Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sandy, and landfall

After Sandy landed on the Jersey coast, it set off a different storm.

Sandy, and landfall


Just before 6 on this date last year, philly.com posted an item stating that what we thought was Hurricane Sandy had made landfall near Atlantic City.

That made sense. Intrepid Inquirer Shore reporter Amy Rosenberg had observed from Ventnor that the winds had died down, and this must be the eye landing ashore.

We were to learn, however, that not only had the hurricane not made landfall at the hour … it wasn’t even a a “hurricane” -- according to the National Hurricane Center.

It would be two more hours before the hurricane center declared landfall, issuing a statement that Sandy had washed ashore as a “post-tropical” cyclone.

The hurricane center, you might recall, stopped issuing “tropical storm” and “hurricane” advisories once the storm reached the Mid-Atlantic region.

The reasoning: The storm was certain to lose its tropical characteristics and mutate into something else, that something else being a post-tropical cyclone.

Thus began a long debate over just what Sandy was and why the National Hurricane Center didn’t just keep it simple and call Sandy a “hurricane.”

Eventually, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the hurricane center,  agreed that, yes, simplicity would have been a better course.

If the same storm were to take the same track and assume the same characteristics today, the hurricane center would issue standard tropical-storm-type advisories, said the center’s Dennis Feltgen.

Louis Uccellini, now the head of the National Weather Service, put this policy into writing back in April. Here is his directive.

Inquirer Weather Columnist
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter