Frankenstorm

You can find scores of dramatic graphics from this monster storm that’s just blasted a path up from the Caribbean, come ashore at the most densely populated portion of the United States, and is now powering through Pennsylvania.  You can judge the immensity of the storm from satellite images or see how it has done billions of dollars of damage.  Scores of people will have died as a result of Sandy when we’re all done.  You don’t need me to tell you that the Caribbean and the East Coast have just been well and truly hammered.

What I will tell you is that this has all been too predictable – just as Katrina was.  The intensity of a storm such as this one – with the confluence of not only a hurricane, but a westward-moving system, an Arctic air mass moving south, and a full moon – was bound to cause the damage it has.  It is worth noting that Heidi Cullen’s Weather of the Future devotes a chapter to New York City and, presciently, zeroes in on precisely the impacts we’ve just seen and are now experiencing.  (Yes, I’m here and it’s not pretty, to say the least.)  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has also identified the problems associated with “extreme events and disasters.”

Climate Central, of which Heidi Cullen is one of the founders and for which she is the Chief Climatologist, has a lot of excellent coverage on the storm, including stunning graphics.

In her book, Cullen discusses the need for storm surge barriers for the Big Apple.  Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo now agree.  Man, we better get on it.


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