Sandy made landfall near Kingston Jamaica around 3:00 p.m. today. She is now emerging off the north coast of Jamaica. As of the 5:00 p.m. EDT advisory, the following information was available, and is posted on the tracking map:
Sandy has been moving in a basically north direction today, and based on current and forecast steering maps, this motion should continue until Sandy reaches and crosses Cuba. Thereafter, the shift to the left I have been calling for is noted in the NHC updated forecast track, and I concur with this. I base this on the forecast steering layers maps, and the 18Z Dynamic Model Guidance.
Sandy is now heading toward a break in the ridge to her north, as is seen in the current steering layer map, which shows the ridge has finally weakened. As this ridge continues to progress toward the east, the trof mentioned in previous forecast synopses will approach, and begin to turn her more toward the NE, then more to the NNE near the end of the 120 hour forecast period. Soon thereafter, the majority of the Global Models still indicate a track back toward the NNW to NW as Sandy phases with the deep trof. The GFS in the 12Z run had come around to this solution, and is now back to taking Sandy out to sea. Based on the forecast steering maps, and agreement of the other Global Models in bring the storm back toward the NEUS, I have to discount the GFS solution at the moment. The trof in question will basically “split”, and the piece of energy over the water should “capture” the storm. Looking at the forecast steering, the flow is pretty much out of the SE to NW due to a blocking high centered east of Newfoundland.
Sandy is currently over very warm water, and the upper level anticyclone that has been to her WSW appears to be slowly progressing north, closer to the storm, and is providing an excellent outflow channel to her north and east.
The recent GFS shear forecast still indicates upper level winds to become more conducive as Sandy approaches Cuba, and for about 24-30 hours after she emerges back over the water. Sandy should strengthen more prior to landfall over Cuba, and could still undergo some form of brief R.I.
Based on this, I agree with the NHC intensity forecast and idea of her maintaining the strength in the forecast, however at her forward speed, she has at least 6-7 hours over warm water. At around 96 hours out, Sandy may begin to interact with the trof, however, the Global Models indicate a strengthening subtropical system. This will most likely occur due to baroclinic processes. I cannot rule out the possibility of this bombing out as shown, given the closer approach to the U.S. and Gulfstream.
Given the shift in track, the following watches and warnings are now in effect:
WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY... THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS ISSUED A HURRICANE WARNING FOR THE CENTRAL AND NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE EAST COAST OF FLORIDA FROM OCEAN REEF TO SEBASTIAN INLET. THE TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN EXTENDED ALONG THE EAST COAST OF FLORIDA TO FLAGLER BEACH. SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT... A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * JAMAICA * CUBAN PROVINCES OF CAMAGUEY...LAS TUNAS...GRANMA...SANTIAGO DE CUBA...HOLGUIN...AND GUANTANAMO * THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS * THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * HAITI * FLORIDA EAST COAST FROM OCEAN REEF TO SEBASTIAN INLET A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS * FLORIDA EAST COAST FROM NORTH OF SEBASTIAN INLET TO FLAGLER BEACH * FLORIDA UPPER KEYS FROM OCEAN REEF TO CRAIG KEY * FLORIDA BAY A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN 24 TO 36 HOURS. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA....IN THIS CASE WITHIN 36 TO 48 HOURS. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE. DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK ------------------------------ AT 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE SANDY WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 18.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 76.6 WEST. SANDY IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/H. THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT WITH AN INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED EXPECTED OVERNIGHT AND THURSDAY. A TURN TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST AND A DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED ARE EXPECTED ON FRIDAY. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF SANDY WILL MOVE OVER PORTIONS OF EASTERN CUBA OVERNIGHT...MOVE NEAR OR OVER THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT...AND MOVE NEAR OR OVER THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS ON FRIDAY. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 80 MPH...130 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SANDY IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SOME WEAKENING IS EXPECTED AS SANDY MOVES OVER EASTERN CUBA...WITH SOME RESTRENGTHENING EXPECTED AFTER SANDY MOVES INTO THE BAHAMAS. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES...45 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140 MILES...220 KM. KINGSTON JAMAICA RECENTLY REPORTED A SUSTAINED WIND OF 44 MPH...70 KM/H. THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE BASED ON SURFACE OBSERVATIONS FROM JAMAICA IS 970 MB...28.64 INCHES. HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND...HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE IN PORTIONS OF JAMAICA FOR THE NEXT FEW HOURS AND ARE EXPECTED TO REACH EASTERN CUBA THIS EVENING. HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO SPREAD ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS LATE THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN THE WARNING AREA ALONG THE EAST COAST OF FLORIDA THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY. RAINFALL...SANDY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES ACROSS JAMAICA...HAITI...THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND EASTERN CUBA...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 20 INCHES POSSIBLE. THESE RAINS MAY PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES...ESPECIALLY IN AREAS OF MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. RAINFALL TOTALS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER PORTIONS OF THE BAHAMAS...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES. RAINFALL TOTALS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE FLORIDA KEYS INTO SOUTHEAST AND EAST-CENTRAL FLORIDA. STORM SURGE...THE COMBINATION OF A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE AND THE TIDE WILL CAUSE NORMALLY DRY AREAS NEAR THE COAST TO BE FLOODED BY RISING WATERS. THE WATER COULD REACH THE FOLLOWING DEPTHS ABOVE GROUND IF THE PEAK SURGE OCCURS AT THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE... JAMAICA...1 TO 3 FT SOUTHEASTERN CUBA 3 TO 5 FT CENTRAL AND NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS...5 TO 8 FT FLORIDA COAST WITHIN WARNING AREA...1 TO 2 FT SURGE-RELATED FLOODING DEPENDS ON THE RELATIVE TIMING OF THE SURGE AND THE TIDAL CYCLE...AND CAN VARY GREATLY OVER SHORT DISTANCES. FOR INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE SEE PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.
SANDY NWS LOCAL HURRICANE STATEMENTS
Residents under the Hurricane Warning and Watch areas should be completing preparations as quickly as possible.
Residents of the NE U.S., New England, and Tidewater area should closely monitor Sandy for any new developments.
I will have another update in the a.m.
T. F. “STORM” WALSH III
GMCS, USCG (ret)
METEOROLOGIST / TROPICAL FORECASTER
MEMBER WEST CENTRAL FL AMS
CERTIFIED SKYWARN OFFICIAL STORM SPOTTER (advanced)