Sandy vs. Irene (winds)

It’s apparent that Sandy was stronger than Irene, but by how much?

The image above shows approximate winds when both systems were located just south of Atlantic City, N.J.

The maximum winds in Connecticut were as much as 20 mph stronger during Sandy, than they were last year with Irene. The other thing is that Irene was moving fast and weakening, but Sandy was a slower mover and brought a longer period of strong winds. The overall strength of the storm was fairly uniform before it reached the New Jersey coast.

Maximum wind gusts:

  • Bridgeport…76 mph (Sandy) vs. 63 mph (Irene)
  • Groton/New London…76 mph (Sandy) vs. 58 mph (Irene)
  • Danbury…68 mph (Sandy) vs. 48 mph (Irene)
  • Windsor Locks…54 mph (Sandy) vs. 51 mph (Irene)

Final thoughts:
The wind field of Sandy was much larger than Irene as well. The reasoning behind this was that Sandy was not a typical hurricane. It was a hybrid storm and was interacting with a non-tropical system to merge into one huge area of low pressure.

Finally, the strongest winds in Connecticut occurred before Sandy made landfall.
Keep in mind that the center of Sandy made landfall more than 100 miles south of where numerous hurricane-force wind gusts were reported across Long Island and coastal Connecticut.

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Quincy is a meteorologist and storm chaser who travels around the country documenting and researching severe weather. He has on-air experience with stations such as WTNH-TV in New Haven, CT and WREX-TV in Rockford, IL. He was most recently a digital meteorologist for

After achieving his B.S. degree in Meteorology at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in 2009, he returned as a University Assistant to help produce weather broadcasts. He also gave guest lectures and worked on website design.

He has over nine years of professional weather forecasting experience and his forecasts have been featured in newspapers and on radio stations in multiple states.

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