The center of historic Hurricane Sandy is now moving much faster and will make landfall over southern New Jersey near Cape May in the next 90 minutes. At Cape May, the pressure is down to 28.67 inches.
The pressure in Sandy is a record for that latitude. 1 p.m. advisory carried pressure of 940 mb. Plane found 941 mb a short time ago at 2:46 p.m. Maximum flight level winds on that pass were 116 mph, well west northwest of the center.
NEW YORK CITY OBSERVATIONS
…Central Park at 3 p.m. CDT…ENE 28 Gusting to 47 mph, Peak Gust 62 mph. Pressure 971 mb (28.70) falling rapidly
…JFK…NE 41 G 58…peak gust 66 mph. Pressure 969 mb (28.63)
SEVERAL HURRICANE FORCE GUSTS
…75 mph at Blue Hill MA at 2:22 p.m. CDT
…Groton Airport in New London CT reports 75 mph wind gust at 2:35
…Buoy 6 miles WSW of Cutthunk reported 83 mph gust at 2 p.m. CDT
…84 mph gust reported 4 miles ENE of Plum Island in Suffolk County NY
…A construction crane has collapsed on a large construction tower at 57th and 6th in Midtown. Debris is falling.
…NYC 911 reporting 10 times normal 911 volume with lots of reports of trees down, and trees down on cars in Queens and Bronx.
…6.22 inches of rain at Wallops Island VA.
…Tappan Zee Bridge just closed, other bridges closing at 7 p.m., but that may be too late. Lincoln, Midtown Tunnels will remain open as well as Triborough. These could be closed at any point as well.
…Garden State Parkway closed south of Exit 129.
…Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark, Philadelphia, Dulles and Reagan National all closed. I can’t see that BWI is closed, but almost every flight on their website shows canceled.
The power outages will be monumental. According to WCBS in NYC, at least 311,000 in the Tri-State without power. This does not include Philly or the Washington/Baltimore areas.
Blizzard warning in the central Va. for mountains near Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, Staunton as well as West Virginia above 2000 feet.
Hurricane Sandy now strongest hurricane north of North Carolina (943 mb). Stronger than 1938 hurricane.
…NYC Mayor urges people in Zone A to evacuate now
…Holland and Brooklyn/Battery Tunnel closing at 2 p.m.
…Mass transit shut down
…Brooklyn: Large tree down on homes
…Long Beach: coastal flooding with water over roads
…4.3 foot tide at Battery Park now, very close to the 4.4 feet experienced in Irene. 10-12 feet forecast around time of high tide tonight at 8:13 p.m. Could break record set in Hurricane Donna.
…Maxwell Pier in Hoboken flooded.
NWS expects record flooding on coast
…Sandy Hook NJ already at 9.44 feet…11.5-13 feet expected tonight at high tide
…Atlantic City…high tide at 8 p.m., forecast tides 9.5 feet
…Cape May NJ…9.5-10 feet forecast tonight at high tide
…Philadelphia expecting 8.5-10 feet tide this afternoon and again early tomorrow morning
…Surge levels in the Hampton Roads area have peaked. They approached the heights of Hurricane Isabel, which caused tremendous flooding there. Norfolk water levels maxed out below the heights observed in the Ash WEdnesday Storm in 1962 and Hurricane Irene.
…”Ocean has met Bay” in Ocean City. Never seen before say officials.
…3 feet of water in Hatteras Village
…Water 2-3 feet deep across roads in Wanchese in Dare County.
Sandy is a very large storm system and its impacts will be felt by millions of people for days. From North Carolina to New England, tropical storm winds are beginning to impact the shoreline.
The wind field with Sandy is one of the largest I can remember for an Atlantic Storm. Looking at the surface winds, the orange represents the expanse of the tropical storm winds, that is sustained at 39mph or greater. The winds extend out from the center of Sandy more than 500 miles. The red represents the hurricane force winds. They are a bit more concentrated and are staying near the center. With such a large and strong wind field is no wonder that so many people are expected to lose power. Along with the extent of the wind field the duration of the winds will be just a problematic. Days and days of high winds with saturated grounds could produce historical amounts of tree and power line damage.
The system has started to make the westward turn that has been forecasted for days. Sandy is currently moving to the NNW at 20 mph. That puts it on the New Jersey Coast sometime in the early morning hours of Tuesday.
The persistent winds will continue to pile the water up along the shore and will produce tremendous coastal flooding.
This storm remains a direct and serious threat to life and property for those in the path. Below is a visible satellite image.
Here is a stunning satellite with Sandy and cold air advection cloud streets in Gulf and off Southeast US coast.
The central pressure remains under 950 mb… tropical storm force winds extend out almost 500 miles.
See this WeatherBrains special for a long look at the storm and the potential impact.
We will have a new WeatherBrains tonight at 8:30 p.m. CDT… you can watch it live here.