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Write at a minimum a two page paper on the meteorologic conditions that created SANDY...

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hero88 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted March 26, 2013 at 5:24 PM via web

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Write at a minimum a two page paper on the meteorologic conditions that created SANDY and why it was a unique storm.  You should discuss all aspects of the meteorology (including air masses, fronts, convection, etc, etc,). 

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tjbrewer | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted March 27, 2013 at 3:08 AM (Answer #1)

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I can't write the paper for you, but I can give you some pointers. 

Sandy formed like most Hurricanes off the West Coast of Africa.  Fueled by the warm tropical waters it moved Westward following the Gulf Stream Ocean Current.  When Sandy reached the Carribean there were two ways to go.  Some Hurricanes go into the Gulf of Mexico, others go along the East Coast.  Usually when they go along the coast, they ultimately go too far north, cool and become ordinary low pressure fronts that hit Europe.  The Gulf Stream also veers away from the US Coast as it moves North, and that's why the Hurricanes that hit the Eastern US hit more in the Southern US. 

But Sandy ran into a situation that had not been seen since the events in The Perfect Storm.  In both years a cold High Pressure ridge developed near Iceland, and forced weather patterns following the Gulf Stream westward, this made Sandy make landfall far further North than usual.  Couple with it, that in both cases a cold front was coming in the opposite direction out of Canada.  In The Perfect Storm the two fronts collided over the sea.  The result was the worst weather you could ever encounter.  Even the movie is just theoretical, since there were no survivors from the fishing boat, it is unknown for sure what it was like in the collision zone.  The Coast Guard cutter was South of the zone, in the hurricane.  In Sandy's case, the collision occurred right where Sandy made landfall.   

Sandy's timing and location couldn't have been worse either.  It occurred right at the peak of a "spring tide" which made the storm surge even higher than it would have been.  It struck the most populated portions of New York and New Jersey impacting far more people than other storms. 

I hope this gives you an idea of how to better explain Hurricane Sandy scientifically. 

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