Wednesday's Nor'easter to have lower impact than originally feared

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:11 PM GMT on November 06, 2012

Share this Blog
38
+

An early-season Nor'easter is taking shape along the coast of South Carolina today, but is now forecast to be weaker and move farther offshore than originally forecast, resulting in lower impacts to the New Jersey and New York coasts than originally feared. The storm will head north-northeast along the coast on Wednesday, intensifying into a 990 mb Nor'easter, a few hundred miles south of Long Island, NY, by Wednesday evening. The storm will likely bring wind gusts up to 50 mph and a storm surge of 2 - 3 feet along the coasts of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, including New York City. High waves of 10 - 20 feet will ride on top of this surge, and cause moderate beach erosion along much of the coastline damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The greatest flooding will occur during the Wednesday early afternoon high tide cycle, near 1 pm EST. Fortunately, the high tides this week will be some of the lowest of the month, since we are midway between the new moon and full moon. The Nor'easter's strongest winds will likely affect eastern Long Island and coastal Massachusetts, where wind gusts up to 60 mph will be possible Wednesday evening and Thursday. The storm's heaviest rains will stay offshore, and only Eastern Massachusetts can expect to see more than 1" of rain. The storm isn't going to tap into a large reservoir of cold, Arctic air, which will limit snowfall amounts to perhaps 1 - 2" along a swath from Northern New Jersey northeastwards, across Western Massachusetts and into Maine. While the storm will slow down recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy, this is a pretty ordinary Nor'easter of the type the Northeast sees several times per year, and will not cause major damage.


Figure 1. Predicted wind speed for 1 pm EST Wednesday, November 7, 2012, from the 12Z (7 am EST) run of the GFS model made on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Winds tropical storm-force (39+ mph) are predicted to affect Southern New Jersey, eastern Long Island, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, but miss the areas hardest hit by Sandy--northern New Jersey and the New York City area.


Figure 2. Predicted storm surge at Sandy Hook, NJ for Wednesday's Nor'easter, from the experimental Extratropical Storm Surge model, run by NOAA"s Meteorological Development Laboratory. This model used winds from this morning's 6Z (1 am EDT) run of the GFS model. The peak storm surge (yellowish-brown line) is predicted to be 3.7', occurring Wednesday afternoon. High tide (green line) occurs near 1 pm Wednesday afternoon, resulting in a peak storm tide of approximately 7.8' around 1 pm Wednesday (black line). For comparison, Sandy delivered a 8.6' storm surge to Sandy Hook before their tide gauge failed, with the storm tide reaching 13.2' above MLLW (Mean Lower Low Water.)

More Sandy links
I gave a TED talk in Bermuda in October 2011, and presented a list of nine potential $100 billion weather disasters that could happen in the next 30 years. Number six on my list was a hurricane hitting New York City. “We really don’t know what climate change is going to do to hurricanes,” I said, “but it makes sense that it’ll probably make the strongest ones stronger.” If you want to see what I had to say about a hurricane hitting New York City, plus the other eight disasters I think have at least a 10% chance of happening in the next 30 years, the 18-minute video is up on the main TED site. (I've since updated my list to twelve potential $100 billion disasters, and plan on running a blog series on the topic in 2013.)

Was Sandy a hurricane at landfall? Lee Grenci, a senior lecturer and forecaster at the Department of Meteorology at Penn State, weighs in on the matter in this guest blog post. He presents evidence that Sandy was not a hurricane at landfall, and was instead a rapidly evolving hybrid storm. Lee , who is a frequent contributor to Weatherwise magazine, will be joining wunderground as a featured blogger in December, and we're looking forward to having his excellent writings!

Be sure to vote today!

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 75 - 25

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18Blog Index

Quoting Progster:



Phasing: the net amplitude caused by two or more waves traversing the same space is the sum of the amplitudes which would have been produced by the individual waves separately.
In weather, we sometimes have a wave associated with the subtropical jet stream that will line up, from south to north, with a wave associated with the Polar jet stream. This can create a big hemispheric wave and transport a lot of energy from the tropics into the mid latitudes and arctic, and can drive very cold air well to the south, creating strong baroclinicity. Phasing is therefore associated with powerful storms.


