Hurricane Sandy is, by most accounts, already a historic storm. Not only is it possibly the largest storm to ever hit the East Coast, but Hurricane Sandy is also only one of at least 68 storms the Northeast coastline has seen in more than 150 years.
As of 2010, the Northeast coastline, which includes a stretch of land from Virginia to Maine, has been hit by only 68 hurricanes since record-keeping began in 1851, according to data from the National Hurricane Center. This season alone, 19 named storms have formed, 10 of which were hurricanes. Hurricane Sandy first formed as a tropical storm in the Caribbean on Oct. 22, before traveling up the Atlantic coast and hooking left, honing on the East Coast.
Sandy comes just over a year after Hurricane Irene hit the Northeast.
“We had a busy start to the hurricane season — 13 named storms by the end of September, though only Isaac did anything to the U.S.,” Paul Knight, a meteorologist at Penn State University, told ABC News. “After that there was a lull. Then the MJO [Madden-Julian Oscillation] began to act up.”
The Madden-Julian Oscillation is the interannual fluctuation of atmospheric pressure over the equatorial Indian and western Pacific oceans, according to the online Encyclopedia Britannica.
This phenomenon comes in the form of alternating cyclonic and anticyclonic regions that enhance and suppress rainfall, respectively, and flow eastward along the Equator. The MJO occurs every 40–50 or 30–60 days, and it can be detected in the winds that occur in the planetary boundary layer and the upper reaches of the troposphere. The MJO has the ability to influence monsoonal circulation and rainfall by adding moisture during its cyclonic (wet) phase and reducing convection during its anticyclonic (dry) phase. At the surface in monsoon regions, both dry and wet spells result. These periods may alternate locally on the order of two or more weeks per phase.
This year, the MJO shifted and pushed warm, moist air toward the Pacific and, ultimately, the U.S., ABC News reports.
Sandy's impact on the Northeast could be quite costly.
“We’re looking at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people,” Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told Time magazine. Storm surges in and around New York City can reach nearly record-breaking heights of 11 feet.
Hurricane Sandy could cost New York and the Northeast billions. Estimates provided by Kinetic Analysis Corp., a hazard analysis company in Maryland, revealed New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey could see almost $4 billion in damages each.
Economists are predicting the storm will cost upwards of $55 billion in economic damages, according to Forbes.
BEFORE YOU GO
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.
Photo by Damon Scheleur
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.
11/03/2012 10:18 PM EDT
On Long Island, Cuomo demands Accountability from Utilities
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.
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.
11/03/2012 8:35 PM EDT
Estimate Says 600 Million Gallons Of Water Hit Mass Transit System
@ USACE_HQ :
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