New York City will be faced with a second hit of brutal weather in 14 months, courtesy of Tropical Storm Sandy, on the approach from the Atlantic. Sandy has prompted many to draw comparisons to the region's most recent large-scale storm, Hurricane Irene. The verdict? Sandy will be stronger, bigger and potentially more damaging. The first key difference is perhaps the most troubling, New York City officials have decided not to call for an evacuation of the city's low lying neighborhoods - a precaution taken, perhaps unnecessarily ahead of Irene's arrival. By the time Irene approached land it had weakened, however speculations about Sandy report that the storm might actually gain strength by the time it hits the shoreline. Although it has officially been designated as a Tropical Storm, Greater New York will face Hurricane-like conditions as soon as Monday night. Rainfall was undoubtedly Irene's greatest damaging factor, although Sandy has already caused torrential downpour throughout New England, the amount of rainfall won't reach Irene's proportions. Hurricane Irene was largely isolated to New York, while storm warnings for Sandy span North Carolina and Bermuda, the storm has even been named the largest in Atlantic basin history. With Sandy on the approach, New York city has been bracing itself, shutting down schools, the Subway system and even the Stock exchange, which hasn't been closed due to weather conditions since the 1980s. Here's hoping everyone will make it through the storm safely, and that recovery will be quick and efficient.