Brace yourselves, East Coast. Air masses from Hurricane Sandy — the deadly Category 2 storm now hitting the Caribbean — are set to merge with a winter storm coming in from the west and fierce Arctic air from the north to create one of the most disruptive, damaging tropical movements in recorded history. Expect crazy winds, raging floods and even snow.
Here's what you should know.
1. It's “Frankenstorm” Because it Will Merge Dissimilar Weather Systems
Frankenstorm gets its namesake from the eight-foot-tall, hideously ugly creation of Victor Frankenstein. Intelligent and sensitive, the monster attempts to integrate himself into human social patterns, but all who see him shun him. His feeling of abandonment compels him to seek revenge against his creator.
2. The Storm is Likely to Stretch through Halloween
Coastal areas from Florida to Maine will feel some effects, but the storm is expected to vent the worst of its fury on New Jersey and the New York City area, which could see around 5 inches of rain and gale-force winds up to 40 mph on Tuesday, October 30th.
3. Monday's Full Moon Increases Chances of Massive Flooding
When the moon is full or new, the gravitational pull of the moon and sun are combined. At these times, the high tides are very high and the low tides are very low. This is known as a spring high tide. Spring tides are especially strong tides (and have nothing to do with the season Spring).
4. 50 Million People Live in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Power companies from the Southeast to New England are telling independent contractors to be ready to help fix storm damage quickly and are asking employees to cancel vacations and work longer hours.
Connecticut was among the hardest-hit states last year when Irene and the snowstorm knocked out power to more than 800,000 homes and businesses in the state.
5. The Two Storms Could Reach as Far Inland as Ohio
Local electric company FirstEnergy is finalizing preparation plans of their own from Ohio to New Jersey, where they operate electrical systems in parts of five different states.
The Akron-based company's preparation plans include mobilizing crews and securing the services of outside utility crews, electrical contractors and tree contractors to ensure they have the workforce in place should these storms cause excessive damage.
6. The Biggest Threats Will be Pounding Rain and Strong Winds up to 60 mph
Jeff Masters of Weather Underground:
In this scenario, Sandy would be able to bring sustained winds near hurricane force over a wide stretch of heavily populated coast, causing massive power outages, as trees still in leaf fall and take out power lines. Sandy is expected to have tropical storm-force winds that extend out more than 300 miles from the center, which will drive a much larger storm surge than its winds would ordinarily suggest."
7. Frankenstorm Has the Potential to Cause $1 Billion-Plus in Damage
The financial toll and effect on Americans from the tropical storm-cold depression combo that is expected to hit the Northeast next week could reach historical proportions, National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Kocin told the Los Angeles Times.
Kocin, a meteorologist for nearly 40 years who was previously a winter weather expert for the Weather Channel, classifies Sandy Frankenstorm on the scale of a pair of 2010 blizzards called “Snowmaggedon” and “Snowpocalypse”
8. It's Compared to the Infamous "Perfect Storm" of 1991
The 1991 Perfect Storm lasted from October 28th to November 4th and struck from Canada to Florida.
It resulted in massive flooding as 30-foot waves smashed into seafront communities - resulting in the deaths of 13 people.
A Hollywood film, 'The Perfect Storm' starring George Clooney told the story of the event through the eyes of a fishing boat the 'Andrea Gail' which sank offshore.'
9. The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Has Been Very Active
Only seven seasons since 1851 (as far back as hurricane records reach) have seen 19 or more named storms. Three of these have been within the last decade: the 2010 and 2011 seasons had 19 storms each and the 2005 season had a whopping 28 storms, the most on record, including Hurricane Katrina
10. There Aren't Many Modern Precedents for What Models are Suggesting
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco, who coined the nickname Frankenstorm, said: "We don't have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting."