Tag Archive for New York

No worries, a repeat of Sandy not likely this time around

Energy emerging from the Southeast U.S. should form a surface low out in the Atlantic, well east of Florida in the coming days

Energy emerging from the Southeast U.S. should form a surface low out in the Atlantic, well east of Florida in the coming days

Once word got out today about the ECMWF global model predicting a coastal storm that had a track similar to Sandy, the buzz began. As you can imagine, a lot of people are still quite a bit on edge across portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast not quite a year after the most devastating storm event in recent memory. The good news this evening is this: what ever is going to form over the Atlantic in the coming days simply lacks the major ingredients to become another Sandy.

However, a storm along the coast is something to take seriously, especially if it were to track close enough to cause significant problems. A lot will depend, as it always does, on where the storm moves and how strong it is. Each day, the models will paint a slightly different picture but the outcome is probably the same generally speaking – it’s possible that a subtropical type storm will impact portions of the U.S. East Coast this weekend and in to early next week. This seems even more likely for interests in the Canadian Maritimes.

Right now, the players, if you will, are still gathering on the field. We need a couple of more days for the sophisticated models to ingest the upper air data and other parameters that go in to their super-computer calculations before we can really get a grasp on what we might be dealing with.

As for the worry of another epic event like Sandy, put that to rest. This is more like an early Autumn Nor’easter and not an extreme event, not yet anyway. I say that only because you never say never with the weather. I think that Sandy has one very positive lingering effect: its legacy will motivate people to pay closer attention and take action when needed. Kind of the “fool me once….” saying playing out. People are smart and won’t be caught unaware and the increase in people talking about this potential event is evidence of that in my opinion – thus it’s a positive thing.

So let’s see what the next day or two of model cycles bring forth. There will be plenty of people looking at this within the government and private weather firms. I will be curious to read various forecast discussions, particularly from New Jersey and New York. I’ll talk more about that in tomorrow’s post.

M. Sudduth 7:25 pm ET Sept 24

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You have got to be kidding me? Another powerful storm possible for Northeast next week?

ECMWF Day 8 showing yet another large coastal storm off the Northeast

ECMWF Day 8 showing yet another large coastal storm off the Northeast

I thought that perhaps I stumbled across some old link and had to refresh my browser. That did not help. The map was the same. It showed something that nearly made me gasp. Once again the global computer models are aligning to bring a large storm in to the region that Sandy impacted followed by the strong Nor’easter just last week. It’s as if the recent warm up and nice weather was just a tease before the siege begins anew from the Atlantic.

Take a look at the latest run of the ECWMF model that I have posted here. Look at the size of that storm! The fetch of wind across so much of the Atlantic is unsettling to say the least. I don’t know how else to put this other than to say: this is horrible! How much more can these people endure? I hope a lot because if this comes to pass, it will surely test the will of the storm-weary people who live along the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast.

Sea surface temperatures in the NW Atlantic clearly running well above normal

Sea surface temperatures in the NW Atlantic clearly running well above normal

What is the reason behind so much storminess? It’s the pattern we’re in. We see these deep troughs of low pressure digging in across the East Coast with plenty of upper level energy diving in which in turn spawns these giant ocean storms just off shore. It is interesting to note that water temps across the northwest Atlantic are running several degrees above normal right now. Maybe this is helping to fuel these storms? What ever the background reason is, it is becoming a real problem. Hopefully this scenario is far enough out in time that the models will change enough and in our favor so as to not have to deal with this. I worry though that the ECMWF, which handled Sandy’s fate very well this far out in time, is on to something once again, especially since the pattern is so remarkably similar – minus the hurricane coming out of the Caribbean of course.

Needless to say we will want to watch the evolution of this potential storm very closely. I’ll stay on top of it and post another update this evening. At least the tropics are quiet with no areas what so ever to be concerned with.

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Strong coastal storm now in progress but after this, a nicer pattern

Coastal storm off shore of the Northeast United States

Coastal storm off shore of the Northeast United States

The much-talked about Nor’easter is now raging off the coast of New Jersey and New York with strong winds, cold, snow, sleet, rain and coastal flooding all on the list of issues that people in the region will face today and tonight.

There is not much to add in terms of what people can expect. I think the heightened awareness of this storm because of Sandy’s aftermath situation means that as many people know about this as can be expected.

I do think that this afternoon’s high tide, coming in now, and then the one late tonight, will have the biggest impacts on the area with minor to moderate flooding possible. Luckily, the storm is not coming inland, pushing all of that water with it as Sandy did. Instead, we have a fairly long fetch of wind blowing across the open Atlantic for a few hundred miles and that piles up the water along the coast, not allowing the high tides to recede much.

Once past the high tide cycle late tonight/early tomorrow morning, the danger of coastal flooding will diminish. The issue will then become snow, cold and wind. For areas where power has not been restored in the wake of Sandy, the cold air will be a problem and people need to be prepared with extra sources of warmth.

By later tomorrow, the storm will be moving away and the region can finally begin to really dig in and put their energy in to recovery – from both storms.

The weather pattern next week changes to one of less storms in the East coupled with a nice warm-up. This should bring plenty of hope for the area since people will have a respite from having to look over their shoulder for the next menacing coastal storm. Perhaps it will be a while before we have to worry about that again.

As far the tropics go, there is really nothing to discuss of any significance anywhere in the Atlantic Basin. This time of year we see activity wane considerably and while it is possible that we’ll see one more named storm, I think it is more likely that we’re done until 2013. We’ll see, nothing is showing up in the long range models and that is the best news of all.

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Storm surge and high wind real concerns for Northeast

Ocean Prediction Center's Extra-tropical Storm Surge Model

Ocean Prediction Center's Extra-tropical Storm Surge Model

You can’t see it yet but a new coastal storm, a typical Nor’easter, is going to form off the Carolina coast tomorrow and track roughly parallel to the Eastern Seaboard and bring with it an increase in wind, rain, inland snows and a coastal storm surge.

All of the regional NWS offices are talking about the storm in their forecast discussions and it looks as though the areas hit hardest by Sandy will again be lashed by this system.

So far, the rain fall looks to be minimal enough to preclude any concerns about inland flooding. The heaviest rains will likely be near the coast which makes sense considering that this is a coastal storm and is not forecast to cross the coast or make a landfall. However, with many homes and businesses sustaining roof damage during Sandy, this rain is a serious issue and could cause further damage. If there is any chance to tarp open roof damage areas, now is the time to get it done.

Wind speeds will also be highest along the coast with gale force winds almost a certainty. From what I have seen, some of the strongest winds will be felt along the New Jersey and New York coasts with winds approaching 60 mph in gusts. This will be more than enough to knock the power back out for people who have recently had it restored. Here too, make sure any preparations to keep warm in case of power loss needs to be done now. Ask local relief agencies for battery powered lights and extra blankets today. The infrastructure is more vulnerable right now and it won’t take much to bring down additional trees and plunge large areas, especially near the coast, in to darkness once again.

Storm surge from extra-tropical storms such as this one can cause moderate tidal flooding which can extend in to back bays along the coast. Sadly, hurricane Sandy removed much of the protective dune system which will allow for more over wash and surge to reach in to some coastal towns. We could be looking at anywhere from two to four feet of flooding but a lot will depend on the track of the low and the duration of the long fetch of wind across the western Atlantic. A faster moving storm would be better, obviously. Again, from what I have gathered by reading the various NWS discussions, it looks as though the Wednesday night high tide will be the one of most concern – especially along northern New Jersey and some areas of Long Island.

As I have mentioned numerous times, utilize your local NWS info by going to weather.gov and inputting your ZIP Code. Read the content of the “Hazardous Weather Conditions” if the local office has put one up for the current storm. Here you will find more detailed information about timing and expected impacts to your local area. Keep in mind this is written by people in your region, not by a computer or from a cable TV news source. I highly encourage the use of the NWS local products, especially when it is important to understand the local impacts of a storm like the pending Nor’easter.

Luckily, the tropics are quiet with absolutely no areas to be concerned with in the coming days. We are nearing the end of a very busy hurricane season that will be remembered for generations to come because of Sandy and its legacy. For the people who are going through the painful and slow recovery process, hang in there. A lot of people are working to provide assistance for what is an overwhelming disaster. This current storm will be a set back for some, but it will not be nearly as intense or widespread as Sandy. That being said, it needs to be taken seriously and precautions taken to prevent further loss of life and even more damage to property.

I’ll post more here tomorrow morning with more specifics about what to expect as the storm begins to develop off the North Carolina coast.

 

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