The 1938 hurricane was a Category 5

Weather events in 2012

Chronological synoptic development (in CEST / CET)

The tropical low number eighteen arose from a tropical wave in the area of ​​a strongly converging bottom current on Monday October 22, 2012 around 17:00 CEST over the southwestern Caribbean Sea. Six hours later, the quasi-stationary low pressure area in a barotropic environment and with water temperatures of 29 ° C reached the intensity of a tropical storm, which the National Hurricane Center in Miami christened "Sandy". At this point in time "Sandy" reached mean winds of 65 km / h with a core pressure of 999 hPa.

During the Tuesday, October 23, 2012 the storm system slowly began to move northwards towards Jamaica and continued to intensify over warmer water. The core pressure fell again by 10 hPa during the day.

"Sandy" reached on the now almost 31 ° C warm surface water Wednesday October 24th 2012 around 17:00 CEST with wind speeds of 130 km / h and a core pressure of 973 hPa hurricane strength. Three hours later the landfall on the southeast coast of Jamaica took place with the same intensity. Kingston registered mean winds of 70 km / h. "Sandy" was the first hurricane to land in Jamaica in 24 years. Hurricane "Gilbert" last reached the island in September 1988.

Moving further north, the storm eye became on Thursday October 25, 2012 Localized between Jamaica and Cuba around 02:00 CEST. At 06:30 CEST, "Sandys" was upgraded to a category 2 hurricane due to the rapid increase in winds to 175 km / h. The air pressure fell to 957 hPa. Just an hour later, "Sandy" reached Cuba near Santiago de Cuba. At the same station, mean winds of 126 and gusts of up to 183 km / h were measured. "Sandy" crossed Cuba within about 5 hours and weakened somewhat in the process. On Thursday evening, "Sandy" approached the Bahamas and then moved north between Long Island and the Great Exuma Isands.

Friday morning, October 26th, 2012, the somewhat weaker "Sandy" affected the Eleuthera Islands with mean winds of 150 km / h and a core pressure of 968 hPa. At around 08:00 CEST, "Sandy" was downgraded to Category 1.

"Sandy" fell victim to almost 70 people on the way through the Caribbean. The total damage is estimated at several hundred million USD.

At the Saturday October 27, 2012 around 11:00 CEST "Sandy" weakened to a tropical storm, but kept a very large storm field. Just three hours later, however, the Hurricane Hunters were again able to register winds at hurricane strength, so that a renewed upgrade to a category 1 hurricane took place. Storm force winds were registered within a radius of more than 700 km from the center of the storm. Slowly a severe storm situation at the beginning of the new week for the east coast of the United States was assessed as likely, so that in the late evening of our time for the so-called Mid-Atlantic States strong wind warnings and warnings were issued.

At night too Sunday October 28, 2012 Notices and warnings were extended to New England and in particular attention was drawn to a significant storm surge. During the parallel train track to the east coast, "Sandy" intensified again on Sunday. At 13:00 CET, a core pressure of 951 hPa (pressure drop of 9 hPa / 3 hours) was measured. The mean winds still reached 120 km / h. In addition, the National Hurricane Center has now warned of a life-threatening storm surge on the middle Atlantic coast as far as New England and in the port of the metropolis of New York City. The storm field meanwhile extended over an area six times the size of Germany.

The reason for this further intensification was the interaction between the tropical cyclone and extra-tropical weather systems and the still quite warm surface water of up to 27 ° C. On Sunday, "Sandy" increasingly approached a baroclinic zone in front of a long-wave exhaustion over the midwest of the United States. So slowly the transition from "Sandy" to an extra-tropical storm low began.

The gigantic circulation field of "Sandy" also transported the cold air belonging to the trough to the Gulf on the extreme western edge of the storm. The barotropy to the south-east and south of the storm edge weakened increasingly with a simultaneous resurgent zonal jet flow. The tropical warm air, which was transported far to the north and northeast by the storm, also intensified the baroclinic zone over the eastern states, so that the meridional jet flow was activated here. Even if "Sandy" was not directly in the area of ​​influence of the highly tropical divergence currents, these nevertheless had an effect on the further development of low pressure near the ground.

Because the highly tropospheric flow constellation promoted the further deepening of the vortex in the course of the Mondays October 29, 2012. At the same time, "Sandy" lost more and more of the optical properties of a tropical storm, although a warm core was still present. Nevertheless, "Sandy" now drew its energy from the baroclinic instability and can therefore be classified as a hybrid storm. In the evening at 21:00 CET, the Hurricane Hunters registered a core pressure of 940 hPa and mean winds of 150 km / h. Up to this point in time, the effective high-altitude flow constellation had reached its maximum. A further marked intensification, recognizable from the synoptic fields, was no longer to be expected. Blocked by an anticyclone in the north, "Sandy" now set course for southern New Jersey.