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

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

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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

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875. NCWatch
2:04 AM GMT on November 08, 2012
Quoting RTLSNK:


Did you call?
I'm always around reading and learning.
One of these years when I think I have learned enough
about weather from the rest of you, I may post a
comment or two. :)


Me too!
Member Since: May 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 46
874. RTLSNK
3:03 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting TomballTXPride:

Haha! There you are!! Okay...didn't know you read and lurked here. I bounce into Orca's blog every now and then and follow you Guys over there. I love you posts....all of you. But good to see you are around...even though you don't post all that much. :)


Thank you, my background is behavioral science, my knowledge of weather was limited to how it related to military operations.

Grothar has taught me how to do this at least:

Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 22143
873. Abacosurf
3:02 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting AussieStorm:
Mike Bettes ‏@TWCMikeBettes
*Breaking News* - @weatherchannel has just named it's 1st winter storm #Athena
Really????
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 529
872. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
2:57 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
870. Progster
2:52 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting ILwthrfan:


Most impressive totals should occur after sunset, but looks like we are seeing some evaporational cooling taking place in the New Jersey area now, but totals are going to be held down due to sun angle and warm ground temperatures. Don't expect to much to accumulate on concrete surfaces until tonight.



with a north wind, air with a below zero C wetbuld is advecting into the NJ precip area..these are the ingredients for a surprise few inches in spite of warm ground and time of year..but I agree, it would take a lot to have accumulating snow on hard surfaces.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 491
869. RTLSNK
2:49 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting TomballTXPride:

KEEPER ~ Why don't we ever see RSTNLK post in here....?


Did you call?
I'm always around reading and learning.
One of these years when I think I have learned enough
about weather from the rest of you, I may post a
comment or two. :)
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 22143
868. longislander102
2:48 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting AussieStorm:
Testing ..... Testing .... 1....2....3.....
Hello.... can anyone see me????


Yep
Member Since: August 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 146
867. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:48 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56077
866. ILwthrfan
2:45 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting Progster:
Atlantic city, Nov 07 08:54 am

Wind: N 12 Visibility 7.00 mi
Present weather: Light Snow Temperature 37 Dewpoint 34 Pressure: 1011.1 mb

snow due to cooling from precipitation, the "wet bulb effect" It could get heavy before it shifts to all rain...


Most impressive totals should occur after sunset, but looks like we are seeing some evaporational cooling taking place in the New Jersey area now, but totals are going to be held down due to sun angle and warm ground temperatures. Don't expect to much to accumulate on concrete surfaces until tonight.

Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1540
865. CoopsWife
2:44 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Winds here in Middletown/Newport are already steady at 35 with the latest gust at 44. No rain yet. Dewpoint 34, Temp is 45 with a windchill of 36. Going to be a long day. Thankfully the township got all the Sandy debris picked up on our road yesterday, so flying objects should be at a minimum.
Member Since: June 19, 2006 Posts: 63 Comments: 4175
864. LargoFl
2:43 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42134
863. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:43 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting TomballTXPride:

KEEPER ~ Why don't we ever see RSTNLK post in here....?


i don't know
i really don't know him
seen that user name sometimes
in orca's place posting

why you ask
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56077
862. MahFL
2:42 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting JerseyShoreGirl:


Oh goodness no! Lets hope nobody is doing that! Most of the ones I've seen are on concrete blocks or picnic type tables -- heavy sturdy tables several feet from any house or window.


Some already did it and died.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3847
861. LargoFl
2:42 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
NEW CASTLE-SALEM-GLOUCESTER-CAMDEN-NORTHWESTERN BURLINGTON-
DELAWARE-PHILADELPHIA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WILMINGTON...PENNSVILLE...GLASSBORO...
CAMDEN...CHERRY HILL...MOORESTOWN...MOUNT HOLLY...MEDIA...
PHILADELPHIA
340 AM EST WED NOV 7 2012

...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM EST THURSDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOUNT HOLLY HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WARNING FOR SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM EST
THURSDAY. THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 3 TO 5 INCHES.

* TIMING...LIGHT RAIN AND SNOW WILL DEVELOP THIS MORNING...AND
BECOME STEADIER LATER THIS MORNING. AS THE PRECIPITATION FALLS
MORE HEAVILY THIS AFTERNOON...THE PRECIPITATION WILL TAKE THE
FORM OF SNOW...AND THE SNOW MAY FALL HEAVILY AT TIMES THIS
AFTERNOON INTO THIS EVENING.