Thank you Progster,
Put that way and so well explained even I get it..LOL.
Thanks for your time. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
yes we were real dry also,some nice rain came down here this morning, stopped now and for the first time in i guess 9 months i can shut the air off and open the windows..ahhhh feels great!!


We are supposed to have lows in the low 50's for the next few days. Looking forward to that after a very long hot summer
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS at 48 hours..................
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FtMyersgal:
Thanks for the update Dr. Masters. I sure hope the lastest forcasts hold and the storm for the northeast will not be as bad as originally forcast. FWIW, I am finally getting some much needed rain. Hasn't rained in almost two months. It won't be much but anything will be welcome
yes we were real dry also,some nice rain came down here this morning, stopped now and for the first time in i guess 9 months i can shut the air off and open the windows..ahhhh feels great!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pcola57:


Hello ConnecticutWXGuy,
Can you help me out with your phasing and what it means..
I guess to simplfy..What is phasing?
Thanks.. :)



Phasing: the net amplitude caused by two or more waves traversing the same space is the sum of the amplitudes which would have been produced by the individual waves separately.
In weather, we sometimes have a wave associated with the subtropical jet stream that will line up, from south to north, with a wave associated with the Polar jet stream. This can create a big hemispheric wave and transport a lot of energy from the tropics into the mid latitudes and arctic, and can drive very cold air well to the south, creating strong baroclinicity. Phasing is therefore associated with powerful storms.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
16 stratcat: Why did the models make such a major shift in cyclogenesis location in such a short span of time and so close to the forecast period?

Looks like the same slow-down in travel speed that's projected to cause the coastal arrival of the peak surge to now overlap the low tide rather than the high tide as formerly projected will allow the front from the Gulf of Alaska* to have more time to shove the Nor'easter more eastward.

* formerly the major cyclone within the GoA
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
Forecast to be just a few feet short of flooding the subways again..
The water table is a concern in New Jersey, as I understand it.

Hard to believe so many folks live on the edge of what wants to be waterland.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Ryan Maue‏@RyanMaue

@AmWx_Adam over/under on minimum pressure going below 980 mb? Currently at ~1010 mb http://twitter.com/RyanMaue/status/265880912703664 128/photo/1

16 minAdam Moyer‏@AmWx_Adam

Both Euro and GFS increased amounts farther north at 12z as well
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1948
Quoting ARiot:


All "day after tomorrow" jokes aside, that's an important, long term modeling challenge. The "what if" AGW makes parts of the northern hemisphere too cold to sustain modern civilization. And, if it can result in that, is it rapid (decades), fast (centuries) or slow (geologic time frames)?

The thing which is probably going to make the Northern Hemisphere unfit for human habitation is not the cold as the humans are a highly mobile lot. What the problem will be is the loss of shoreline areas and nearby flat arable lands, coupled with a massive increase in population from desertification of southern areas and added to this civil unrest due to territorial rights and claims.
Now add to the above, population growth,and increased destructive storm activity, a few epidemics and toss in the odd famine.
Look at what one storm has done to the US North East. If the figures are counted up allready a lot of people are homeless, or worse groundless, as the land their home was on is gone!
Storms have been a much greater threat than cold from the year 2000 onwards.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ConnecticutWXGuy:
Looks like the models are indicating less phasing resulting in a weaker/further East storm. What this means for southern New England is a bit more wintry precip, less winds, less overall precipitation.


Hello ConnecticutWXGuy,
Can you help me out with your phasing and what it means..
I guess to simplfy..What is phasing?
Thanks.. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stratcat:
Thanks, Dr. Why did the models make such a major shift in cyclogenesis location in such a short span of time and so close to the forecast period?


