"On October 25, Sandy hit Cuba as a Category 3 hurricane, then weakened to a Category 1 hurricane. Early on October 26, Sandy moved through the Bahamas. On October 27, Sandy briefly weakened to a tropical storm and then restrengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. Early on October 29, Sandy curved north-northwest and then moved ashore near Brigantine, New Jersey, just to the northeast of Atlantic City, as a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds."Technically it didn't count as a "major hurricane," a term which the National Hurricane Center reserves for hurricanes that reach maximum sustained 1-minute surface winds of at least 50 m/s (111 mph) -- equivalent of category 3, 4 and 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Yet its size -- the largest Atlantic hurricane on record (as measured by diameter) certainly contributed to it doing major damage. The size of a storm determines its surge, and for big storms damage from coastal flooding is often larger than wind damage.
The existing hurricane metrics -- Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) and Power Dissipation Index (PDI) don't take size into account, only wind speed:
with the PDI being the same summation with with velocity cubed.
By contrast, TIKE, as defined by Misra et al, is calculated by:
According to Misra, Hurricane Sandy had a higher TIKE value than any other tropical storm or hurricane in the North Atlantic Ocean Basin since 1990. Hurricane Lily, which occurred in 1996, was the runner-up, followed by 2010’s Igor, 1995’s Luis, 1997’s Erica, and Hurricane Olga, which occurred in 2001.They obtain results since 1990: