“I am very worried”

October 24, 2012


A well informed source tells me,

“I’m very worried about Sandy – and how this storm could alter the 2012
election….Obama needs to get out in front of this, and not risk a Katrina-like debacle.

The attachment is the ECMWF solution (which has been consistent) showing a
Category 3 hurricane off the coast of New Jersey Monday evening. If this
solution verifies the damage for New York City and Long Island could be
catastrophic.”

“I don’t want to hype the storm, but …. this could
be the (real) October Surprise.”

UPDATE: An experienced long time observer fills in some blanks, and makes the climate and sea-ice connection-

A very interesting situation is developing, to be sure. One other tidbit to keep in mind is that the forecast models are notoriously poor at handling the evolution of blocks (which is a key ingredient in this case) and equally poor at handling big slugs of energy from tropical systems interacting with mid-latitude systems and the jet stream.
This shortcoming is certainly playing a role in the widely diverging projections from different models, and even from the same model run more than once. The Euro model is usually one of the best because they do a fantastic job of incorporating satellite information into their starting conditions, and this is very important especially for storms out over the water where there are no weather balloons to get information about upper-level winds, temperatures, and moisture content.
So I think the potential for an unusually strong storm is substantial, but many pieces must fall into place for it to happen. And one other thought, while very negative NAOs are not unknown this time of year, it’s certainly what I’d expect to see occurring more frequently in association with the huge ice loss this summer.
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3 Responses to ““I am very worried””

  1. rayduray Says:

    Re: “I don’t want to hype the storm, but …. this could be the (real) October Surprise.”

    Your friend might be overly concerned about the negative impact of such a storm on voters switching allegiance. Recall that it took several months after the Katrina debacle for Americans to comprehend just how mendacious Rove and Bush were in the lead up to and follow up to Katrina.

    There could well be a negative impact on voter turnout on Tuesday. Countering that would be the fact that Obama has a competent GOTV (get out the vote) infrastructure in place and I would imagine that starting today they will be calling on their likely voters to get in absentee ballots before the storm makes this more problematic.

    As we discussed in the previous entry on Hurricane Sandy, it is premature to say with any certainty how much impact the storm will have on the population centers on the East Coast.

    ***
    I’ve been following hurricanes as a topic at the Jeff Masters’ blog at WU for several years now. One of the brightest contributors I’ve met there is Levi Cowan, a young man studying physics at UA-Fairbanks. His hobby? The tropics, of course. Over time he’s branched out of Jeff’s commentariat and become a full fledged wonk on his own. I can highly recommend his work: http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/

    It’s forecasters like Levi who give me a high degree of confidence that Hurricane Sandy is not going to remain a fish storm after pummeling the Bahamas. The East Coast is in for a storm of epic proportions. This one will be fascinating and mesmerizing to follow.


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