As also reported on the Weather Channel, this is a remarkable storm. Forget about everything that you know about storms that have come up and across the northeast in the past, because while this is a Category 1 storm with 75 mph winds, the central pressure now is 951 mb (28.08 in.). Now comparatively you can have a hurricane very easily with a pressure of 993 mb. Standard sea level pressure is at 1014 mb. This is an incredibly LOW central pressure.
To give you an idea of how low this pressure is on a barometer, anything lower will fall off the low end of the scale! Take a look at this image of my barometer which I’ve indicated 951 mb for reference…
The pressure of the ‘Super Storm’ of 1993 that came up along the northeast coast and paralyzed the northeast all the way from Atlanta up to parts of northern New England… that had a pressure of 960 mb. So this one (Sandy) is almost 10 millibars lower! This is an incredible atmospheric disturbance, and it’s going to be a long duration event. That is the biggest thing… this is not simply a category 1 hurricane.
The lowest pressure ever measured anywhere in the U.S. north of Cape Hatteras, NC, is 946 mb (27.94″) measured at the Bellport Coast Guard Station on Long Island, NY on September 21, 1938 during the great “Long Island Express” hurricane. Sandy has the potential of lowering very close to that record during Monday.
Update (10/29/2012): Sandy has just
equaled broken the lowest pressure ever recorded in this part of the Atlantic, (946 mb). Sandy now 943 mb. Increased strength and winds 90-115 mph.
Update (10/29/2012): NOW 940 mb! Incredible Storm!
The area of strong winds surrounding Sandy is very large and is currently extending 500 miles from its center.
For those who will be impacted by this storm, understand what is around you (your home). Know where the big trees are, especially the older trees which might be weaker, and where they would fall on your house if they did fall. Use that information to help you decide where (what room?) to ride out the storm.
This storm will be a very long duration event, with high winds for 36 hours. This is a major concern for trees and structures fatigued by constant wind buffeted with higher gusts. Massive power outages will be a certainty.
For those who read this blog and are well outside of the area that will be affected, and may not be particularly interested in this… the event will be one where you can learn something by observing the effects of what happens as a result of power outages in large population centers, and how people are able to deal with it (or not). Search the news for the varying aftermath when its over…