Hurricane Sandy is a big deal. Although there is always a chance that the storm could go out to sea, weather experts are 90 per cent certain that Sandy will strike the U.S. East Coast, gaining in strength and size as it comes ashore. There are many factors that come together to make Sandy so destructive.
The hybrid storm
First, Sandy is a hurricane, which is menacing by itself. But as the storm moves toward the Eastern Seaboard, it will combine with a winter storm, or strong low pressure system, from the west and a blast of cold air from the north.
The blending of these weather systems is what makes Sandy so unusual. Experts call it the “perfect storm.” Conditions like these have not been seen since the New England Hurricane of 1938, which generated 50-foot waves and killed 500 people.
High tides and flooding
The position of the moon makes matters worse. Because the storm is expected to strike during a full moon, when the moon is aligned with the sun, tidal forces are strongest. This means tides will be higher than normal, increasing the chance of flooding. Leaves on the ground can clog drains and exacerbate this problem.
Speed and size
Sandy is a slow-moving storm. Once it comes ashore, it’s expected to linger for about 24 hours. That means it has more time to do damage. Waves greater than 30 feet, 10-20 inches of snow and heavy rain are expected.
Sandy is also expected to clobber some of the most densely populated areas of the country, including Washington D.C., New York and Boston. As many as 10 million people could be without power for up to 10 days, and damage could be $3.2 billion dollars from wind alone, CNN reports.
Hurricane Sandy has been dubbed “Frankenstorm” by the National Weather Service due to its proximity to Halloween. But even weather experts fear that this may be too light of a term for the dangerous superstorm.
“The name ‘Frankenstorm’ has been coined by some meteorologists and media. We are refraining due the severity of the storm,” CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano tweeted.
Al Roker is equally concerned. “Sandy is a Cat. 1 Hurricane again. Cannot stress how dangerous and devastating this storm could be,” he tweeted Saturday morning.
New Jersey Gov. Christie said not to underestimate Sandy and “to be prepared for the worst” in a press conference this morning.
You’ve been warned.
Click here for more Sandy coverage.
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