Sandy Update: Superstorm Is Making Landfall At Cape May, NJ With Lowest Ever Pressure!

Hurricane Sandy is making landfall around Cape May, New Jersey as of this writing and it appears it has broken the record for the lowest ever barometric pressure in the Northeast, beating the infamous 1938 hurricane with 940 mb. The system is causing havoc up and down the coast as well as for hundreds of miles inland also.

There is currently 1.6 million without power and many beach communities are now partially or mostly under water due to sea level rises. Atlantic City has been hit hard with the boardwalk all but gone and the majority of the city under water.

While storm surge and wind is getting a lot of attention, tremendous rains are now showing up over the Mid-Atlantic region as winds bend around and where the cold air and tropical moisture meet.

Expect 1-3 inch per hour rainfall rates in areas west of Washington and Baltimore, perhaps west of Philadelphia too. As well as the big rains, big snows are also a major concern for the mountain communities such as Snowshoe, WV. The mountains of western North Carolina may also see major snows. While a uniform 1-2 foot swath is expected above 5,000ft, there will be areas which see potentially 3 feet or more. The trouble is the snow is wet and heavy and factor in gale to perhaps even hurricane-force wind gusts and you’ve got a serious problem with trees and powerlines coming down. A fierce blizzard is possible in areas through tonight in the West Virginia and North Carolina mountains..

Philadelphia and Atlantic City also appear to have experienced their lowest pressures ever and likely many other locations will too.

Low level onshore winds have been measuring 70-90 mph in gusts so far between Cape May and Massachussetts but they are expected to increase early evening in the New York City area and what is most concerning about these winds in the city is the threat of damaging gusts just a few hundred feet above the surface which could burst window and may even bring structural damage. According to the NWS in New York, winds of 110 mph have been radar measured just 1500ft up, so those are the types of winds which could lower as the strongest surface winds come in early this evening. Winds at the surface are expected to gust over 80 mph.

A surge of 9.1 feet has been recorded at Kings Point on the western tip of Long Island, near to the Bronx, NY. Surge flooding is expected here as 5-10 foot surge continues to pile down LI sound. Parts of the FDR which runs down the west side of Manhattan is under water as the wlevel of the Hudson rises and it’s only going to get worse as high tides comes in.

Keep following my live twitter feed by simply clicking on the ‘Hurricane Sandy’ tab at the top right of the homepage. There you can also watch live coverage from The Weather Channel at the same time my updates come in…

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