Published: Jun 28, 2013 4:47 PM EDT

HURRICANE CENTRAL - Hurricane Sandy was given the title Superstorm Sandy before making landfall in the Northeast. Sandy wasn't particularly strong but it was unusually large, over 1000 miles in diameter and here's how it all began.

On Monday, October 22nd it was a tropical depression, number 18 in the Caribbean Sea. Later that same day it became Tropical Storm Sandy. Then as a hurricane it was a land falling category 1 hurricane in Jamaica.

Sandy's second landfall occurred over eastern Cuba as a category 3 hurricane. Its third landfall was in the Bahamas as a category 2 then a category 1 as it left the islands.

Then Sandy paralleled the southeastern United States coast before it turned to the northwest coming ashore at Brigantine, New Jersey on Monday, October 29th at 8 p.m.

At landfall it was a very strong post tropical cyclone with a catastrophic five to nine foot storm surge along the New Jersey and New York coastlines. The estimated damage makes sandy the second costliest cyclone in over 100 years.

Often storms turn to the northeast out into the north Atlantic Ocean, but due to an unusual setup in the atmosphere that day, Sandy was blocked by high pressure. It was the blocking high pressure area over the northwest Atlantic that prevented a turn to the northeast and forced Sandy back toward the United States.