Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Historic Northern Ohio Winds/Lake Erie Waves/Snowfall

Sandy made landfall late yesterday evening along the New Jersey coast.

One image that has gone viral is the security camera photo of water inundating a subway station. Looks like a scene from a movie.

Now the center of Sandy is situated in central Pennsylvania and starting to turn to the north.

Wind gusts on the backside of this storm throughout Ohio reached 68 along the shoreline officially. I have no doubt that the winds hit 70+ at some point. A north wind pushes Lake Erie water into the south shoreline causing mountainous waves. Since Lake Erie is only 50 miles wide, the fetch isn't very long so the distance the air has to travel to push water is limited. Thus, the wave heights have a limit. Given the wind gusts observed, we just about reached that limit late last night and early this morning as the gusts pushed 60-70 mph. 

Here are a series of snapshots of the waves hitting the East 55th street Marina right after sunrise today. To get a sense of proportion, look at our live trucks in the foreground on the other side of the interstate. The truck are around 8-10 feet tall and sit a few hundred feet from the water. Notice how high these waves are compared to the trucks in the foreground.

The other component to this storm is the heavy rain and the colder temperatures to the west.

Slushy snowfall in Mansfield, Willard, Bellevue and Bucyrus where temps dropped into the lower 30s

When will the wind die down? Once the center of circulation moves north into New York, the pressure difference will drop and so will the winds.  Here is the forecast for later this afternoon.
And now the forecast for late Tuesday evening...

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