Winds: Sandy vs. Irene

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By Quincy Vagell on November 15, 2012, 2:00pm Last modified: November 19, 2012, 9:37am

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It's apparent that Sandy was stronger than Irene, but by how much?

The image above shows approximate winds when both systems were located just south of Atlantic City, N.J.

The maximum winds in Connecticut were as much as 20 mph stronger during Sandy, than they were last year with Irene. The other thing is that Irene was moving fast and weakening, but Sandy was a slower mover and brought a longer period of strong winds. The overall strength of the storm was fairly uniform before it reached the New Jersey coast.

Maximum wind gusts:
Bridgeport...76 mph (Sandy) vs. 63 mph (Irene) 
Groton/New London...76 mph (Sandy) vs. 58 mph (Irene)
Danbury...68 mph (Sandy) vs. 48 mph (Irene)   
Windsor Locks...54 mph (Sandy) vs. 51 mph (Irene) 

Final thoughts:
The wind field of Sandy was much larger than Irene as well. The reasoning behind this was that Sandy was not a typical hurricane. It was a hybrid storm and was interacting with a non-tropical system to merge into one huge area of low pressure.
Finally, the strongest winds in Connecticut occurred before Sandy made landfall. Keep in mind that the center of Sandy made landfall more than 100 miles south of where numerous hurricane-force wind gusts were reported across Long Island and coastal Connecticut.

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Quincy Vagell

Town: Marlborough, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

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