Weather-savvy mariners know the best resource for monitoring the location, size, intensity, and movement of thunderstorms is Doppler Weather Radar from the National Weather Service (NWS). In the first of a two-part series, I’ll explain the basics of radar and introduce the most common types of imagery. Continue reading
A Superstorm Is Born
The remnants of Hurricane Sandy roared ashore near Atlantic City, New Jersey at approximately 7:30 pm on October 29, 2012 with sustained winds of 70 knots and storm surge exceeding 10 feet. Dubbed Superstorm Sandy, it ravaged the coast of New Jersey and New York and produced storm force winds as far west as the Great Lakes.
The weak atmospheric disturbance that would later become Sandy developed over western Africa on October 11. Over the next three weeks, the disturbance slowly strengthened as it travelled west towards the Caribbean. At 8:00 am on October 22, 2012, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) categorized the disturbance as a tropical depression (sustained winds were greater than 34 knots). Remarkably, the storm strengthened from a tropical depression to a tropical storm (sustained winds of 35 – 63 knots) in only six hours. Sandy was declared a hurricane (sustained winds => 64 knots) by the NHC at 8:00 am on October 24, as the storm was approximately 80 nautical miles south of Kingston, Jamaica.