less than 4 inches of rain on campus
devastated a large portion of the East Coast with high winds and torrential
rain, but wasn’t nearly as strong in the Shippensburg area.
October was the
ninth wettest month since record keeping began, according to Dr. Timothy W. Hawkins,
professor and graduate program coordinator in Shippensburg University’s
geography-earth science department. Of the 5.49 inches of rain in October, he
said Hurricane Sandy totaled 3.98 inches.
He said the highest recorded wind speed was 33 miles per hour.
promoted what Hawkins called “a double whammy” with high winds and rain. “Hurricane
rains form in spiral bands that rotate counterclockwise around the center of
the storm. Depending on whether you specifically get hit by the heart of the
band determines whether you get a lot of rain or an enormous amount of
rain. This also explains why the rain comes in waves. Heavy rain
periods correspond to a rain band passing while lighter rain periods correspond
to the times between bands.”
He also said
the fastest winds in a hurricane “are above the surface where there is less
friction from trees, buildings, mountains, etc. The heavy rains in the
spiral rain bands, literally drag and force the faster winds up above down
closer to the surface. That’s why the periods of hardest rain is associated
with the fastest wind gusts. It’s a double whammy of sorts.”
the strength of the storm also diminished as it came inland and was not as
powerful as originally predicted.
The Department of Geography and Earth Science presents current weather
conditions on campus, weather data and a weather watch cam here.