Influence of wind and pressure on Hurricane Sandy's storm surge. 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. As Sandy itself approached, atmospheric pressure (black lines) gradients from high pressure areas to the the low-pressure center of the storm cause water to rise under the storm, called the "inverse barometer effect". The animation here runs from late Oct. 26 through Sandy’s peak surge onto land at about 10 p.m. on Oct. 29, and beyond. The large image shows storm surge across the region, mapped onto longitude and latitude. The inset graph shows the surge height by the New York City shore at Sandy Hook, N.J., as does the mapped colors (scale bar at far right). Tides are not included in this simulation.
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. Atmospheric forecast model data are from 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.