Former News 2 reporter Jim Melchiorre, now living and working in New York, told me that many wondered why Sandy did not lose its winds as it pushed into colder waters.
I am sure that a lot of it has to do with the transformation to a winter storm, and the energy it received when it was "sucked in" by a strong upper level low.
However, the Gulf Stream may have factored in, as well.
If you look at the sea surface temperatures in the maps to the right, you can see that the 80 degree water necessary for a tropical system is not too far offshore.
The top graphic shows the Gulf Stream's path.
In the second graphic, note that although the water temperature off of the New Jersey shore was about 16° C or 61° F, Sandy only traversed across about 150-175 miles across water below 80°.
The storm also moved very quickly across that short stretch of colder water.
That could have been a factor along with the transformation to a "Nor'easter".
This tropical to winter transformation does occur often, but usually out over the waters of the Northern Atlantic.
We'll see what the researchers come up with. It will be interesting!