It actually hasn't been a major shift track-wise.... strengthwise it has been a fairly significant change. When it comes to Nor'Easters it only takes a difference of 50 to 75 miles (which is very small) and 5 or 10MB to make a world of difference.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like the models are indicating less phasing resulting in a weaker/further East storm. What this means for southern New England is a bit more wintry precip, less winds, less overall precipitation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Those areas and waters will start evolving into our Nor'easter soon..

Quoting MrMixon:






(I noticed in the radar loop above there is a narrow, nearly motionless band of shower activity that lines up almost perfectly with the Cape Lookout barrier island chain off the North Carolina coast. Coincidence? Or is this some sort of land/cloud interaction?).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
61. bwi
I really appreciated the TED talk. I know it's historically a rarer track than NYC, but I'd be interested in whether there's good modeling on the impact of a major hurricane pushing water up the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac rivers, and what the probabilities of that might be. Maybe not in your top nine, but certainly would be a high impact event. The last major storm surge flooding in this area was from Hurricane Isabel I think, but that was nowhere near a worst case, I bet. A Cat 3 hurricane on a N or NW track into the DC area would flood National airport, the Blue Plains water treatment plant (?) and possibly the Washington Metro system at L'Enfant Plaza (?) Regional impact would be similar to Sandy I'd bet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks for the update Dr. Masters. I sure hope the lastest forcasts hold and the storm for the northeast will not be as bad as originally forcast. FWIW, I am finally getting some much needed rain. Hasn't rained in almost two months. It won't be much but anything will be welcome
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MrMixon:


Ha! Yeah, apparently those folks from the Carolinas are sensitive about it. I note you gave "the Virginias" similar treatment, so at least you're not picking on one particular group.

Frankly, us folks in the Colorados don't get why it's such a big deal... ;)



(I noticed in the radar loop above there is a narrow, nearly motionless band of shower activity that lines up almost perfectly with the Cape Lookout barrier island chain off the North Carolina coast. Coincidence? Or is this some sort of land/cloud interaction?).


Not sure..I didn't see that before you pointed it out..hummm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ChillinInTheKeys:
"A giant flood of Arctic meltwater may have triggered an ancient 1,200-year-long chill nicknamed the "Big Freeze," the last major cold age on Earth, a new study finds."

Link

Thought I'd bring this over from the last blog since it was up for only about 3 minutes.


All "day after tomorrow" jokes aside, that's an important, long term modeling challenge. The "what if" AGW makes parts of the northern hemisphere too cold to sustain modern civilization. And, if it can result in that, is it rapid (decades), fast (centuries) or slow (geologic time frames)?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pcola57:


Don't want press on my tail..LOL.. :)


Ha! Yeah, apparently those folks from the Carolinas are sensitive about it. I note you gave "the Virginias" similar treatment, so at least you're not picking on one particular group.

Frankly, us folks in the Colorados don't get why it's such a big deal... ;)



(I noticed in the radar loop above there is a narrow, nearly motionless band of shower activity that lines up almost perfectly with the Cape Lookout barrier island chain off the North Carolina coast. Coincidence? Or is this some sort of land/cloud interaction?).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting plutorising:
so quiet this morning. it's stopped raining in atlanta area and the sun's out. it's getting colder.


brrr its still cloudy here where I am. (little north of Atlanta)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
no it was a nice rain, steady and dripping for hours. very pleasant, even some thunder midmorning. glad to see it's been downgraded as a possibility for coastal ny/nj where they don't need the insult. good luck cape cod.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting plutorising:
so quiet this morning. it's stopped raining in atlanta area and the sun's out. it's getting colder.


