10/26/2012 05:52 pm ET

NASA Officials Say Hurricane Sandy Hybrid Actually A 'Bride Of Frankenstorm'

By Tariq Malik, SPACE.com Managing Editor:

With a potentially monster storm approaching the U.S. East Coast just days ahead of Halloween, it's not surprising that weather forecasters have dubbed the intense Hurricane Sandy a "Frankenstorm." But there may be a better name for the incoming hurricane, NASA officials say.

Hurricane Sandy is currently a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale as it creeps northward in the Atlantic Ocean. The storm is expected to merge with another cold front early next week and could transform into a powerful hybrid tempest, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"Some forecasters are calling this combination of weather factors 'Frankenstorm' because of the close proximity to Halloween," officials with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., wrote in a storm update today (Oct. 26). "However, because Sandy is a woman's name, the storm could be considered a 'bride of Frankenstorm.'"

Sandy has grown in size such that its cloud cover blankets an area 2,000 miles (3,218 kilometers) across as the storm passed over the Bahamas, NASA officials said. [Photos: 'Frankenstorm' Hurricane Sandy from Space]

As of this afternoon, Hurricane Sandy was about 430 miles (695 kilometers) south-southeast of Charleston, S.C., and 30 miles (50 km) north-northeast of Great Abaco Island. The storm had maximum sustained winds of about 75 mph (120 kph) and was moving north at about 7 mph (11 kph).

Hurricanes and other major storms have names that progress in alphabetical order and alternate between the male and female genders. The storm before Sandy was called Rafael and the storm that immediately followed the "Frankenstorm" was named Tony.

The next major Atlantic storm to carry a female name will be called Valerie, according to the current cycle. Names beginning with the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are left out of naming convention due to their limited number.

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are keeping constant watch on Hurricane Sandy using satellites that monitor the storm non-stop with radar and in visible light and infrared wavelengths. NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite has revealed spots of intense rainfall around the storm's center, Goddard officials explained.

"Storm surge is expected to be [a] big factor as Sandy approaches the Mid-Atlantic coast. Very rough surf and high and dangerous waves are expected to be coupled with the full moon," Goddard officials wrote. "The National Hurricane Center noted that the combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters."

NASA is providing constant updates, interviews and video to the public via its hurricane status website here. The term "Bride of Frankenstorm" was proposed by Goddard's Rob Gutro, Hal Pierce and Marshall Sheperd during today's updates.

You can follow SPACE.com Managing Editor Tariq Malik on Twitter @tariqjmalik and SPACE.com on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Copyright 2012 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Hurricane Sandy

11/04/2012 12:26 AM EDT

PHOTO: A Marathon Wedding Proposal, Minus The Marathon

HuffPost's Katie Bindley reports:

Like all the competitors who trained for the 2012 NYC Marathon, Hannah Vahaba will not be running the race this year. But she also will never forget her moment at the finish line. After traveling in from Atlanta, Vahaba picked up a marriage proposal in Central Park on Saturday without having to traverse the 26.2-mile course.

"This is my fiance," said Vahaba, 31, who had tears running down her face as she stood in Central Park where the race would have ended, just moments after Martin O'Donoghue had proposed.

marriage proposal cancelled nyc marathon

Photo by Damon Scheleur

Read the full story here.

11/04/2012 12:25 AM EDT

Check Donation Lists

Be sure to check donation lists to see what items are needed. For example, at one Staten Island donation center, there is a critical need for batteries batteries batteries, candles, matches, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, pet food, baby supplies, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. Clothing isn't needed as much at that center.

-Catharine Smith, HuffPost

11/03/2012 10:42 PM EDT

Brooklyn Regions Still Lack Electricity, Heat and Water Days After Storm

HuffPost's Tim Stenovec reports:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which killed at least 48 people in New York when it battered the Northeast last week, frustrated residents in this corner of South Brooklyn are coping without electricity, heat and running water.

Read the full story here.

11/03/2012 10:18 PM EDT

On Long Island, Cuomo demands Accountability from Utilities

Huntington Patch reports:

At a massive food distribution event at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Cuomo said power has been restored to 60 percent of the New York metropolitan area.

LIPA reported Saturday evening that 460,000 customers remained without power, down from more than 900,000 initially.

"I've warned the utility companies repeatedly they operate under a state charter, essentially," Cuomo said. "The utility companies are not happy with my warning and frankly, I don't care."

"The customers are not happy. The bill payers are not happy and the people without power are not happy," Cuomo said. "People are suffering. It is an issue of safety and if the utilities were not prepared we will hold them accountable."

Read the full story on Huntington Patch.

11/03/2012 9:38 PM EDT

Gasoline Shortage Likely To Last For Several More Days

Even as power returns to parts of the region assailed by Hurricane Sandy, millions of drivers seeking gasoline appear likely to face at least several more days of persistent shortages.

Read the full story here.

11/03/2012 8:50 PM EDT

Behind @ConEdison: The 27 Year-Old Preventing Panic, One Tweet At A Time

HuffPost's Bianca Bosker:

On Saturday, 27-year-old Kate Frasca was manning Con Edison’s Twitter account, @ConEdison, responding to customers’ frustrations, questions, praise and criticism at an average clip of one tweet every six minutes.

Read the full story here.

11/03/2012 8:35 PM EDT

Estimate Says 600 Million Gallons Of Water Hit Mass Transit System


Roughly 600 M gallons of storm water infiltrated the nation’s busiest and oldest underground mass transit system... http://t.co/5jMXDhRc

11/03/2012 8:15 PM EDT

$12 Million Donated So Far To NYC Mayor's Fund For Recovery

@ MikeBloomberg :

If you would like to donate: visit http://t.co/9w8egqxD So far $12 million has been contributed. 100% of funds go to #Recovery efforts.

11/03/2012 7:52 PM EDT

Don't Touch Downed Power Lines

@ usNWSgov :

Post #Sandy reminders: never touch a downed power line or anything touching one. Washing your hands prevents illness. #NWS #CDC

11/03/2012 7:17 PM EDT

Volunteers Arrive In Staten Island

@ NYCMayorsOffice :

Volunteers Descend on Staten Island Neighborhood http://t.co/9aP3ggJN