Excellent commentary/post-mortem. I get it that average citizens may not have understood what was heading toward, NJ, NY, CT. But I just don't understand why a met would discount a reliable model and what tropical and surge experts were saying. Sad.
Thanks for all of your posts during this event. They were very helpful. I hope your neighborhood turned out Ok!
ozonepete wrote:In a post-mortem, I had a "disagreement" with a friend who is a meteorologist about how bad Sandy was going to be up here in the northeast. I consistently said that the storm surge north of the center would be by far the worst part of Sandy and could be record breaking because of the angle of approach. It would allow Sandy to intensify over the Gulf Stream just before taking that curve to the northwest into this area and then the winds would turn east and then southeast as Sandy was making landfall. I told my friend that this would pile up the water into NY Harbor and I posted my opinion about that on here a lot of times. He just kept saying it wouldn’t happen because Sandy would weaken as it came onshore and thus the winds would die down and there wouldn’t be much surge. I tried to explain that the wall of water ahead of Sandy, the surge, wouldn’t weaken as it came ashore even if the winds started to. A surge such as that can’t dissipate until it reaches the shoreline. In Irene some of the surge got squeezed out to the east as it moved northward but with the angle Sandy was coming in at the surge had nowhere to go but onshore and so would get forced onto the shore everywhere north of it: the Jersey shore north of the eye and NYC and Long Island. The models also indicated that Sandy wouldn’t collapse at landfall even though it would weaken fairly quickly. So there would be hours of really high southeasterly winds into north Jersey and NYC just before and during high tide. I just couldn’t get him to believe me. I actually texted him at 6PM on Monday, very frustrated, and said “so when do you think the winds will go SE over NYC” and he texted back “midnight.” I got disgusted and dropped the topic. Winds went E and quickly SE around 6PM at very high velocity and just piled the water into NY Harbor as we all know now.
All I’m saying is that we have to start believing in the science that I thought we all respected so much. We as a country have spent a lot of money and time building an incredibly sophisticated computer model based weather forecasting system to try and foresee events just this dangerous. And the computer models were very close on the intensity, the storm surge and the wind speed and direction. When virtually all of the models told us this would be a disastrous storm, no one should be saying it's not going to happen because they have a gut feeling or "it just never happens" or a couple of the models don't agree. Fortunately most people on here took it very seriously and we had all of the great pro mets and storm2k veterans who sounded the alarm and kept warning people. I'm really proud of all the storm2k people who kept up the alarm and kept people informed.