Hurricane Sandy Update: Millions Brace For Frankenstorm As Biggest Storm To Ever Hit East Coast Draws Closer

By Amir Khan on October 28, 2012 8:03 AM EDT

Hurricane Sandy
The latest Hurricane Sandy update has it slated to slam into the East Coast near New York or New Jersey, meaning those areas can not only expect the high winds and heavy rains that come with a hurricane or tropical storm, but also strong storm surges and flooding that could cause major damage (Photo: NOAA)

The latest Hurricane Sandy update has it slated to slam into the East Coast near New York or New Jersey, meaning those areas can not only expect the high winds and heavy rains that come with a hurricane or tropical storm, but also strong storm surges and flooding that could cause major damage.

But while some Hurricane Sandy updates have the storm hitting those heavily populated areas, experts said people in other areas should prepare for the Frankenstorm as if they were getting the brunt of it.

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"It is still too soon to focus on the exact track ... both because of forecast uncertainty and because the impacts are going to cover such a large area away from the center," the National Hurricane Center said, according to Reuters.

The latest Hurricane Sandy update by the NHC saw its wind speed drop slightly, to 75 miles per hour. However, what makes the Frankenstorm most impressive is its sheer size. Hurricane-force winds extend 105 miles out from the center, while its tropical storm-force winds reached 700 miles across.

The latest Hurricane Sandy update have it as one of the biggest storms to ever hit the East Coast.

"The size of this alone, affecting a heavily populated area, is going to be history making," Jeff Masters, a hurricane specialist, said in a blog post on Weather Underground.

Jim Cisco, a government forecaster, said this kind of storm is almost unprecedented.

"It's almost a weeklong, five-day, six-day event. It's going to be a widespread serious storm," he said, according to Time. "We don't have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting."

Will Komaromi, a researcher at the University of Miami, said the Frankenstorm could be much worse than the 1991 Perfect Storm.

"Most of the models now indicate even stronger jet dynamics will occur next week than occurred during for the Perfect Storm, and that today's storm could potentially deepen to well below 960 mb or even below 950 mb. The fact that the Gulf Stream is anomalously warm for this time of year means that Sandy will weaken less as a tropical system," he said. "The Perfect Storm only did $200 million of damage and I'm thinking a billion. Yeah, it will be worse."

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