Federal forecasters have warned that a hybrid weather system they have dubbed "Frankenstorm," nature's perfect monstrous "trick or treat" for the Halloween season, is threatening the US East Coast after passing through the Caribbean, and leaving 21 dead.
Meteorologists say that high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides and snow in higher grounds may hit beginning from early Sunday and peak with the landing of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday. The super-storm may persist past Halloween on Wednesday. meteorologists say.
The Daily Mail reports the nickname "Frankenstorm" for the weather system was coined by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecaster Jim Cisco, who said: "We don't have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting."
The video shows Hurricane Sandy captured from the International Space Station (ISS) as it flew hundreds of miles over the storm on Thursday October 25, Space.com reports.
Meteorologists said in an alert on Thursday that the storm may merge with a cold front and transform into a devastating hybrid system next week, just before Halloween. CNN describes merging of the storm with a strong cold front from the west that transforms it into a super-storm as the worst case scenario projection for it.
Hurricane Sandy from space
Experts are already comparing it to 1991's "Perfect Storm" that formed when three weather systems in the North Atlantic combined over Halloween in 1991.
Meteorologists say the freak weather system is now making its way towards the US having passed through Haiti and Cuba. According to RT, Sandy increased speed and strength in the Caribbean Sea and plowed through Bahamas at winds of up to 180 miles per hour. Cuba was hit on Thursday, and about 11 people killed. Nine people died in Haiti.
One person was also killed in Jamaica when Sandy hit the island on Wednesday. RT reports that over 50,000 people abandoned their homes in Cuba as strong winds tore off roofs and brought down power lines. The US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay was also affected and some prisoners had to be relocated for their safety.
Meteorologists say Sandy has a 90 percent chance of making landfall in the US with great potentials for destruction, with heavy winds, rain, flooding, and fallen power lines.
According to the Daily Mail, NOAA weather man Chad Myers, wrote: "After 26 years in TV weather and two years with NOAA, Sandy may pose the greatest risk to human life that I have seen."
CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano, said: "Forget about the category with this. When you have trees with leaves on them still, this kind of wind and rain on top of that, you're talking about trees that are going to come down, power lines are going to be out and the coastal flooding situation is going to be huge."
Kathy Orr of CNN affiliate, KYW-TV, in Philadelphia, said: "There is potential for widespread power outages, not just for a couple of days but for a couple of weeks or more, if the storm stays on track."
Hurricane Sandy from space
Space.com reports that Rob Gutro, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., explained: "The current forecast track from the National Hurricane Center brings Sandy in for a landfall in central New Jersey on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Regardless, it appears that Sandy may be a strong wind event for the U.S. mid-Atlantic and Northeast."
According to the Daily Mail, forecasters in Philadelphia say the storm could hit the city directly. South Jersey residents are reportedly stocking up on bottled water and batteries to prepare for the tempest.
About 50 million Americans are in the direct path of the storm, experts say. There is a consensus among experts that the storm will make a direct hit on Monday or Tuesday in the region between Virginia and New England.
The Daily Mail reports emergency officials are warning the public to be prepared, and President Barack Obama has been briefed aboard Air Force One.
According to Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the forecasting service Weather Underground: "It's looking like a very serious storm that could be historic. Mother Nature is not saying, 'Trick or treat.' It's just going to give tricks."
The storm is expected to be at its worst fury in New Jersey and the New York City area. The New York City area is expected to see about 5 inches of rain and gales close to 40mph. Meteorologists say that areas from Florida to Maine will be less affected but Eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania and western Virginia may see some snow.
The weather is projected to begin clearing up in the mid-Atlantic after Halloween, and Nov. 2 in the upper Northeast. The Daily Mail reports Cisco says. "It's almost a week-long, five-day, six-day event. It's going to be a widespread, serious storm."
Coastal flooding risk will the high because the hurricane is expected to hit during a full moon. Widespread power outage lasting till election day may occur.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday: "What we are doing is we are taking the kind of precautions you should expect us to do, and I don't think anyone should panic." The mayor said the city has opened an emergency situation room and the coastal storm plan has been activated.
The bad news for children is that if the storm hits with full force then millions in the Atlantic coast may be disappointed for Halloween.
According to CNN, the national election may also be affected because it may make it difficult for people in affected areas to go out and cast their ballots in early voting locations such as Monday in Washington and Saturday in Maryland.
Space.com reports that NASA's Terra satellite and NOAA's GOES-13 weather satellite tracked the storm in visible light and infrared imagers while it passed through the Caribbean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are watching the system closely using satellites.
Climate Central reports that some scientists say that the extreme patterns may be related to the record loss of Arctic sea ice in 2012. According to The Huffington Post, Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), released a report Thursday, saying, "If climate change continues unchecked, Hurricane Sandy won’t be our October surprise, it could be the new normal for New England."