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Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Sandy
Eric S. Blake (au)
Sandy was a classic late-season hurricane in the southwestern Caribbean Sea. The system restrengthened into a hurricane while it moved northeastward, parallel to the coast of the southeastern U.S., and reached a secondary peak intensity of 85 kt while it turned northwestward toward the mid-Atlantic states. Sandy weakened somewhat and then made landfall as a post-tropical cyclone near Brigantine, NJ with 70-kt maximum sustained winds. Because of its tremendous size, however, Sandy drove a catastrophic storm surge into the New Jersey and New York coastlines. Preliminary U.S. damage estimates are near $50 billion, making Sandy the second-costliest cyclone to hit the U.S since 1900. There were at least 147 direct deaths recorded across the Atlantic basin due to Sandy, with 72 of these fatalities occurring in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. This report shows that forecasters had difficult decisions to make about how they should warn the public about Hurricane Sandy. When the storm slightly diminished, if they downgraded it from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone, they would not be allowed to issue warnings and the public might decide that it did not pose a serious threat. But the forecasters did not want to lie and continue to call the storm a hurricane. They finally decided to downgrade the storm and allow local officials to issue warnings about the storm. This report proposes changing the current warning system so that the National Hurricane Center would be allowed to issued ńˇýformal advisories on post-tropical cyclones as long as those systems pose a significant threat to life and property.ńˇŁ Tables and figures. This is a print on demand report.
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