Flakes vs Frankenstorm

Crosby Snow. Photo: Kim Twigg

I’ll take the snowflakes over a “Frankenstorm” any day.  While we bask under the Minnesota sunshine this weekend, folks in the Northeast will be preparing for Hurricane Sandy…a once-in-a-lifetime storm with characteristics of both a tropical cyclone and a nor’easter, hence why the media has dubbed it a “Frankenstorm”.

In fact, the cold front that moved through our area Wednesday has had a profound impact on the forecast of Hurricane Sandy.  The front slowed down and weakened allowing Sandy to move up the East Coast.  Crazy how the weather in Minnesota has an impact on a hurricane in the Atlantic.


Saturday: Broken sun. Light wind. Cooler than normal. H: low 40s

Sunday: Mostly cloudy. H: upper 40s

Monday: Clouds stick around. H: upper 40s

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. H: upper 40s

Halloween: Sunny. Dry night for trick-or-treating. H: upper 40s, by 8pm: 41°

On this date back in 2010, Minnesota experienced an unprecedented storm that broke the record for the lowest barometric pressure in MN of 28.21 inches over Itasca County.  For comparison, the storm that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald had a barometric pressure of 28.95 inches.  Two years ago, this storm over Minnesota was the largest of any across the entire globe…even trumping Typhoon Chaba in the western Pacific!

Global satellite image October 26, 2010 showing the large MN storm compared to Typhoon Chaba.

Hurricane Sandy

Sandy has me worried.  For a while, meteorologists were scratching their heads as to where Sandy could go.  The models were in such disagreement earlier this week rendering a low confidence forecast 5-7 days out.  Forecast confidence, however, has increased significantly now that the models are coming together on one solid solution…a solution that doesn’t look good for the Northeast.

90% of the weather computer models are agreeing that Sandy will make landfall anywhere from Norfolk, VA to Boston, MA sometime next week.

Sandy will remain at hurricane strength as she passes just offshore the Carolinas this weekend.  Eventually, Sandy will start to lose some of her tropical characteristics and become this weird hybrid storm with both tropical and nor’easter characteristics.  This type of morphing has happened before during “The Perfect Storm” of 1991.  Sandy’s morphing, however, will be on steroids…gaining more energy from a nearby trough of low pressure to the west.

Energy from mid-level trough merging with Hurricane Sandy Sunday night.

This will be a historic, once-in-a-lifetime storm for the Northeast.  This storm will pack it all: damaging winds, flooding rain, tornadoes and snow!  Hoping residence in the Northeast stay safe next week.  My parents live in northeastern Pennsylvania and we have taken many trips to the New Jersey shore…a place that is near and dear to my heart.  The latest ECMWF computer model shows Sandy slamming right into southern New Jersey!  Ugh.


The official National Hurricane Center’s forecast of Sandy:

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