Explainer: What Is This "Frankenstorm" Heading North?
Experts say Hurricane Sandy could be the worst storm to hit the Northeast U.S. in 100 years.
Weather, government and media folks have dubbed Hurricane Sandy a “Frankenstorm” due to the convergence of extreme weather factors.
Forecasters began buzzing days ago, when one of the world's three top computer-model weather simulations showed Sandy getting mixed up with a storm from the Midwest, a high-pressure system out of Greenland and a dip in the jet stream—turning it into a combination cyclone/nor'easter and pushing it toward land.
As Andrew Freedman, of Climate Central wrote last Monday, "Think if a hurricane and nor'easter mated, possibly spawning a very rare and powerful hybrid storm, slamming into the Boston-to-Washington corridor early next week, with rain, inland snow, damaging winds, and potential storm surge flooding."
But forecasts were still conflicted on Hurricane Sandy's exact track as of Friday, said Weatherbug Meteorologist Andrew Rosenthal.
"One scenario merges Sandy with a Midwest upper-level low pressure, tracking it sharply into the Mid-Atlantic. Most others merge it with the same upper-level disturbance off Cape Cod early next week, flinging it back to the southern New England Coast and New York City area," Rosenthal wrote for the Weatherbug Hurricane Center at 5 a.m. Oct. 26.
Sandy is already dangerous. The hurricane has killed 29 people across the Caribbean, CBS News reported Friday afternoon.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is comparing Hurricane Sandy to two storms: the Great Gale of 1878 and Hurricane Hazel in 1954, the Boston Herald reports. The Great Gale was a Category 2 hurricane that hit regions from Cuba to New England, said the Huffington Post. Hurricane Hazel killed 1,000 people in Haiti, then hit the U.S. between North Carolina and South Carolina and killed 95 more.
So where is it going? You'll want to keep an eye out for updates over the next few days. The storm is big enough and complex enough to affect the U.S. from Florida to Maine, the NWS pointed out in its discussion of the forecast at 11 a.m. Oct. 26.