Monday, October 29, 2012

Watching Sandy

sandyIMG_1514

Its wet and wetter here. Max wind speed was 35kts last night. The tide/surge is a little higher this morning – a few more inches of water over the fixed docks. According to Passageweather, we should get our max conditions starting in about 6-8 hours and running through tomorrow morning.

sandyIMG_1515

This is looking down the dock from our boat toward the marine store. You can see the bridge from the land to the floating dock sticking straight up in the air. It is being pushed up by the floating dock as the tide gets too high for it. We gracefully step around it in our foul weather gear to go ashore. The store got a few inches of water on the carpet this morning.

The area we are in is close by a ton of Navy ports, Norfolk, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth…. The Navy sends their ships out to sea to avoid getting them bashed up by the storm or stuck inshore by other ships that might end up blocking navigation. Here’s the less than subtle note to the ship commanders:

TO ALL SHIPS AND FLTUNITS PRESENT HAMPTON ROADS VA
SUBJ: SET SORTIE CONDITION ALPHA IN SOPA HAMPTON ROADS AREA//
OPER/HURRICANE SANDY//
REMARKS/
………CYCLONE SORTIE CONDITION ALPHA IS ORDERED FOR ALL FLEET UNITS CAPABLE OF SORTIE IN THE HAMPTON ROADS AREA. COMMENCE SORTIE NO LATER THAN 0630Q (1030Z) ON SATURDAY, 27 OCT 2012,……..

The Navy ships are sortieing their way a few hundred miles offshore and way away from the hurricane’s path. Must be nice to be able to do 30kts. Many of the draw bridges and locks are now in the closed position for the duration of the storm.

It’s interesting to think of the differences between storm types. Tornadoes are extremely intense and very narrow. They come barging through a neighborhood and might only wreck one side of a house. Tornadoes are caused by trailer parks. Tropical storms, aka Hurricanes and Typhoons, are much wider. They might be 250 to 800 miles wide. The maximum winds are much less than a tornado, but the duration is much longer – weeks. Hurricanes are started in unstable air in the tropics and fed with the energy from warm tropical waters. They can take out a large portion of a city and coastline, e.g. Katrina. Then there’s the Extra-tropical cyclone. These can be thousands of miles wide and are caused by the unfriendly meeting of a cold air front with a warm front. If conditions get too boring, both hurricanes and extra-tropical cyclones can spawn tornadoes to liven things up.

The Perfect Storm Poster

Hurricane Sandy is trying to merge into a large cold front to form an Extra-tropical storm. Much like the Perfect Storm of Gloucester fishermen fame, but this time primarily over very populated land. According to the news broadcasts this storm will remove most of the East Coast from the Union, leaving only red states in the middle along with a large part of California to balance them out.


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York River Yacht Haven

1 comment:

  1. Grab your foulies, PFD, and duct-tape an Epirb to your leg! Hold on Little Buddy!

    ReplyDelete