Reporting Tim Williams
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Many parts of the East Coast are still reeling from the destructive force of Superstorm Sandy. WJZ’s First Warning Weather team has been analyzing this unusual storm since it struck Maryland.
Meteorologist Tim Williams explains why Sandy broke so many weather records.
Superstorm Sandy swept through Maryland unlike any storm before.
The National Weather Service issued dire warnings: “Major property damage will occur along with severe damage on the coast.”
What started as a tropical storm in the Caribbean quickly developed into a hurricane. As floodwaters poured into homes on the Eastern Shore, panicked homeowners begged for help.
911 Operator: “Is there water coming inside your residence right now?”
Caller: “Yes ma’am.”
911 Operator: “I want you to try to stay calm.”
Caller: “I’ve got my grandson with me.”
First Warning Weather has looked over the data since the storm. NASA satellite animation shows Superstorm Sandy growing into a hurricane of historic proportions as it blew up the East Coast.
“This storm headed west toward the land mass, rather than away up the gulf stream up the East Coast. Very, very unusual for that to happen,” Bob Turk explained.
Images obtained by First Warning Weather show how Sandy got drawn into another storm then exploded into a superstorm.
“We had a trough out to the west,” said Meteorologist Bernadette Woods. “It was a huge dip in the jet stream, and it attached to the energy of this hurricane, pulling it back inland. When the two merge into one bigger storm, it just exploded with strength and size.”
The National Weather Service says high surf driven by frequent gusts up to hurricane force contributed to the flooding.
One of the strongest storms ever to hit the northeast, Sandy is a record breaker across many states, including here in Maryland.
Winds across Maryland topped out with a 90 mile per hour gust at the Bay Bridge. Superstorm Sandy packed one of the largest wind fields ever.
A map shows tropical storm force winds causing havoc across almost 1,000 miles from the Great Lakes to New England.
High tide and a full moon created the highest storm surge ever in New York City and along the East Coast.
Easton was deluged with more than a foot of rain, the most recorded in the storm. Floodwaters rushed into streets and homes.
911 Caller: “The water’s like past his waist. Should we go pull the breaker?”
Maybe the strangest part of Superstorm Sandy fell in Western Maryland. The town of Redhouse got 29 inches of snow.
“’Course this is Garrett County. We always get snow, but this is crazy,” a plow driver said.
“It’s still very unusual,” Turk said. “Very, very rare to have a blizzard warning before Halloween. It was a record-breaking event even for Garrett County.”
Sandy, a storm with many faces and many names, will surely go down in history.
Because Sandy was so destructive, it’s likely the name will be retired, and there will never be another hurricane named Sandy.