Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hall of Fame for Sandy

It's official: We'll never again see a "Hurricane Sandy;" the name is retired.

Hall of Fame for Sandy

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The Jersey shore two weeks after Hurricane Sandy on Nov. 12, 2012.  Here, in Seaside Heights, a sailboat glides by a roller coaster in the ocean.  APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer
The Jersey shore two weeks after Hurricane Sandy on Nov. 12, 2012. Here, in Seaside Heights, a sailboat glides by a roller coaster in the ocean. APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer

Sandy, called a "superstorm," a "post-tropical storm" and some other things that should not appear on a family-friendly website, has taken its place among the meteorological elite.

The World Meteorological Organization announced today that its name would be retired from the hurricane list.

Hurricane names get re-used every six years, but never again will any tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin -- which consists of the Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico -- carry the name "Sandy."

In 2018, "Sara" will take its place.

Sandy's destruction, as we all know, was worthy of that of a legend. It caused an estimated $50 billion in damages in the United States, and was blamed for 147 deaths. Millions lost power, some for weeks.

You may recall that a controversy swirled as to whether Sandy actually was a hurricane when it made landfall near Atlantic City on Monday, Oct. 29.

Sandy made landfall officially at 7:30 p.m. with hurricane-force peak winds, but that was 2 1/2 hours after losing its tropical characteristics, according to the National Hurricane Center, which said Sandy had become a "post-tropical" storm.

But in terms of retiring the name, that distinction was irrelevant, said hurricane-center spokesman Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist.

The fact is, said Feltgen, Sandy already had hall-of-fame credentials before 5 p.m. that Monday, wreaking devastation well in advance of landfall.

Inquirer Weather Columnist
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Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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