Sarasota News Leader

11/02/2012

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HURRICANE DIARY A NOAA image from the National Hurricane Center on Oct. 31 shows projected continuing rainfall from Sandy. SANDY SAGA SHOWS THE POWER OF STORM SURGE By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Editor's note: Stan Zimmerman has been tracking hurricanes for decades. This is his story about the system that became Sandy. 21 Oct. 10 a.m.: Hurricane Rafael came and went, thrashing Bermuda and then going sub- tropical on the way to Ireland. This morning another storm is forming in the same southern vicinity, and it is expected to take the same exact path. Another "Bahama thumper"? Right now it is called "Invest 99L," and it has an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm. The models are not sure of the path — Cuba? Hispaniola? — but one thing seems sure: It is following Rafael out to sea, and the "Great Florida Barrier" remains in force. 22 Oct., 5 p.m.: Yup, it is now Tropical Storm Sandy, and it is sort of headed our way but is more likely to beat up the Bahamas on the exit to nowhere. Central pressure is 29.50 inches, with steady winds of 40 mph. The forecast has it strengthening to almost hurricane force in two days. The far-out forecast offers a small chance of tropical-storm-force winds on Flor- ida's east coast on Friday, Oct. 26, and Satur- day, Oct. 27. Meanwhile, there is another tropical depres- sion (TD 19) that could become a tropical storm tomorrow. It is headed due north in

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