Influence of wind and pressure on Hurricane Sandy's total water elevation. Winds (arrows) blowing in from the northeast across the Atlantic Ocean during the days preceding Sandy’s landfall started to pile water up against the mid-Atlantic coast. Due to Earth's Rotation (and the "Coriolis Effect") the net flux of water moves to the right of the wind direction. Here, you can see how the tides peaked at the same time as the storm surge, leading to record-setting flooding at New York City and Northern New Jersey. The animation here runs from late Oct. 26 through the time of Sandy’s peak water elevation on the evening of Oct. 29, and beyond. The inset graph shows the water elevation at New York City's Battery Park, as does the mapped colors (scale bar at far right).
Sandy storm surge data and animations are from ocean modeling performed by Philip Orton, Alan Blumberg and Nickitas Georgas, of Davidson Laboratory at the Stevens Institute of Technology. The model used is the Stevens Estuarine and Coastal Ocean Model (sECOM), following methods similar to those used in a recent paper [Orton et al 2012; personal.stevens.edu/~porton/resources/Orton_etal_JGR12.pdf]. Atmospheric forecast model data (winds, pressure) are primarily from Rutgers University researchers Greg Seroka and Louis Bowers (using the WRF model), though remote areas and earlier days of the simulation are based on the NOAA National Center for Environmental Prediction Global Forecast System (GFS). Computer modeling was conducted using the City University of New York High Performance Computing Center.