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Hurricanes are tropical cyclones that form in warm water and can do tremendous amounts of damage.

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Credit: The National Guard
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33252741@N08/8140596235
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Hurricane, Megastorm, Superstorm, Frankenstorm; all names for one massively destructive storm - Sandy. The storm walloped the eastern seaboard, as it this amusement park at the New Jersey shore.

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  • Sandy struck the Caribbean islands of Jamaica, Cuba, among others. Meteorologists in the U.S. predicted that the storm would do what many other hurricanes do. When they reach the jet stream around Florida, they turn northeast and head out into the Atlantic Ocean. But meteorologists in England ran discovered something they could barely believe possible. A high pressure ridge over Greenland blocked the storm to the northeast. A cold front was coming down from Canada and would ram into Sandy. All 51 forecasts the British meteorologists made predicted that Sandy would travel up the coast, then make a left hook and strike hard at the area around New Jersey and New York. All along the way, the storm would gather strength.
  • Credit: woodleywonderworks
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73645804@N00/8133363530/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    National weather service precipitation forecast for Hurricane Sandy in the D.C. and Maryland areas - October, 2012 [Figure2]


  • Although at least 125 people in the U.S. died, this advanced warning allowed many more to evacuate the region. Undoubtedly, hundreds or even thousands of lives were saved. Damage and losses totaled about $68 billion.

Explore More

There is lots of information on the web about Superstorm Sandy. Use the links below to answer the following questions.

  1. The storm surge in Lower Manhattan was 13.88 feet (4.23 meters), more than three feet (nearly one meter) higher than the previous record. Why was the storm surge so high?
  2. What was some of the damage done by Superstorm Sandy?
  3. After the hurricane passed over, the region was slammed with snow. What happened in the storm when the warm tropical storm met the cold front that come down from Canada?
  4. Sandy was called the storm of a lifetime. Is it possible that another storm like Sandy will hit the Eastern Seaboard within the next two decades? Why or why not?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: The National Guard; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33252741@N08/8140596235; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: woodleywonderworks; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73645804@N00/8133363530/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0


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