Hurricane Sandy is here. Well sort of, she's not making landfall until tonight. But you probably would've known all that and about her warm core and sustained winds if you were following some of the country's best weather blogs.
So, here for your consumption until the power goes out or (assuming you aren't in Sandy's path of destruction) until you tire of rubbernecking, are the weather bloggers you should be reading:
Credentials: Co-founder of Weather Underground. Flew with NOAA hurricane hunters from 1986-1990.
Why It's Worth Reading: Masters's blog is crammed with information. We're not kidding. In any blogpost you'll find 3-5 "figures"—what bloggers who aren't Masters usually call charts or pictures—full of explanations on why all this esoteric stuff matters. For example, he turns this chart...
... into a cogent, digestible explanation into why lower Manhattan's subways have a good chance of flooding. And in his latest post, he also great insight for those of us who rode out Irene last year:
If we compare the predicted rainfall amounts for Sandy with those from Hurricane Irene of 2011, Sandy's are expected to be about 30 percent less. Hurricane Irene caused $15.8 billion in damage, most of it from river flooding due to heavy rains. However, the region most heavily impacted by Irene's heavy rains had very wet soils and very high river levels before Irene arrived, due to heavy rains that occurred in the weeks before the hurricane hit. That is not the case for Sandy...
Credentials: Senior meteorologist at Accuweather. Extreme weather specialist.
Why It's Worth Reading: If you're the type who will be refreshing Sandy news until the power goes out, Margusity's probably your guy. His blog dedicates a section to his very active Twitter account—at the moment he's talking about the HRRR model and raises the question of why hurricane warnings haven't been issued. What's great about Margusity though (aside from his constant updates and great name) is that he's not afraid to insert opinion. That's good for neophyte storm chasers/watchers because regardless of whether Margusity is right or wrong, he'll bring an insight into the rather static news of say, Sandy being downgraded:
The downgrade of Sandy to a tropical storm was a mistake by NHC in my opinion. The pressure is falling and Sandy will come in with the impacts like a hurricane is what I think is happening now. Sandy is going through the change from a tropical system to an extra-tropical system, so from a tropical sense, yes, Sandy is not really a hurricane, but from a meteorological sense, Sandy is getting bigger and the pressure is expected to fall to sub 950 mb.
Credentials: A private sector Meteorologist who works for the meteorological company Weather Guidance.
Why It's Worth Reading: It's sort of easy to get caught up in hype and Day After Tomorrow hype associated with Sandy, and watch pictures of flooding fill up your Twitter stream. But White's weather blog is cool, in a sciencey-weather-appreciation type of way. It's sort of like a guy watching a tennis match and explain to you why topspin is so important, while the rest of us all just talk about Roger Federer being good. That's what White did with the topic of Sandy's powerful winds and their duration in his last post. "Keep in mind that we haven't covered gusts with any of the above, so you can add an additional 20 mph, and we haven't accounted for the stronger winds in high rise buildings. You can add about 20 mph for every 30 floors of a building," he writes, explaining that the New York region will be seeing continued winds throughout the entire day. "So, take the NYC estimate of 75-80 mph at 8pm. That would yield 95-100 mph winds at the 31st floor of a building, and 115-120 mph winds at the 61st floor of the same building." See, yeah that's completely frightening (especially if you live in a fancy schmancy penthouse), and totally interesting. Oh and he has GIFs.
Credentials: Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.
Why It's Worth Reading: Mass is really wonderful at explaining pictures. And that's severely underrated. Seriously, how many times have you seen the same Sandy pictures looking all wide and ominous? Or how about those color-coded ones? Without Mass, all you'd know is that red is pretty angry and Sandy is wide. With Mass, you'd be able to explain to your friends why the European Center forecast and the GFS models are so significant, why Sandy's warm-core "tranformation" matters and ultimately sound a lot smarter than the person at the hurricane party constantly befuddled that the storm isn't actually hitting the NYC metro area until tonight.