Nightly News | August 28, 2011
>>> these are all pictures from this storm . it got very, very violent. up and down the east coast . to talk about what just happened, and in some cases is still happening, two of the very best in the weather business, jim cantore is downtown lower manhattan . same spot where he's been for a couple days. our friend janice huff is still with us here in the studio. meteorologist at wnbc here in new york. janice, we'll begin with you. last night, and we've all become so adept at reading the radar over these days, it looked like the storm lost its back end. it became kind of an arrowhead going up. something, we have to thank something for the fact that it lost some of its energy.
>> you know, we noticed a little bit of that early on. right before the storm made landfall at cape lookout , there seemed to be dry air being intrained into the system. hurricanes don't like dry air. they thrive off moisture from warm oceans. they always tend to weaken when they move over cooler water or over land. that's what shuts them down. they need warm air from the ocean. this was getting dry air pulled into it. it gradually got more and more. it maintained category 1 up the coast, uppiersy shore. it dropped off a bit at coney island when it made land fall . winds dropped to 65 miles an hour. all the officials that made all the calls for people to evacuate here, you couldn't wait until the last hour to do it. you had to do it ahead of time so people could get out safely.
>> s me to you, jim . there's always criticism people were overhyped, overwarned and overevacuated. you've been making the point for days, these are tough calls. never hurt anybody to be safe rather than sorry. i notice the water behind you is ski kind of getting boisterous once again.
>> reporter: here we are nine hours after landfall. we have still the strongest winds of the storm . and that's exactly what we've been talking about. a wind field that is just so large, i mean, look it. i'm getting rained on right now, showers on from the wash tub that is the new york harbor behind me here. just an incredible situation here. this large wind field, we've talked about a long duration wind event. that's exactly what we mean by that. where we've had some of the strongest winds again on the backside on this storm . track errors have been reduced over the past couple of years. we've been very good at picking out track. intensity is still a tough call. there's one thing that always stood out. a lot of it coming up on hurricane center discussion. the simple point of, folks, this is kind of an unusual hurricane. if you just go up maybe 30 stories or even 80 stories, the intensity of the wind goes up 20%, 30%. now that we're on the backside of that storm and we've got just enough sunshine, that 20% to 30% has now transformed itself down to the surface. that's why some of these stronger winds. but we have not yet realized the scope and intensity of this storm . all we have to do is look to our neighbors in upstate new york . we're hearing of buildings washing out in troy, new york, right now. towns under water. as you showed in vermont, bridges washing out there. all the way over into ludlow, new hampshire, as well. the full scope of what this is doing and has done in spots to our south will not be further realized, perhaps, for another 24 hours .
>> jim , real quick before we leave you, does your photographer have room to pan around and situation you and show us where you are in relation to this body of water?
>> reporter: sure. yeah. again, just across, again, from the statue of liberty here. it is just a wash tub out in through here. mike, go ahead and pan around. earlier on across toward governors island , the wave action even just past low tide was being sprayed up on top of the island. an amazing sight. we've had coast guard cruisers out there today. the staten island ferry from time to time. that's about it. it is just rough seas. that's what happens when you take wind, sustained at tropical storm force, and push it across the body of water. had we had this kind of wave action this morning, even on top of a foot or two of surge, this would have caused a tremendous amount of damage. not only here at the battery, but other places that had been evacuated.
>> jim , thanks. looking for all the world like he's on