It was an unlikely set of meteorological events that came together to produce one of the most powerful storms ever to strike the United Sates.
Sandy was born in the South Caribbean as a Tropical Storm on October 22nd and quickly strengthened into a Category 2 Hurricane by the 24th as it crossed over Eastern Cuba with 105 mph winds.
The storm continued it's track to the north in the following days while undergoing a slow transition into an extratropical cyclone. In the process Sandy grew into a massive storm system that spread tropical storm force winds 500 miles away from her center.
Here's what the storm looked like from space on the morning of the 29th only hours before making landfall along the Southern New Jersey Coast.
Well in advance of Sandy's arrival, powerful waves began to crash along the New Jersey shore.
Breakers grew to nearly 20 feet along the Jersey coastline!
The ocean literally swallowed piers in Cape May.
Atlantic City was nearly washed away by a 12 foot storm surge and 80+ mph winds!
The boardwalk in Atlantic City was completely destroyed.
Soon the storm arrived in New York with breakers crashing over the walls in Brooklyn.
Winds gusted to over 90 mph in parts of New York. Heavily damaging a crane that was left dangling from the top of a high rise.
The swell of ocean water pushed well up the Hudson River.
City streets in both Brooklyn and Manhattan began filling with water.
Powerflashes were seen throughout the city as transformers blew due to the damaging winds.
A five alarm fire leveled an entire city block in Queens.
Streets became rivers.
The subway system was completely inundated.
The water rose to more than three feet along the streets of lower Manhattan as the city saw the ocean rise to it's highest point on record.
Even the hallowed grounds at the former Trade Center were not immune to the rush of water.
However, a rainbow did appear over the Empire State Building for a time.
Hopefully a harbinger of things to come for NY and the hard hit Mid Atlantic Coast.
Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell