Saturday, November 24, 2012

NOAA's Summary of Super Storm Sandy

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Climatic Data Center


Sandy precipitation totals

Post-tropical cyclone Sandy brought heavy rainfall to a large area of the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and New England. Northern Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey received the heaviest precipitation as Sandy moved inland after making landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey on October 29th. As Sandy transitioned from a tropical cyclone to a post-tropical cyclone shortly before landfall, a wedge of dry air was entrained into the northern side of the storm, limiting rainfall totals just to the north of Sandy’s center in New York and Connecticut.
Location, StateTotal Precipitation (inches)
Wallops Island WSSF, VA8.48
Atlantic City, NJ8.03
Cape Hatteras Billy Mitchell AP, NC7.85
Salisbury AP, MD7.55
Norfolk South, VA7.33
Baltimore Washington AP, MD6.83
Atlantic City AP, NJ6.00
Mount Washington, NH5.7
Washington Dulles AP, VA5.65
Washington Reagan AP, VA4.84

Sandy precipitation totals

Sandy Snowfall

The remnant low pressure system from Hurricane Sandy brought heavy snowfall to the high elevations of the Central and Southern Appalachians. The storm shattered both October monthly and single-storm snowfall records across several states. Snowfall totals greater than 12 inches were observed in — Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The table below provides select storm total snowfall across the region (29 October through 1 November). A storm total snowfall map is also provided. Data source:Global Historical Climatology Network - Daily (GHCN-D)
Location, StateElevation (feet)Total Snowfall (inches)
Runa 0.1 W, WV2,20445.0
Terra Alta #1, WV2,63036.0
Mount Leconte, TN6,49332.5
Kumbrabow, WV3,22032.0
Oakland 1 SE, MD2,42024.0
Beckley-Raleigh CO AP, WV2,51422.9
Elkins-Randolph CO AP, WV1,97918.0
Laurel Summit, PA2,73017.5
Bakersville 5.4 N, NC3,83215.1
Beech Mountain 1.2 SE, NC5,05313.5
Nora 4 SSE, VA2,65013.4
Charleston Yeager AP, WV91010.1

Sandy snowfall totals 

Historical Minimum Central Pressure Readings

The following list diplays selected minimum central pressure readings from storm systems that affected the United States. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all intense storm systems. The pressure value observed at Matecumbe Bay, Florida in 1935 is recognized as the lowest sea-level pressure observed in the United States by the National Climate Extremes Committee. 
Sea Level Pressure
892.3September 2, 1935Matecumbe Key, FloridaFlorida Keys Labor Day Hurricane measured onboad a docked ship at Craig, Florida. For more details see:Monthly Weather Review publication for October 1935
908.9August 17, 1969Bay St. Louis, MississippiHurricane Camille
922.1August 24, 1992Homestead, FloridaHurricane Andrew
926.8September 14, 1919Dry TortugasAtlantic Gulf Hurricane of 1919. Measurement made onboard a docked ship. Official landfall south of Corpus Cristi.
927.0October 25, 1977Dutch Harbor, AlaskaNot verified
928.9September 16, 1928Palm Beach, FloidaSan Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane 1928
929.6September 16, 1928West Palm Beach, FloridaNot verified
929.9September 1960FloridaHurricane Donna
945.5October 29, 2012Atlantic City, New JerseyPost-Tropical Cyclone SandyStation site
946.2September 21, 1938Long Island, New YorkNew England Hurricane 1938
948.3October 29, 2012Atlantic City Airport, New JerseyPost-Tropical Cyclone SandyASOS data
951.6March 3, 1914Bridgehampton, New YorkNot verified
955.0January 13, 1913Canton, New YorkLowest non-tropical system whose pressure can be confirmed
955.0March 7, 1932Block Island, Rhode IslandLowest non-tropical system whose pressure can be confirmed
955.2October 26, 2010Big Fork, MinnesotaNWS Event Page
956.0January 26, 1978Mount Clemmons, MichiganWeather Log
956.0October 26, 2010International Falls, MinnesotaNWS Event Page
957.3January 26, 1978Port Huron, MichiganWeather Log
958.5January 26, 1978Cleveland, OhioVerified through NCDC WBAN 14820

Sandy Storm Surge & Wind Summary

Post-tropical storm Sandy packed a punch as it came ashore near Atlantic City, NJ on the evening of October 29. The timing of landfall near high astronomical tide and the large size of the storm generated many impacts across the eastern third of the U.S. Select storm surge statistics in addition to some of the highest peak wind speeds recorded during this storm are highlighted on this page. All data are preliminary unless noted otherwise.

Storm Surge Summary:

Sandy's 9-foot storm surge in New York City coincided with the approximate time of high astronomical tide creating a record shattering tidal maximum the evening of October 29 of 13.88 feet at The Battery in New York City Harbor. The previous high tide record of 11.20 feet was set during the great hurricane of 1821. As a result, extensive flooding occurred across some of the more vulnerable locations in Manhattan and other New York City boroughs, causing subways and tunnels to flood. Water was chest high on the streets in Queens as firefighters attempted to rescue residents from a neighborhood of homes which were engulfed by flames.

tide height measured at The Battery in New York City Harbor on October 29, 2012
Storm surge at the Delaware River in Philadelphia crested at 10.62 feet early on October 30, breaking the previous record of 10.50 feet set in November 1950 and tied in April 2011. The Delaware River usually doesn't flood due to tidal surges, but the combination of storm runoff, high astronomical tide and Sandy's record low pressure traversing the region just after landfall all contributed to this record breaking flood.

tide height measured at the Delaware River in Philadelphia on October 30, 2012
High tide in Atlantic City, NJ ripped up piers on the shore and caused extensive flooding downtown, where knee-deep water was reported. Notable high tides across the Northeast are listed in the table below.

The following locations reported flooding which resulted from exceptionally high tides.
LocationTidal CrestDetails
Kings Point, NY14.31 feet~12.5 feet above average
The Battery in New York City Harbor, NY13.88 feet~7 feet above flood stage
New Haven, CT12.30 feet~9 feet above average
Delaware River in Philadelphia, PA10.62 feet~2.4 feet above flood stage
Quonset Point, RI7.22 feet
Atlantic City, NJ8.90 feet
Delaware City, DE9.74 feet

Wind Summary:

Post-tropical storm Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, NJ around 8pm on October 29 with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Unlike many landfalling systems, Sandy was exceptionally large and impacts were felt from Georgia to Lake Michigan and throughout the eastern U.S. and into New England. Storm warnings were issued as far west as southern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Waves generated by strong winds measured more than 21 feet high at a southern Lake Michigan buoy; the second highest waves on record in Lake Michigan.

Peak wind gusts measured from Michigan to the East Coast were near to or exceeded hurricane strength.
LocationPeak Wind Gust
Harrisville, MI60 mph
Port Sanilac, MI65 mph
Fort Gratiot, MI75 mph
Allentown, PA81 mph
Highland Beach MD79 mph
Chester Gap, VA79 mph
Sandy Hook, NJ tide gauge87 mph
Dennisville, NJ81 mph
Montclair, NJ88 mph
JFK Airport, NY79 mph
Eatons Neck, NY94 mph
Madison, CT85 mph
Wellfleet, MA81 mph
Mount Mansfield, VT72 mph

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