NPR.ORG: Storms have hit the East coast before but none have been as dangerous as Hurricane Sandy. NPR broke down the science behind Sandy to explain why the nature of this storm is more concerning than past hurricanes.
Here are a few reasons government forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and emergency management officials are so concerned about Sandy:
1. Sandy is one of the largest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Sandy's winds cover an area of more than 1,000 miles in diameter. That's enormous by hurricane standards. So instead of affecting an area a couple of hundred miles across, Sandy will cut a huge swath. That means many millions of people are probably going to be exposed to high winds, heavy rains, and, for those on the coast, powerful storm surge.
2. Sandy is a very slow-moving storm. Sandy was slowing as it turned inland in a northwesterly direction. That means many places could see two full days of heavy winds and rain, not just a few hours. Sandy is now packing winds of more than 90 miles per hour, according to latest update from the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters say some places will get a foot of rain and they expect widespread flooding, wind damage and power outages.
3. Sandy remains strong as it reaches the coast. Hurricanes often weaken as they travel north across colder water and approach land. But Sandy hasn't. One reason is that it's expected to change from a tropical storm powered by warm ocean water to something more like a winter storm powered by temperature and pressure differences in the atmosphere. So it will be a hybrid, or "Frankenstorm." And forecasters say Sandy may actually gain strength slightly as it reaches land. They also think it will remain strong enough once on land to produce strong winds far inland.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:43 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:43:51 GMT
BREAKING NEWS - The Medical Examiner's Office has revised the death toll in the Moore, Oklahoma tornado from 91 people to at least 24 people.>>
UPDATE: Originally the death toll was reported to be 91 people and counting, however, the Medical examiner's office revised the death toll from the Oklahoma tornado to at least 24 people. A spokeswoman said Tuesday morning that she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm.>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 3:31 PM EDT2013-05-21 19:31:19 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wind, humidity and rainfall combined precisely to create the massive killer tornado in Moore, Okla. >>
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wind, humidity and rainfall combined precisely to create the massive killer tornado in Moore, Okla. And when they did, the awesome amount of energy released over that city dwarfed the power of the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima. Meteorologists contacted by The Associated Press used real time measurements to calculate the energy released during the storm's life span of almost an hour.>>