Monday, October 29, 2012

Watch Hurricane Sandy Live. Devastation Imminent. Updated Articles.


Officials prepare for Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy speeds towards landfall

A view of the East River ahead of Hurricane Sandy October 29, 2012 on the east side of Manhattan in New York City. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. / AP
Last Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET
NEW YORKA superstorm threatening 50 million people in the most heavily populated corridor in the nation gained strength Monday, packing winds of 90 mph and picking up considerable speed just hours before it is expected to make landfall, forecasters said.
The National Hurricane Center said Monday afternoon that Hurricane Sandy is moving northwest at 28 mph - up from 18 mph a few hours earlier. At 4:00 p.m. ET the Category 1 hurricane was about 55 miles east-southeast of Cape May, N.J. The storm's top sustained winds are holding at about 90 mph with higher gusts.
Gale/tropical storm-force force winds were reported from North Carolina to southern New England.
Hours before the storm made landfall, high winds had already knocked out power to more than half a million customers in several states by mid-day Monday.
Sandy is expected to hook inland Monday, colliding with a wintry storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic. Forecasters say the storm's center will make landfall along or just south of the Southern New Jersey coast Monday evening.

Hampton, Va.
Sandy’s wrath brings water to Grandview Island in Hampton, Va. Facebook/Sherry Winstead Martin

Hurricane Sandy shuts down film and TV production on East Coast

Gossip Girls
The CW's "Gossip Girl" was one of several TV shows that shut down production because of Hurricane Sandy. (Giovanni Rufino)
By Richard Verrier and Meredith Blake

Hurricane Sandy has put a temporary halt to film and TV production in New York City.
New York City officials announced that all film permits in the city have been revoked for Monday and Tuesday because of "Hurricane Sandy and continuing safety precautions,'' according to a statement from the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. "There will be no City authorized outdoor filming within the five boroughs."
At least nine TV shows were affected by the shutdown, including "Blue Bloods" (CBS), "Elementary" (CBS), "Gossip Girl" (CW), "Person of Interest" (CBS), "666 Park Avenue"(ABC) and "The Following" (Fox).
Hampton, Va.

Rough surf of the Atlantic Ocean breaks over the beach and across Beach Ave., Monday morning, Oct. 29, 2012, in Cape May, N.J., as high tide and Hurricane Sandy begin to arrive.

Hurricane Sandy Liveblog: Sandy on track for record low barometric reading (+video)

Hurricane Sandy has turned toward the East Coast and intensified with a barometric pressure reading of 940 millibars. Sustained wind speeds are 90 mph up to 175 miles from the eye.

The eye of Hurricane Sandy is now 2-3 hours from the coast of New Jersey, according to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory. Winds are still at 90 mph, and Sandy's still moving at about 28 mph. Some have speculated that since Sandy is arriving sooner than forecast, and ahead of the high tide (between 8-9 p.m. tonight), that the storm surge won't be as bad as predicted. But that reasoning may be wrong.
Already the storm surge at New York City's Battery is at 6.1 feet, well above last year's peak during Hurricane Irene. Atlantic City is reporting a 5- foot storm surge. New Haven, Conn. is at 5 feet, and Boston has seas 4.2 feet above normal.
As previously reported, the expected storm surge in the NYC area is 6 to 11 feet. Even if Sandy makes landfall before the high tide, the winds whip around the backside of Sandy will push sea levels higher.
Monday 3:05 p.m.
Hurricane Sandy's barometric pressure has dropped to 940 millibars. Wind speeds are holding at 90 mph,according to the 2 p.m. National Hurricane Center update. 
Sandy is turning toward the East Coast and has sped up to 28 mph. Even as it makes a left turn, "it also is swapping energy sources to become an extratropical cyclone.
The shift from tropical to extratropical tends to intensify the storm for a period, as well as redistribute winds and rainfall in ways that can shift the regions most heavily affected by wind and rain," writes Pete Spotts, the science writer for The Christian Science Monitor.
If Sandy retains the current barometric pressure, or it drops further, at landfall, the location would go into the record books as experiencing the lowest barometric pressure of any spot in the US north of Cape Hatteras, according to data compiled by the Weather Underground.
Monday 2:50 p.m. 
Google has put together a crisis map for Hurricane Sandy, which overlays lots of different data about the storm – including its current position and forecast track, storm surge probabilities, traffic conditions, and emergency shelter locations – into a single interactive image.  
Also, be sure to check out this mesmerizing map of wind conditions across the United States. It was developed a few weeks by Google data visualization experts Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, in part to help people conceptualize the potential of wind energy, but the map is particularly striking on a day like today. 
How does Hurricane Sandy compare with Irene, which battered the East Coast from South Carolina to Maine last year? Take a look at this interactive image from the Wall Street Journal.
Irene was the fifth costliest hurricane in US history.
If you're interested in how Sandy compares to every cyclones recorded since 1851, check out this graphic from the Guardian. 
Finally, if you haven't had enough scenes of reporters getting pelted by sea foam, people buying bottled water, or Fox News weathercaster Janice Dean throwing air quotes, have a look at Poynter's collection of animated gifs of hurricane clichés.
Monday 1:45 pm
What's all the buzz about Hurricane Sandy's barometric pressure? (And does it have anything to do with inducing labor in pregnant women?)
Hurricane Sandy's barometric pressure is really low, especially for a Category 1 (winds between 74-95 mph) hurricane.
Generally, the lower the barometric pressure, the higher the winds.
Barometric pressure is a measurement of the weight of the air. "Baros" is Greek for weight, and the Greek word for measure is "metron." A barometer measures the weight of a column of air directly above a given point in terms of inches or milibars of mercury displaced.
The normal sea level pressure is 1013.25 millibars.
Hurricane Sandy's barometric pressure was 943 milibars Monday morning, according to the Hurricane Hunters, the US Air Force pilots that regularly fly into the eye of hurricanes. That reading was a drop from the previous reading, indicating an intensification of the hurricane.
Hurricane Sandy's barometric pressure is now roughly equivalent to the typical Category 3 or Category 4 storm on Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. But Sandy is not a typical hurricane; it is, in the words of  Weather Channel meterologist Stu Ostro, a "meteorologically mind-boggling combination of ingredients."
But we digress from role of barometric pressure. Suffice it to say, Sandy's barometric numbers are low, and they are helping make it a very big storm.
How low are Sandy's barometric readings? The storm isn't (yet) in the US Top 10 most intense (as measured by low barometric pressure) hurricanes. But Sandy's getting close. No. 10 on the list was a Hurricane Carla, a 1961 Category 4 storm with 931 millibars.
The lowest barometric pressure ever measured in a US hurricane was 882 millibars, in Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Wilma had sustained winds of more than 185 mph, making it a Category 5 storm.  The cyclone with the lowest recorded barometric pressure in the world was the 1979 storm Typhoon Tip, in the western Pacific Ocean, with a measurement of 869.9 millibars.

A gas station displays a sign saying they’re out of gas in Branford, Ct. Facebook/Kevin Clancy

Hurricane Sandy headed toward Russell Crowe's 'Noah' ark

Noah's Ark
The Oyster Bay, N.Y., set of "Noah," featuring a massive ark from the biblical epic. The set is in the path of Hurricane Sandy. (Dan Wagner/New York Magazine)

Hurricane Sandy has shut down production on at least half a dozen New York television shows and feature films, but none more ironically than Russell Crowe's “Noah.”
Writer-director Darren Aronofsky’s film about the biblical flood and ark postponed shooting Monday, but the more pressing question is what will happen to the movie’s colossal boat. Aronofsky’s production team built two massive ships—one inside a Brooklyn sound stage, the other in the water at Oyster Bay, N.Y.
And Oyster Bay, a small inlet on the Long Island Sound, is very much in the path of Hurricane Sandy, with local flooding and wind gusts of up to 63 mph reported in the area.
The outdoor ark, which measures 450 feet long and is 75 feet tall and 45 feet wide, was not intended to be seaworthy. With production on the film wrapping up soon, the ark was scheduled to be used only sparingly in the weeks ahead and was partially dismantled over the last several days. But if the storm damages the Oyster Bay boat materially, “Noah” may need to organize some flood repairs.
Emma Watson, who co-stars in the film opposite Crowe, sent out a Twitter message Sunday night saying, “I take it that the irony of a massive storm holding up the production” of the film was not lost on her director or Crowe. Aronofsky used his down time to catch up on some movies, seeing “Cloud Atlas” and “The Master.”
Paramount Pictures' “Noah” is set for release in March 2014.

Hampton, Va.
A man looks down at a boarded up Broad Street subway station across the street from the New York Stock Exchange in New York October 28, 2012 as residents of lower Manhattan evacuate the city in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Hurricane Sandy doesn't stop sentries at Tomb of the Unknowns

Spc. Brett Hyde keeps guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during Hurricane Sandy at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. (Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr. / U.S. Army October 29, 2012)
WASHINGTON — Federal offices are shuttered. Schools are closed. Busses and subways have stopped running.
But the uniformed sentries at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns continued to stand guard Monday even as drenching rain from Hurricane Sandy doused the nation’s capital.
Volunteer soldiers, one by one, are taking turns guarding the tomb, dedicated in 1921 and long among the most visited sites in the nation's capital.
"They will physically guard the Unknowns until conditions are no longer safe," said Maj. John Miller of the 3rd U.S. Infantry. When the weather makes it unsafe to stand outside, the sentinel will move inside the awards room in the amphitheater where he can still see the tomb, but is out of the elements."
The soldiers are guarding the tomb in two-hour shifts.

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