Stopped here in p'cola also..wasn't really much to speak of anyway..
.13" at my reporting station..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MrMixon:
#42

+1 for use of the word "Carolinas". :)


Don't want press on my tail..LOL.. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
so quiet this morning. it's stopped raining in atlanta area and the sun's out. it's getting colder.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
#42

+1 for use of the word "Carolinas". :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Here's a webcam in Bensalem, PA showing the outer bands of the approaching Nor'easter:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4KM visible satellite East Coast

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HIGH RESOLUTION 00TO48 00Z/12Z RUNS ONLY
RUN 12Z HR 48

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HIGH RESOLUTION 00TO48 00Z/12Z RUNS ONLY
RUN 12Z HR 42

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1 KM Visible Satellite for Virginias

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HIGH RESOLUTION 00TO48 00Z/12Z RUNS ONLY
RUN 12Z HR 36

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pcola57:
1 KM Visible Satellite for Carolinas


North Carolina looks a lot more cloudy than South Carolina.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1 KM Visible Satellite for Carolinas

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thank you Dr. Masters
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stratcat:
Thanks, Dr. Why did the models make such a major shift in cyclogenesis location in such a short span of time and so close to the forecast period?


Probably better information input is my guess..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Winds already steady from N.E. about 15 to 20 m.p.h. here in Northeast N.C.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Dr. Masters!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Most of us look at weather maps on occasion. Some are better at recognizing boundaries than others.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A couple of you folks are once again doing a terrible job of hiding your crush on the other bloggers here. I've said it before, and it seems appropriate to say it again this morning. Get a room.

And if you actually dislike the blogger to whom you keep referring (over and over and over...) I'd suggest ignoring said blogger and talking about other things, as bickering and personal attacks will get your posts flagged.

Here's a topic suggestion: the weather.

Speaking of which, this webcam in Greentree, South Carolina is showing some interesting banding in the Nor'easter clouds (near the very bottom):



And this cam (a little further south in Charleston, SC) is also showing some banding as well as clearing skies as the storm moves north along the Atlantic coast (and away from South Carolina).



(I've been scouring the wundermap for webcams with interesting perspectives on the Nor'easter and these are the best two I've found so far... looking for one out ahead of the storm that shows it approaching, but no luck yet...)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting overwash12:
I went to Nags Head for Halloween bar hoppin' seems like people down there are in good spirits!

I know the recovery effort is going pretty well, at least according to my cousin in NYC. She has power and hot water back. I think they will be just fine in the Mid Atlantic and NE.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomballTXPride:
Guess Nea only got an hour. He's back posting in the previous blog now tying up loose ends...


quite thorough. Why are we so concerned lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:

I am positive that this storm won't be as bad as the last. It will have some impacts, but not nearly as bad as Sandy.
I went to Nags Head for Halloween, bar hoppin', seems like people down there are in good spirits!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting overwash12:
I like Him,you just have to know how to take him! He means well. Hopefully this storm won't be as bad as the last,btw.

I am positive that this storm won't be as bad as the last. It will have some impacts, but not nearly as bad as Sandy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
31. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:



will that get over the wall though?
i doubt it.


I wanna say that's somewhere around 8' but not sure. The next two & especially the 2nd tide cycle should be telling if it's running above forecast like Sandy pulled..or not.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36074
Quoting TomballTXPride:

LOL. Cute how you said that. But that's a negative. I like him/her. But we all get over-emotional at times and that's understandable. It's human nature and we all foul up. No biggie.
I like Him,you just have to know how to take him! He means well. Hopefully this storm won't be as bad as the last,btw.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


I'm sure Nea has something to say about that, bring it back up when he isnt banned lol.


intense cold and bouts of extreme snow are likly in an alter pattern in a warming world

there could even be alter cold regions from the norm as well

i like to call it cold air displacement

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
Forecast to be just a few feet short of flooding the subways again..



will that get over the wall though?
i doubt it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomballTXPride:
Guess Nea only got an hour. He's back posting in the previous blog now tying up loose ends...
I take it you are no fan of the Wise One!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
25. Skyepony (Mod)
Forecast to be just a few feet short of flooding the subways again..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36074

Viewing: 75 - 25

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18Blog Index

Top of Page

About JeffMasters

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