If we transposed that image of Sandy, it would nearly cover the entire state of Texas. Take that in for a minute and you might get a better idea of just how massive this storm has become. Around 8 pm, the center crossed the New Jersey shore near Atlantic City. However, as we all know, landfall is not the end of the story. In this case, it is the beginning. Sandy is transitioning from a tropical system that gets its storm energy from the warm Atlantic waters to a deep area of low pressure, fueled by temperature contrasts in the atmosphere aloft. It won't be called a hurricane anymore, instead, it gets the title of "post-tropical cyclone".
As it moves into New Jersey, it maintains a broad circulation that is shoving ocean water inland. This snapshot depicts the wave heights in the Atlantic; strong southeast winds will raise the water level from Cape Cod to Delaware:
There are already numerous reports of cars submerged in lower Manhattan. The problem is timing as Sandy arrives at the time of high tide, which is being enhanced by the full moon. Tunnels, which were ordered closed are now flooded as are major highways, like the FDR drive. Winds remain strong as well; there have been several reports of building collapses in lower Manhattan. Several deaths from the storm are being reported from as far away as Ohio and Toronto.
Lost in the story is what's happening on the "back side" of this storm. There's several feet of snow predicted for parts of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, western Virginia and western North Carolina.
So when does it all end? Perhaps not until late Wednesday; keep a positive thought for the people in the path of this storm. It is becoming clear that some did not heed the warning and the number of fatalities may rise.
If you follow me on Twitter @gnormanKHOU, I regularly pass along info I'm getting on this storm.