They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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The Monster Arrives

It's 10pm on Monday 29 October 2012, and we've been watching coverage of Hurricane Sandy -- or the post-tropical storm -- or the Frankenstorm -- or whatever you want to call it. As predicted, the storm surge along New York City shores is running 8-11 feet. And as I explained to my PHYS-1070 students the other day, while talking about Newton's Law of Universal Gravity and how it applies to tides, the worst case scenario is a storm surge hitting during high tide at a full moon. Check all that apply.

Meanwhile, parts of West Virginia are being buried under up to two feet of early snow. Baltimore is scheduled for 10½" of rain. And inland areas on the route past New York are gearing up for a couple of days of heavy weather.

West Michigan

Lest you think that this post is about vicarious living through others' suffering, I should point out that the storms reach is more than five hundred miles from its center. That's Lake Michigan right at the western edge of the Great White Storm.

Satellite photo from this morning.

Satellite photo from around 5pm. (Click on photo for larger.)

Here in West Michigan we have a high wind advisory scheduled through 8pm Tuesday -- 55 mph winds gusting to 60+ -- with chances of snow and more snow in the next two days. But the temps won't support any kind of staying power, so it'll merely be cold and sloppy.

The coastline is much more interesting. Benton Harbor MI is expected to get 33-foot waves. Take that, Chicago, which was going on about 22-foot waves on Lake Michigan. 20-footers north in Holland and Grand Haven on this side, all driven by 60-70 mph winds down the centerline of Lake Michigan.

They don't call them Great Lakes for nothing.

One comment I saw online pointed out that the Great Lakes can make big ocean sized waves, but they are spaced closer together so that the lake waves are more punishing. Couple that with waves coming from more than one direction and you get the gales of November in Lake Superior sinking the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Weather Channel, whose coverage is getting more and more vapid, apparently was showing surfers shooting the big waves off Chicago.

Stay safe, all ye in the paths of storms.

Dr. Phil
Tags: storms, weather, west michigan

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