each passing model run.

The potential for a devestating “billion dollar” hurricane is growing today.

Stay tuned.

Twin Cities Quick look forecast

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Rain opportunities & coverage increase this afternoon through tonight

.50″ rainfall output clustered around half an inch for metro

1″+ possible in Wisconsin and possible northeast Minnesota by Thursday night

Slight risk for severe storms – mainly southeast Minnesota & Wisconsin

Cold front slides through tomorrow with colder north winds & falling temps

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Rain: Bring it on

The next low pressure wave is riding a stalled front toward Minnesota.

As the low moves closer, rain & T-Storm coverage will increase this afternoon and tonight into Thursday. The models are squeezing out around .50″ for the metro area….with heavier totals over 1″ as you move north & east.

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Source: NOAA/HPC

The heaviest, steadiest rains may be Thursday as the system slides through.

Severe risk shifts east:

NOAA’s SPC bumped the slight risk area east early this morning, and the Twin Cities is no longer in the “risk zone.” That makes sense to me looking at surface and severe parameters today.

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Source: NOAA/SPC

We may see strong to severe storms brew in Iowa, southeast Minnesota and Wisconsin later this afternoon and evening.

PRESENT INDICATIONS ARE THAT SCATTERED SHOWERS WILL BEGIN DEVELOPING IN THE LOW LEVEL WARM ADVECTION REGIME ACROSS PARTS OF IA/SOUTHERN MN BY EARLY AFTERNOON. HOWEVER…THE BEST CHANCE OF SEEING SEVERE STORMS WILL BE LATE AFTERNOON AND EVENING AS THE LOW LEVEL JET STRENGTHENS AND ENHANCES SHEAR/LIFT IN THE IMMEDIATE FRONTAL ZONE.

WHILE SURFACE-BASED STORMS ARE FAR FROM CERTAIN…FORECAST SOUNDINGS SHOW VERY FAVORABLE LOW LEVEL AND DEEP LAYER VERTICAL SHEAR FOR A CONDITIONAL THREAT OF SUPERCELLS AND EVEN A FEW TORNADOES. SHEAR VECTOR ORIENTATIONS SUGGEST THAT ACTIVITY WILL EVOLVE RATHER QUICKLY INTO A LINEAR STRUCTURE THROUGH THE EVENING.

PH

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