Two storms and a cold front. A full moon. What could go wrong?
Pretty much everything, weather experts were saying on Saturday. Sandy had re-strengthened into a hurricane, and forecasters said it was heading straight for the northeastern United States, Weatherunderground.com reported. It was expected to make landfall early Tuesday, October 30, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Sandy weakened into a tropical storm overnight, but has regained enough strength to be classified as a hurricane again,” the site said on Saturday morning. “Sandy may also be undergoing a transition to a hybrid storm.”
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm, which one meteorologist had dubbed Frankenstorm because of the conglomeration of weather systems that were converging to create it.
Sandy will have a wider path and higher tidal surge than last year’s Hurricane Irene, The New York Times said.
And the moon will be full.
“It’s one of the ugliest looking hurricanes you’ll see, but Hurricane Hunters and satellite measurements confirm that its still tropical enough to be a hurricane… and its on track to cause a pile of trouble,” wrote forecaster Bryan Norcross on his blog on Weatherunderground.com.
“Two atmospheric processes are counteracting each other at the moment. Strong upper winds are trying to tear the storm apart, but a split in the upper flow is causing, essentially, a strong suction from above which is helping the storm keep going. This situation will likely result in some weakening… which would mean Sandy would drop below hurricane strength. But then the polar jet stream takes over and re-energizes the storm increasing the winds and growing the size. A sharp dip in the jet stream will pick up the reinvigorated Sandy and swing it toward the East Coast. At least that’s the plan.”
Several tribes were in the path of the potential landfall, most notably those in New England: the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Narragansett Indian Tribe, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Mohegan Tribe, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and Shinnecock Indian Nation, the United South & Eastern Tribes Inc. (USET) said on October 25.
Also in the potential line of fire are traditional territory of tribes in New Jersey and Delaware: the Nanticoke Lenni Lenape in New Jersey and the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware.
The danger they are in is this, according to Norcross’s blog:
“The ocean will rise along the coast as Sandy makes its way north, but the biggest coastal problems will come when the center makes landfall,” he wrote. “We’re unlikely to know exactly where that will be until Monday, but this is critical. The ocean will be pushed toward the coast north of that point and away to the south. The onshore flow of water is exaggerated where bays, inlets, or the shape of the coastline focus the water to make it rise even higher. The most prominent problem spot is New York City, where Long Island and New Jersey make an “L.”