Tag Archives: Weather

Hurricane Sandy headed for New Jersey, “life-threatening” storm surge to hit New York

Hurricane Sandy may become one of the worst storms in history for the New York/New Jersey area as the storm track runs just south of the region.

Current tracking information shows Sandy hitting somewhere between Delaware and northern New Jersey some time late on Monday with sustained winds up to 90 mph and guts of up to 115 mph. The center of the track is currently on New Jersey – a track that puts the northeastern side winds of the storm  into the lower bay area near New York. This is expected to produce a record-setting storm surge in the New York Harbor.

The “Frankenstorm”

Weather conditions are coming together that are likely to produce a monster storm with high wind, rain and possibly snow possibly causing a multi-billion dollar disaster for the city that never sleeps.

Sandy is likely to mix with a winter storm that is currently charging in from the west and a blast of cold air coming in from Canada. The combination will cause major problems for wherever it lands.

A major concern is the expectation of widespread power outages just as an arctic blast of cold air joins Sandy. Cold temperatures and no electricity could make things much more difficult on emergency preparations and personnel.

Marshall Moss, vice presient of forecasting at AccuWeather said that the storm will impact millions of people causing billions in damage. Moss estimated that outages could last several days or even weeks.

The “Right Hook”

As cyclones rotate counter-clockwise, their rotation moves massive amounts of water. That rotation will cause an offshore flow on the west and south sides of the storm and a huge storm surge towards land on the northern and eastern sides. The current track for Sandy is directly at New Jersey which puts the right side of the storm (the northern side) going right into the New York harbor and up the Hudson river. This is the dreaded “right hook” scenario for New York city.

The financial district and travel infrastructure in New York city could be threatened as the surge may push water straight up the Hudson river and into New York city  causing subway, school and business closures on a large scale.

As the NOAA surge probability map to the right shows (click for larger image), there is a greater than 90% chance of significant storm surge for the New York/New Jersey area (purple shading). Current predictions are for the storm surge in New York Harbor to be up to 11ft – a surge that Gov. Cuomo says “is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.”

A weather service bulletin says that the storm surge in New York Harbor will be “life-threatening”:

HURRICANE SANDY INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER  26A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL182012
800 PM EDT SUN OCT 28 2012

...SANDY EXPECTED TO BRING LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE FLOODING TO
THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST...INCLUDING LONG ISLAND SOUND AND NEW YORK
HARBOR...
...WILL BRING COASTAL HURRICANE WINDS AND HEAVY APPALACHIAN SNOWS...

Hurricane Sandy Current Track Map (updated 5pm Monday)

Official Evacuations

New York City

New York is in full emergency mode as the mayor announced on Sunday that 370,000 residents in the low-lying areas of the city, known as “zone A“, were being ordered to evacuate. If you want to find out if you are in the evacuation zone, you can use New York City’s “zone finder” HERE.

New Jersey:

New Jersey has ordered the evacuation of the barrier islands.

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel is being evacuated.

Camden county library system to be closed on Monday.

Gloucester County offices closed Monday and Tuesday.

Delaware:

Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell ordered the evacuation of about 50,000 people in the state’s coastal region.

University of Delaware classes cancelled for Monday. Students and staff urged to leave.

DART fixed-route bus and paratransit services suspended until further notice.

SEPTA regional rail service will not operate in New Castle County.

Closures

New York:

Mass transit and regional rail service would shut down beginning at 7pm on Sunday and city bus service will stop at 9pm. PATH trains to be shut down at midnight. Closure are likely to last until Wednesday.

New York City public schools will be completely closed on Monday and likely Tuesday.

The New York Mercantile Exchange, NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange will close floor trading and electronic trading on Monday and possibly Tuesday. Previous reports had said that electronic trading would remain open.

All bridges and tunnels into or out of Manhattan Island are now closed.

New Jersey

Atlantic City casinos will be closing at 3pm on Sunday. New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie has ordered the closure of all state offices on Monday and that NJ transit will start shutting down at 4pm on Sunday. Public schools will be closed on Monday.

All state parks are now closed.

Washington D.C.

Federal and city offices will be closed on Monday. This includes the U.S. Capitol and visitor center.

Hurricane Preparations

New York and New Jersey residents are being urged to take precautions as high winds are expected to last anywhere from Sunday night to Tuesday afternoon. Sustained high winds are expected to knock down trees and power lines resulting in widespread power outages across the area.

FEMA recommends 3-4 days of supplies for a Hurricane, but local officials are asking residents to stock up to ten days worth of non-perishable food and water.

Ready.gov says that before a hurricane, residents that don’t evacuate should use the following as guidelines.

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kitand make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  • Consider building a safe room.

Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) Web site,www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419. For more detailed information on how you can protect your property, view NFIP’s printer-friendly handout Avoiding Hurricane Damage.

 Satellite Imagery

This image was captured by NASA’s GOES-13 satellite at 9:02am Sunday morning.

Deadly East Coast Winter Storm Leaves Millions Without Power

The number of homes and businesses that have lost electricity in the North East has surpassed 3 million as a freakish October snow storm crossed the region over the weekend.

The storm dumped more the 2 feet of heavy, wet snow in parts of New England causing flight delays, traffic accidents and extensive power outages.

Governors across the area have said that those without power should expect to be without electricity for several days. The governors of New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts have declared states of emergency on their states.

Almost 75,000 have lost power in the New York City area where the Occupy Wall Street takeover of Zucatti park has been happening. With lows in the high 20’s to lower 30’s expected tonight, only a handful of protesters remain in the park.

In Connecticut, the storm caused more than 750,000 to lose power breaking a record set when Hurricane Irene’s remnants struck the state.

Three deaths have also been reported across the North East due to the storm. An elderly man was killed while napping in his recliner when a tree feel on to his house. Another was killed in a traffic accident and the third was killed when he stepped near a downed power line.

The forecast is for dry, but cold temperatures to remain for Sunday with a slight warm up tomorrow.

Hurricane Irene Targets East Coast

*Updated 2pm 8/25*

Irene, now a category 3 hurricane, seems to have spared Florida and Georgia from being the victims of 2011’s first Hurricane, but the storm is still expected to strike somewhere up the east coast of the United States.

The current cone of probability has the storm crossing over the outer banks of North Carolina early Sunday morning as a major hurricane with winds greater than 110mph then making landfall again somewhere in New England early Monday with winds between 74 and 110mph.

Irene is currently crossing over islands in the Carribean with maximum sustained winds of 115mph. The storm is expected to hit North Carolina as a category 3 storm and continue on to Maryland and New York City, NY.

Two more low pressure systems are in the Atlantic. Only one has even a moderate chance of becoming a tropical storm and will continue to be monitored.

TrendWatch: How Hurricane Season Can Lead to Gas Crisis

ATLANTA, May 24, 2011 — When Hurricane Katrina shut down the majority of oil      refining capabilities in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, prices skyrocketed overnight and incited a rush on gasoline that led to a nationwide, weeks-long gas shortage. With prices currently nearing post-Katrina levels on their own, this hurricane season could prove even more damaging to both businesses and consumers.

In a recent look at the 2011 hurricane season’s potential effects on fuel prices, AccuWeather.com detailed how devastating extreme conditions can be to the nation’s fuel infrastructure. While small disruptions occur relatively frequently during hurricane season, the possibility of a major disruption in the near future may be becoming more likely.

According to AccuWeather’s 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast, 2011 is likely to bring a higher than average number of tropical systems than last year, with a higher percentage making direct hits on the U.S. coast. The forecast targets the Texas and Western Louisiana coastlines as areas of greater concern for tropical activity, putting a large percentage of the country’s refineries and offshore platforms in the path of these damaging storms.

When a hurricane causes refineries to close, transportation costs to move oil to other locations are passed down to the consumer. If costs become too high, the platforms themselves must shut down, decreasing supply. This affects fuel prices even more, as well as prices for oil byproducts such as propane, butane and kerosene.

“When an unforeseen event suddenly drives the price of fuel up, smaller businesses have a hard time keeping up,” said Raquel Elie of FleetCards USA TrendWatch. “Owners have to take drastic measures to shore up their expenses, which can mean cutbacks in their budgets or even substantial downsizing. The best safeguard against this is to keep a close eye on prices and always be prepared for a change.”

With the price of fuel in such a volatile state, it is important to guard your fleet against increased costs by managing your fuel spending. Finding cheaper prices on fuel is comforting in the short term, but to effectively manage your expenses, it is important to examine every aspect of your fuel consumption and stop inefficiencies at each step.