Hurricane Sandy (2012): A Multiscale Analysis and Perspective

A Special Seminar from the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences featuring Dr. Lance F. Bosart, Distinguished Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany/SUNY

Thursday, November 07, 2013
3:00 PM
MSB 7124

Hurricane Sandy, a very high-impact storm that devastated neighborhoods, businesses and infrastructure (especially in the New York city metro area), made landfall in New Jersey near 0000 UTC 30 October 2012.  The storm surge induced by Sandy that exceeded 4.0 m in some areas (e.g., New York harbor) caused most of the devastation and killed the majority of the more than 100 people who perished in the storm. Others died when wind gusts that exceeded hurricane force toppled trees onto homes and cars in several areas (e.g., Long Island and New Jersey).

Motivated both by the widespread devastation and high loss of life produced by Hurricane Sandy and the scientific opportunities provided by the storm, the author decided to offer a graduate level research class during the spring 2013 semester devoted to a multiscale “soup-to-nuts” analysis of the storm.  Eleven graduate students and several UAlbany faculty members participated in the class. Sparked by this class, collaborative research on Sandy is ongoing.
This presentation will discuss the the pre-genesis environment of Sandy, the large-scale features that enabled the storm to turn poleward, the three subsequent trough interactions, the first indirect, and the second and third direct, that enabled Sandy to shift toward toward the coast twice to devastating effect the second time, and the post-landfall behavior of Sandy that included a Sandy-frontal interaction and an unprecedented snowstorm over parts of the central and northern Appalachians. The presentation will conclude with a brief look at Hurricane Hazel (1954) and the infamous 1938 Long Island and New England hurricane for perspective purposes.