Sandy intensifies further, down to 940 mb

The 2 pm update by NHC shows Sandy at 940 mb central minimum pressure, down from 943 mb at the 11 am update. Maximum sustained winds remain at 80 kts/ 90 mph.

With Sandy’s pressure continuing to drop, we are also continuing to further break the lowest pressure ever recorded north of Cape Hatteras, NC. According to Wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt, “the lowest pressure ever measured anywhere in the U.S. north of Cape Hatteras, NC, is 946 mb (27.94″) measured at the Bellport Coast Guard Station on Long Island, NY on September 21, 1938 during the great ‘Long Island Express’ hurricane.” Sandy had surpassed that this morning.

The figure below shows the probability of tropical storm force sustained winds (>= 39 mph). Note that all of almost all of NJ, all of DE, much of MD, DC and eastern VA, as well as a big chunk of southeastern PA is in 90%+ probability of getting at least tropical storm force winds:

The next figure shows probability of hurricane force sustained winds (>= 74 mph). Coastal DE has a 70%+ chance of experiencing hurricane force winds, with a big swath from Cape May, NJ to Chincoteague Island, VA at 50%+: