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Hurricane Sandy: Another Perfect Storm?

As the hurricane tracks towards Long Island, experts say it's too soon to compare it with the deadly 1991 storm.

Despite Internet buzz that Hurricane Sandy could equal another Perfect Storm, experts say it's too soon to tell if the weather tracking toward Long Island will be as devastating as that deadly 1991 event.

According to David Stark, meteorologist for the National Weather Service office at Upton, experts are now "confident that Long Island will see some impacts from Sandy."

The new official forecast track, Stark said, has the storm hitting 100 miles southwest of Riverhead on Tuesday at 8 a.m.

The Perfect Storm, in 1991, was a lethal combination of a low-pressure system, a high-pressure system, and Hurricane Grace, that came together to wreak widespread havoc on the Northeast, resulting in 13 deaths.

Hurricane Sandy slammed Jamaica on Wednesday and unleashed her wrath on eastern Cuba on Thursday. NWS sources said the official track indicates the hurricane first moving northward across the Bahamas, and then, eventually, turning northeast out over the western Atlantic and toward Long Island.

The storm will run "well to the east of the mid-Atlantic, North Carolina area" over the weekend, NWS meteorologist Peter Wichrowski said. By Monday or Tuesday, it is expected to make a turn toward Long Island, or just east of the area, near Montauk.

On Thursday, Stark said the hurricane could transition to a post-tropical storm but could still be a "significant event," impacting Long Island.

"The biggest uncertainty we have is in the details," Stark said. "If the track does pan out, we can expect heavy rains, strong winds, coastal flooding and strong waves."

Downed trees and power lines are also a strong possibility.

The storm, however, is still five days out, Stark said. "It does appear that, rather than the storm going out to sea, there is a growing confidence that we will be impacted. We just don't how bad it could be."

Forecaster Jim Cisco of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prediction center in College Park, Maryland, told the Huffington Post, "We don't have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting."

The storm, Huffington Post reports, is likely to hit during a full moon when tides are near their highest, increasing coastal flooding potential, according to NOAA forecasts — with all the earmarks of a billion-dollar storm.

Internet speculation is rampant that the Sandy could rival the Perfect Storm of 1991 — haunting scores of residents scared of Halloween devastation.

When asked about the Perfect Storm comparison, Stark said it's too soon to tell. "A Perfect Storm — making those comparisons right now is a little premature. This far in the game, to make a comparison like that, is not a good idea," he said. "We don’t really know how it’s going to evolve."

Stark said that Sandy has the potential to be a "significant storm. We'll have to see how the forecast scenario pans out," he said.

Rich Murdocco October 25, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Despite if Sandy hits us or not, Long Island is extremely vulnerable to coastal storms. To see the storm surge levels map for NYS, visit http://richmurdocco.blogspot.com/2011/12/global-warming-and-its-impact-on-sole.html Overall the South Shore's flat coastal plain is the most vulnerable to surge, especially south of Montauk Highway
Grifhunter October 25, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Lets all start the panic, so we will be glued to the TV and internet news and give the weatherman some overdue attention.
Archie Bunker October 25, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I always advocate preparedness and would suggest people get their necessary items - batteries, waters, canned goods etc now and not wait until Sat or Sun. I am sure that as the weekend hits, most people will run to the stores and it will be impossible to get what you need.
Jason Molinet October 25, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Thanks Rich.
John October 25, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Bring it on baby. Many of my friends think I'm nuts, with all the stuff I have ready for this kind of thing, right down to a twoway radio system to communicate with family close by.Not looking forward to another Gloria (9 days no electricity) or Irene, (6 days no electricity, but my lights were on every night,thanks to standby generator. Be prepared and stop whining about the weather. Do the best you can and the rest is luck
Debbie Koons October 25, 2012 at 10:55 PM
YIKES !!! But it is a good thing we live north of the highway :o)
Parrish October 26, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Shari are you posting this out of kindness or using patch to advertise your business? Just asking...
Ed Kollin October 26, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Will try and explain this in non weathermanese Important to understand that this storm it does not have to be as severe as Irene or Gloria to do as much or more damage because it is going to last so long. That said something bad is very likely to happen, it could be a little bad or make Irene and Gloria look like a piece of cake. Most Hurricanes up here move from Southwest to Northeast quickly while moving cool water and weaken and thus the "armageddon" predictions look like hype for money (not that that does not occur) or incompetence. There is over Nova Scotia and the Northern Atlantic a block that is like an atmospheric Giants defense. Storm can't go out to sea like normal it will probably stall then make a left into the coast. The cool water which usually weakens hurricanes probably won't in this case it because it will start transitioning into a noreaster a type of which can strengthen in cold conditions. It happens with blizzards we have. Also we have further out in the Atlantic Tropical Storm Tony and a cold front coming in from the west which will be drawn into it. So you will have tropical air the storm brought up clashing with cool air which should cause Sandy to strengthen. The storm will be a hybrid hurricane and noreaster the worst of both worlds. What will happen? Nothing this complex and just plain weird has happened before so who the hell knows but it can't be good at all. Stay safe
melissa ghp October 26, 2012 at 01:52 PM
All I can think about is poor Fire Island..Davis Park gets the brunt of these Nor'easter's. My fingers are crossed.
Eileen Coles October 26, 2012 at 02:04 PM
And keeps us on "dead dinosaur" energy sources instead of propagating solar. If they were building solar power plants - THEY have the funding - they wouldn't hear a peep out of any environmentalists. Instead we are still stuck with natural gas, which is both expensive and dangerous. A solar power plant would pay for itself inside of two years, lowering costs to the end user. We pay some of the highest prices for electricity in the nation. Speaking of Shoreham, do they think we've forgotten how they soaked us for the cost of that unwanted "solution" over generations? We really need to grab the reins on LIPA, Long Island, and force them to go in a green and sustainable energy direction.
Eileen Coles October 26, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I'm not worried. ;-7
marianne krause October 26, 2012 at 03:29 PM
@ Ed thank you that was very informative glad you wrote stay safe .
Mels Ditties October 26, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Hey John, what time should we come by?....LOL!
Ed Kollin October 27, 2012 at 03:08 AM
You are welcome Marianne
Barbara Isaacs October 29, 2012 at 08:57 PM
so true

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