Wind, waters rising across the Northeast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 15:46 GMT le 15 avril 2007

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Water levels are starting to rise along the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to Maine, as the Nor'easter of 2007 prepares to enter its explosive deepening phase. At 2pm EDT, the center of the storm was over North Carolina, with a central pressure of 987 mb. Winds over the ocean are starting to rise significantly. Sustained winds of tropical storm force--44 mph, gusting to 50--were observed at 2pm EDT just south of Long Island at Ambrose Light. The storm is expected to move northeastward and cross out to sea off the Delaware coast this evening, and rapidly intensify to a central pressure of 975 mb as it tracks up the coast of New Jersey and passes directly over New York City.


Figure 1. Tidal levels observed at The Battery in New York City as of 2pm EDT Sunday April 15. Note that water levels were two feet above normal at the time, but it was low tide. High tide tonight (near 00 GMT, or 8pm EDT) will see significant coastal flooding. The Battery is located on the southern tip of Manhattan Island. Image credit:NOAA Tides and Currents website.

Water levels at The Battery in New York City were two feet above normal at 2pm, but coastal flooding had not yet occurred, since it was low tide. The tidal range at New York City is six feet today, and some of the highest tides of the year are expected tonight and Monday, due to the arrival of the new moon. When the Sun, Earth, and Moon all line up (which happens during each new moon and full moon), the highest high tides of the year occur. The strongest winds of the 2007 Nor'easter will affect New York City during high tide tonight at 7:30pm. The expected 3-4 foot storm surge in western Long Island Sound near New York City would match the levels seen there in the "Perfect Storm" of October 31, 1991 (Figure 2), and the March 13, 1993 Storm of the Century. The worst coastal flooding in recent years in New York City occurred during the December 11-12 1992 Nor'easter, which damaged as many as 20,000 homes and forced almost 2,000 people to take refuge in emergency storm shelters. Storm surges of 4 feet were recorded near New York City (Figure 3), and 5.5 feet in western Long Island Sound. Some computer models are forecasting a 4-6 foot storm surge over Long Island Sound tonight, and it is possible that the flooding levels seen in the December 1992 Nor'easter will be exceeded. The timing of the peak of this surge with the high tide cycle will be critical, as will the exact track of the storm. If the storm does track directly over New York City tonight, the relatively calm winds near the center may allow some of the storm surge to flow out of Long Island Sound.


Figure 2. Tidal levels observed at The Battery in New York City during the "Perfect Storm" of October 31, 1991. This storm brought the second highest storm surge to New York City observed in recent years.


Figure 3. Tidal levels observed at The Battery in New York City during the Nor'easter of December 11-12, 1992. This storm brought the highest storm surge to New York City observed since tidal record began at The Battery in 1966.

The same storm also brought heavy snow to Kansas and baseball-sized hail to Texas Saturday, and more severe weather is occurring today across the region where the cold front is passing. However, the main story of this storm will be coastal flooding in the Northeast, and wind damage from tropical-storm force winds. Freshwater flooding from the storm's 3-5 inches of rain could also cause localized flooding problems.

Tune in tonight, I'll have an update, and there will also be a separate update on the East Coast Winter Storm blog.

Jeff Masters

Batter Up! (Wesley)
We had a tornado about 5 miles south of here last night. We just got a little Texas sized hail. This piece had melted a little before we got it. Lots of damage here.
Batter Up!

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212. weatherwatchin
01:59 GMT le 16 avril 2007
low must be close, pressure reading of 975mb
211. BoyntonBeach
01:55 GMT le 16 avril 2007
As usual, we got diddly. Maybe 1/10 of an inch. But at least there's cool air already in place..
Member Since: 5 juillet 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
210. watchingnva
01:17 GMT le 16 avril 2007
its not a ware core system...dry air wont affect it like it would a hurricane..
Member Since: 7 septembre 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1525
209. FUBFEE
01:05 GMT le 16 avril 2007
Heavy down pours with Thunder and lightning now in Freehold, no wind.
208. flibinite
00:55 GMT le 16 avril 2007
Hi, all. Pretty crummy here in Albany, NY, tho not as bad as I would have thought, with about an inch of slop, 10 mph winds from the north, and exactly 1000 mb and dropping.

But Hutch's water vapor link and the current radar shows there's a big chunk of dry air being drawn up right along the coast near the Carolina's. Won't that inhibit any real growth, even though it's moving out over the water?

Jo
Member Since: 14 avril 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 293
207. Levi32
00:36 GMT le 16 avril 2007
Buster, it's nowhere close to hurricane season.......lol nothing is going to form in the Caribbean.
Member Since: 24 novembre 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
206. cdo
00:34 GMT le 16 avril 2007
none, buster
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
204. weatherwatchin
00:16 GMT le 16 avril 2007
pressure readings from 980-990 in ct
203. SteveDa1
00:10 GMT le 16 avril 2007
8pm... st-Hubert Airport, QC near Montreal

Heavy Rain mixing with snow
Temperature..... 1C (-3 from last hour)
Pressure..... 100.9 kPa steady
Visibility..... 4 km
Humidity..... 94 %
Dewpoint..... 1C
Wind NE..... 24 km/h

I was brave enough to get a video from outside and I will show it to all of you soon once it's finished uploading. Check my blog if you wish which i am currently updating.
Member Since: 17 octobre 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1298
201. CapeWeather06
00:08 GMT le 16 avril 2007
Air pressure here on Cape Cod, MA is at 1005mb and falling steadily. WInds are at 20mph and I believe hurricane force winds can be well expected, and I see an area of rain moving to the north, to the southwest of Cape Cod and this could be the first part of the hurricane force winds or stronger winds. What do you expect the highest winds to be recorded and where will those winds be located.
200. HutchFL
00:07 GMT le 16 avril 2007
199. watchingnva
00:03 GMT le 16 avril 2007
pressure 981 and falling....windy as hell....direction and intensity just switched and clouds are flying by...think the center is passing just south/southeast of us here in the richmond, va area...
Member Since: 7 septembre 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1525
198. SteveDa1
23:58 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Heavy rain now mixing with snow here...
Member Since: 17 octobre 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1298
197. weathersp
23:51 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Pressure 984.9 and still falling...
Member Since: 14 janvier 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
195. Skyepony (Mod)
23:42 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Streamflow data


Member Since: 10 août 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39380
194. watchingnva
23:40 GMT le 15 avril 2007
center is somewhere between petersburg, va and rocky mount, nc...
Member Since: 7 septembre 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1525
193. Patrap
23:40 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Its up and rising...almost high tide skyepony Link..
Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
192. watchingnva
23:38 GMT le 15 avril 2007
looking at pressures, wind directions, and radar/satellite...the center of this system is is in north central nc...just east of oxford. and its barely moving north...just north of east...and if it continues this track it will go off the coast...

winds here near richmond have def. picked up alot over the last hour...its getting blustery here...and weve had a good bit of rain today as well...

hows everyone else fairing today?
Member Since: 7 septembre 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1525
191. Skyepony (Mod)
23:37 GMT le 15 avril 2007
4 gauges up there around Dr Master's mention already in major flooding.

This link shows The Battery is already experiencing minor flooding, with near by Lodi in Major.
Member Since: 10 août 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39380
190. V26R
23:30 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Ambrose Light atthe mouth of NY Harbor showing 988mb with winds gusting to 32 knots
Winds are starting to pick up here in Staten Island also
Member Since: 20 juillet 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1762
189. SteveDa1
23:27 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Conditions in my area...
Observed at: Saint-Hubert Airport near Montreal, QC... 7:00 PM EDT

Moderate Rain
Temperature..... 4C
Pressure..... 100.9 kPa (1009 mb) (29.8 in.) falling
Visibility..... 6 km
Humidity..... 91 %
Dewpoint..... 2C
WindENE..... 28 km/h

Rain should start to mix with snow in the next 2 hours.
Member Since: 17 octobre 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1298
188. Skyepony (Mod)
23:25 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Average rain rate for the last 3 hrs

Member Since: 10 août 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39380
187. primez
23:25 GMT le 15 avril 2007
We've got only a fraction of the rain NYC received here on Long Island. (or, at least where I live.) We keep getting breaks in the rain, and when we do get rain, it's light.

I want to see some downpours, not drizzle.
Member Since: 18 septembre 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 195
184. Jackp0t789
23:21 GMT le 15 avril 2007
House shaking wind gusts allready in the mountains of Sussex County in franklin... Since this thing is going to park itself over NYC tomorow morning i expect some good winds...
Member Since: 30 juillet 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 66
182. yorkcova
23:16 GMT le 15 avril 2007
980.3 here in SE VA. over 2 inches of rain today. winds seem calmer at the moment.
Member Since: 14 septembre 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 30
181. Skyepony (Mod)
23:13 GMT le 15 avril 2007
ecflawthr~Storm reports for the Dallas Ft Worth area.
Member Since: 10 août 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39380
180. SteveDa1
23:12 GMT le 15 avril 2007
The lowest pressure I could find in NC was at this station at 6PM eastern...
Currituck, Currituck County Airport, NC
28.99 inches (981 hPa)
Member Since: 17 octobre 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1298
179. HutchFL
23:07 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Next weekend's preliminary outlook:



DAY 4-8 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0335 AM CDT SUN APR 15 2007

VALID 181200Z - 231200Z

...DISCUSSION...
LARGE RIDGE IS FORECAST TO PREVAIL ACROSS THE CENTRAL CONUS THIS
PERIOD...IN THE WAKE OF AN UPPER TROUGH WHICH SHOULD MOVE SLOWLY
EWD/OFF THE ATLANTIC COAST THROUGH THE FIRST HALF OF THE PERIOD.

HOWEVER...MODELS HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS IN
HINTING THAT A FAIRLY POTENT UPPER TROUGH SHOULD CROSS THE ROCKIES
AND AFFECT THE PLAINS ON DAY 7 /SAT. APR. 21/. BOTH FORECAST THAT
AMPLE MOISTURE SHOULD RETURN NWWD ACROSS THE CENTRAL/S CENTRAL CONUS
AHEAD OF A DEVELOPING SURFACE LOW IN THE CENTRAL HIGH PLAINS --
POSSIBLY SETTING THE STAGE FOR A RELATIVELY WIDESPREAD SEVERE
WEATHER EVENT.

THOUGH THE UPPER SYSTEM AND ASSOCIATED SURFACE LOW ARE FORECAST TO
LIFT NEWD TOWARD THE UPPER GREAT LAKES FOR DAY 8...AMOUNT OF
LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE -- AND THUS POTENTIAL FOR AMPLE DESTABILIZATION
-- REMAIN A QUESTION ATTM -- THEREFORE...WILL NOT OUTLOOK AN AREA
FOR DAY 8 ATTM.
178. SteveDa1
23:05 GMT le 15 avril 2007
I remember the superstorm of 93 too... dropped 26 inches here and I'm not in the mountains or favored lake-effect places, I'm actually in a valley (the st-lawrence river valley in QC) so it's quite rare to get such a huge amount of snow.
Member Since: 17 octobre 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1298
177. ecflawthr
23:04 GMT le 15 avril 2007
not to get off topic but anyone have an idea of how bad the hail damage was in the dallas ft. worth area? was it widespread?

thank you
Member Since: 4 septembre 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 202
176. FreeholdBoro
23:04 GMT le 15 avril 2007
In Freehold, NJ at 7pm we are at 986.38 mb and falling rapidly. Winds are now just building and recently gusted to 20 mph. Temp. still 56.
175. weatherboykris
23:02 GMT le 15 avril 2007
It is below the GFS forecast in terms of pressure already.The GFS had it at 984 at 8 PM.It'll be around 982 then.
Member Since: 9 décembre 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
174. stormchasher
22:59 GMT le 15 avril 2007
yeah true the super-storm of 93 really caught me off guard with 20+ inches of snow!!
Member Since: 30 juillet 2006 Posts: 40 Comments: 1295
172. TheCaneWhisperer
22:56 GMT le 15 avril 2007
I haven't looked at the latest GFS but the last I seen was a little stronger than was forcast. I believe it was in the 967 range. I seriously doubt it will get that low, probably in the mid 970's.
171. stormchasher
22:54 GMT le 15 avril 2007
So Cane, how deep do you think this thing will get??
Member Since: 30 juillet 2006 Posts: 40 Comments: 1295
170. TheCaneWhisperer
22:53 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Once the center moves offshore the land friction will be eliminated and it will deepen rapidly. Deepen, meaning winds catching up to the pressure. It is almost there, not yet though.
169. stormchasher
22:52 GMT le 15 avril 2007
I got a pressure of 991.51mbs with wind gusts only at 12mph. BUT i have gotten 2.25in of rain.
Member Since: 30 juillet 2006 Posts: 40 Comments: 1295
168. Skyepony (Mod)
22:49 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Member Since: 10 août 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39380
167. weathergeek5
22:49 GMT le 15 avril 2007
not yet anyway but the winds are starting to increase
Member Since: 25 décembre 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
166. Tazmanian
22:45 GMT le 15 avril 2007
for a Nor'easter it sure not a vary windy one now is it
Member Since: 21 mai 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
165. weathersp
22:43 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Hmmm... well here in Severna Park its 986.4 and still falling rapidly. Winds have piced up also..
Member Since: 14 janvier 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
164. Tazmanian
22:41 GMT le 15 avril 2007
where is dr m may be he can come out and give us a update on what kind of mb this storm has right now

i am seeing mb has low has 968mb
Member Since: 21 mai 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
163. weathergeek5
22:36 GMT le 15 avril 2007
Here in Newark Delaware some changes are happening:

Winds have switched to the Northwest and The pressure is now rising. Cancel that I just checked it is down to 29.22

29.25 and rising
Winds NW: 12mph
with rain

Wind advisory now in affect
Member Since: 25 décembre 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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