Today's Outside The Box column has some counterintuive insight from meteorologist Eric Holthaus on the Hurricane Sandy Frankenstorm facing New York City:
...Normally, when hurricanes approach the East Coast from Sandy’s angle, they are pulled safely out to sea by a semi-permanent low-pressure center near Iceland. This time around, that low pressure isn’t there. In fact, it’s been replaced by a high pressure so intense it only occurs approximately 0.2% of the time on average.The coincidence of that strong of a high pressure “block” being in place just when a hurricane is passing by — in and of itself a very rare occurrence — is just mind bogglingly rare. It’s the kind of stuff that’s important enough to rewrite meteorological textbooks. The result: Instead of heading out to sea Sandy’s full force will be turned back against the grain and directed squarely at the East Coast..... if I were a resident of New York right now, I’d be rooting for a direct hit. If given a choice, I’d take 12 inches of rain over six feet of coastal flooding any day.