Sandy: Conflicting Tracks: Pt. 1

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By Quincy Vagell on November 2, 2012, 2:55pm Last modified: November 2, 2012, 4:15pm

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Plotted tracks of Sandy: Blue/purple is from the NHC/HPC advisories and black squares are from the SPC surface analysis.

At this point, many would rather forget about superstorm Sandy, but there are still some unresolved aspects of its track.

I was immediately concerned after the National Hurricane Center (NHC) stated that Sandy took a north jog before landfall. Sometimes didn't seem right. I took the time to plot the official track along with a surface analysis from the same time period.

Overview:
There's been some talk lately about the exact track of Sandy and how almost every source has a differing opinion. The NHC/HPC (Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) track says that Sandy moved northward at landfall and then wobbled around Pennsylvania. 

Two tracks:
The above track, plotted with blue (NHC) and purple (HPC) differs from the track of black squares, that is based off of the surface analysis maps obtained from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC).

Discussion:
If you recall satellite and radar imagery from Monday and Tuesday, it appears that the center of Sandy basically continued WNW for a long period of time, before it did eventually drift northwestward across Pennsylvania.
Something doesn't seem right about the NHC/HPC track and others have commented on it, including Meteorologist Justin Berk, who goes one step further (south) and says the center of circulation tracked over the Baltimore area.

My other problem is that the NHC advisories as Sandy approached the New Jersey coast did not make any sense (coordinates, movement direction, classification, timing etc.). That's a whole different story...

I hope to do more re-analysis on the subject to help paint a clearer picture.

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Quincy Vagell

Town: Marlborough, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

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