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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published November 01 2012

Weather Talk: Barometric pressure sank before Sandy made landfall

There has been much talk about barometric pressure this week centered mostly on the big eastern storm. Shortly before making landfall on the coast of New Jersey on Monday, Hurricane Sandy’s central pressure dropped to 943 millibars, or 27.85 inches. This is quite low, but then Sandy was a powerful storm.

It was reported that this was the lowest barometric pressure reading ever made in an Atlantic storm north of the latitude of North Carolina. The lowest pressure recorded in any Atlantic Basin storm was 882 millibars, or 26.05 inches, in Hurricane Wilma off the coast of Mexico in 2005.

The lowest pressure measured within a non-tropical storm was 989 millibars, or 28.21 inches, last fall in Bigfork, Minn.

Like all weather readings, records are a matter of instrument placement. Lower pressures than all of these have likely occurred but were not measured.

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or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

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