Update: 10-29-12 11:00PM
Strong winds continue at 50mph (80kph) with gusts to 80mph(130kph). The rain has all but ceased but flooding continues to be a problem. In addition, without power at this time. It came back than went off again. This will probably continue but hopefully it will be remedied by daybreak. Mass transit in NYC is still down and be not be fully restored until the end of the week. With the Hudson River flowing over the bulkhead at the Battery , there is unquestionably salt water in the subway which will cause untold damage to the system. The winds are supposed to be subsiding overnight, but so far, there’s no indication that will be the case.
Update: 10-29-12 7:00PM
Hurricane Sandy for the NYC area has been more of a wind event than a rain event. In fact, we haven’t received much rain at all. Even with the lack of rain however, we are seeing significant flooding and that will continue through tomorrow morning’s high tide. Currently, the wind is a steady 50mph, (80kph), gusting to 62mph, (100kph). These conditions are expected to continue through late morning and then gradually improve throughout the day. The New York City Mass Transit system is still not running and the New York Stock Exchange will be closed again tomorrow.
Update: 10-28-12 9:00AM
At this time, there has been no rain and winds are fairly light at 12mph, 20kph with some higher gusts out of the northeast. The news channels are reporting stronger winds at this time but my weather vane is completely accurate. My location is near JFK Airport which is fairly open and near the water so I have a good vantage point from which to report. Conditions should gradually deteriorate throughout the night and in to the afternoon on Monday. My only reason concern besides downed trees is flooding. Next Update tomorrow morning.
Update: 10-28-12 12:01PM
Evacuations have now been ordered for parts of the New York City area, (those given an area “A” designation). These areas are closest to the coast. Gov Cuomo has ordered the shut down of New York City Mass Transportation System, beginning at 7:00 this evening so the City will essentially be shut down tomorrow while Sandy makes her way up the coast. The system will be restored once the storm passes and conditions warrant. This storm, because of the astronomical high tide, and storm surge, will cause widespread flooding as I stated yesterday. While the winds will be steady with higher gusts, the rain and tidal surge will be the bigger story and provide the largest impact. As the storm gets closer, I will provide further updates.
The purpose of any media company is to create ratings. Hurricane Sandy is definitely a media event, no doubt, but there is no need to panic. Weather stations and forecasts will all focus on the worst case scenarios, as it is better to err on the side of caution. The drama, however, should be taken with a grain of salt. Even the term “Frankenstorm”, coinciding with Halloween, is an attempt to make this a memorable event. This is a large hurricane in terms of area, but a small hurricane in terms of strength. In fact, Sandy barely qualifies as a hurricane which requires a sustained wind of 74mph, or 119kph. The current ocean temperature at Jones Beach, Long Island, is 62 degrees F, 14.5 degrees C. The fuel of every hurricane, is warm water, that is not the case here so there is little chance the storm will hit the northeast as a hurricane. More likely it will be a tropical storm. But that doesn’t mean Sandy doesn’t need to be reckoned with. Sandy will pack a punch for three reasons; 1) the amount of rain piling up, along with storm surge will cause widespread flooding. If you live in an area that usually floods, expect flooding. 2) there are strong winds embedded in this storm with higher gusts that will cause power outages and 3) this will be a prolonged weather event. Sometimes the length of a storm can be as devastating as the storm itself. Areas battered over a long period of time, will experience more damage than if the storm moved in and out, as was the case with last years’ Hurricane Irene. In preparation of this storm, people should stock up on batteries, flashlights, canned goods and fresh drinking water. If you live on the coast in an area that’s prone to flooding, you should seek higher ground and make arrangements to stay with relatives, or friends. Nothing is worse than flooding as the aftermath is even worse than the actual event. Since I live near the water, (no evacuations as of yet), I will send photos and updates as conditions warrant.