Update: 5:44pm ET - 10/27/12 - Hurricane Sandy continues to pull away from Florida moving up the eastern seaboard, but the large cyclone also continues to produce large swells. The Florida east coast is experiencing some epic surfing conditions today, as the winds went offshore smoothing out the large waves making for great riding. The picture below is from Ft Pierce Inlet this afternoon, showing a man fishing out on the inlet with the large waves breaking just offshore.
Update: 4:17pm ET - 10/26/12 - Finally made it up to southern Hutchinson Island after filming in Palm Beach County all day. The waves up here just south of Start Beach, FL are much larger since the beach is open to the north Atlantic and not protected by the Bahamas. Very large swells and chop, along with tropical storm force gusts blasting the beaches up here.
Update: 12:35pm ET - 10/26/12 - I'm currently in Boynton Beach at the inlet, where a short time ago a man flipped his jet-ski and had to be rescued. I was out on the jetty shooting the large and rough surf conditions, when this guy comes blasting out of the inlet and into the large surf. He sat for about a minute watching the impressive waves totally exposed to the current and swells. He then turned too quickly to take off back into the inlet but ended up hitting a large wave and rolling his wave-runner.
It took him about two minutes to get the ski flipped back over, but now he was drifting way out beyond the shelter of the inlet and into the rough outer breaks. He tried several times to restart the ski without any luck, and began to wave his hands knowing he was in trouble looking back at everyone on the beach.
He continued to drift way out into the large breaks, while people on the jetty called for rescue. I was informed by a police office about 20 minutes after losing sight of him, that he was rescued about a mile or so down the coast and was alive. A very stupid move and he is very lucky to be alive.
Now, I'm back in the car moving up the coast to Jupiter Beach, and then Stuart Beach to continue filming Hurricane Sandy's effects along the Florida east coast today.
Update: 11:10am ET - 10/25/12 - Hurricane Sandy now cleared of Cuba and moving into the central Bahamas. Sandy remains a category 2 storm (105mph winds) after crossing Cuba and is expected to maintain this strength while moving through the Bahamas today and on Friday.
As for Florida, the Tropical Storm Warnings remain in place, and winds are beginning to increase along the southeast coast. Tight pressure gradient between high pressure to the northeast and Sandy to the east-southeast will help to really increase winds speeds later today. Rough surf will also increase throughout the day, with both tropical storm force winds and dangerous waves expected all day Friday.
I will be taking a peak at the coast later today as the surf rapidly builds, and tomorrow will focus all day on the coast during Sandy's closest approach to Florida while in the northwest Bahamas. More to come from the coast soon.
Update: 1:43am ET - 10/25/12 - Sandy has now made its second landfall after Jamaica on Wednesday into Cuba just west of Santiago De Cuba, with 110mph winds. This makes Sandy a strong category 2 hurricane at the time of landfall in Cuba.
Update: 1:25am ET - 10/25/12 - Amazingly, Hurricane Sandy has significantly strengthened into a strong category two hurricane with winds of 110mph. The eyewall is approaching the coast of Cuba now, and Sandy could become a major hurricane at landfall in the next hour. A very dangerous night time landfall into southeastern Cuba is expected shortly. Thoughts with those in the direct path of Sandy in Cuba.
Update: 11:05pm ET - Hurricane Sandy continues to strengthen late tonight after crossing eastern Jamaica earlier today. Sandy currently has sustained winds of 90mph with higher gusts, and tracking northward closer to southeastern Cuba near 13mph. The latest forecast track continues to take Sandy across Cuba overnight and into the Bahamas on Thursday. Tropical Storm Warnings remain for the Florida east coast, including Lake Okeechobee.
Update: 5:00pm ET - 10/24/12 - This is the first update of many to come concerning Hurricane Sandy's track and possible effects on Florida over the next 72 hours. This page will update over the next few days as Sandy's passes Florida just to the east, but expected to bring some tropical weather conditions at the coast. I will be live blogging when possible from the coast through photos and video during Sandy's closes approach, and this will be the page to check back too for updates.
Hurricane Sandy, now slamming Jamaica in the Caribbean with 80mph winds, and is forecast to hit Cuba late tonight. Then on Thursday, Sandy's track will take the hurricane northward off the north coast of Cuba and into the Bahamas as a possible continued hurricane or tropical storm.
It is still too early to know how much the landmass (mountains) of Cuba and stronger upper-level winds (wind shear) might do to weaken Sandy on Thursday, but the track is tightly clustered by the weather models to bring a large wind field into the Bahamas reaching out to the Florida east coast.
The National Hurricane Center has issued Tropical Storm Warnings for the east coast of Florida at 5pm in anticipation of tropical storm conditions Thursday through early Saturday. Tropical Storm conditions consist of winds 39-73mph, along with very rough surf at the area beaches. I will be focused on local beaches including:
- Miami Beach
- Fort Lauderdale Beach
- Boynton Beach
- West Palm Beach
- Jupiter Beach
- Fort Pierce
Sandy is expected to transition into a very large west Atlantic hybrid (hurricane /Tropical Storm / Nor'easter) weather system, and ride up just offshore the United States east coast possibly becoming a historic weather event.
For now, our thoughts are with those in Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti overnight dealing with strong winds, storm surge and flash flooding. A lot more to come, so keep tabs on this posts for edits and visual updates going into the weekend from Florida. - JG
Hurricane Sandy Makes Landfall in Jamaica - 10/24/12