As the storm that was Hurricane Sandy weakened over Pennsylvania, NASA released a timelapse animation of the lifespan of the massive storm, tracking its path from the Caribbean, where it developed, to its violent landfall on the mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S.
The collection of images, taken by the NASA GOES-13 satellite from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31, illustrates the storm gaining intensity as it traveled north, at times reaching nearly 1,000 miles in width.
When the storm reached the mid-Atlantic on Oct. 29, it became wedged between a cold front over the Appalachian Mountains and a high-pressure air mass over maritime Canada, preventing it from moving north or east and instead driving it ashore. At that point Sandy became a Nor’easter, triggering historic storm surges in coastal areas of New York and New Jersey and blizzard conditions in the mountain regions.
Meteorologists say the swath of high winds produced by Sandy while it was a hurricane covered nearly 2 million square miles.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.