* IMPACTS...AS THE PRECIPITATION FALLS MORE HEAVILY AND CHANGES TO
SNOW...ACCUMULATIONS ON COLDER SURFACES IS EXPECTED. DURING THE
HEAVIEST OF THE SNOWFALL...SECONDARY ROADS ARE EXPECTED TO
BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLICK. MAIN ARTERIES MAY EXPERIENCE SOME
SLICK SPOTS AS WELL...MAINLY DURING THE MID TO LATE AFTERNOON.

* WINDS...NORTH 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH.

* VISIBILITIES...ONE QUARTER TO ONE HALF MILE AT TIMES.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE MID 30S...BUT TEMPERATURES MAY FALL BACK
CLOSE TO THE FREEZING MARK DURING THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW...
SLEET...AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO
POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.

&&

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42134
859. Progster
2:37 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Atlantic city, Nov 07 08:54 am

Wind: N 12 Visibility 7.00 mi
Present weather: Light Snow Temperature 37 Dewpoint 34 Pressure: 1011.1 mb

snow due to cooling from precipitation, the "wet bulb effect" It could get heavy before it shifts to all rain...
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 491
858. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:37 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56077
857. AussieStorm
2:36 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Testing ..... Testing .... 1....2....3.....
Hello.... can anyone see me????
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
856. Skyepony (Mod)
2:36 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting TomballTXPride:

This is why I love you, Skye!! You post some great links. This is fantastic!!! ;-]

Almost looks to be acquiring some tropical characteristics...


When I refreshed I couldn't see it anymore..I put in a link to the loop. Yeah~ the center looks partially exposed.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39397
854. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:34 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56077
853. AussieStorm
2:33 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Mike Bloomberg @MikeBloomberg
There are more than 200 centers where people can go to stay warm during the day. Here's a list: Link #Noreaster
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
851. Skyepony (Mod)
2:29 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
As much as I like Alexandra..nor'easter does it for me. Click here for loop.. Thanks to RAMSDIS.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39397
850. AussieStorm
2:29 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
235
NOUS71 KVUY 071402
ADMERH

ALERT ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EASTERN REGION
BOHEMIA NY 900 AM EST WED NOVEMBER 7 2012

TO: ALL ER WFOS

TWC HAS NAMED THE NOR'EASTER "ATHENA.." THE NWS DOES NOT USE NAME
WINTER STORMS IN OUR PRODUCTS. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM USING THE TERM
ATHENA IN ANY OF OUR PRODUCTS.

$$

RW

From.... Link
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
849. Matthias1967
2:29 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting ThePineBaron:
I am starting my own winter storm nomenclature system. Why? Because I can. I am going to call this one Alexandra. I am also going to make up my own zip codes and rename all the roads where I live.


Had a girlfriend with that name once. Was hating her after breaking-up. Two decades on hate has faded.
Member Since: August 25, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 62
848. Skyepony (Mod)
2:25 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
I wouldn't be surprised to see Ocean city & the Battery taking around the same observed height..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39397
846. FLWeatherFreak91
2:23 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting islander101010:
cold night in florida but if the forecast is right a rapid warm up this wkend. might have to watch the western carib. again
TWO cold nights! :)
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3634
845. Skyepony (Mod)
2:21 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting TomballTXPride:

The Battery up in NYC was never expected to have too high of a surge, anyway. The most worrisome areas are indeed along the NJ coast, as it appears the worst will come in about high tide with that strong ENE and then NE fetch bringing occasional gusts up to 60 MPH, unfortunately.

Beautiful graph BTW, Skye. I thank you for posting this. ;-]


I was getting to that:)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39397
844. Skyepony (Mod)
2:20 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Bad news is farther south in the Mid-Atlantic area, worst of storm surge is expected nearer to high tide.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39397
843. Grothar
2:20 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
From the Weather Channel



Link
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
841. Grothar
2:18 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
From the Weather Channel

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
840. Skyepony (Mod)
2:17 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting TomballTXPride:

High tide for much of that NJ coast comes in later this afternoon between 1:00 and 2:00 PM EST, Skye.

This is bad news. How can this be better??


The wind is forecast less then before so that is a little better than expected. As for surge. It's beginning to look like the worse storm surge at the Battery will come at low tide..yay. The storm surge itself is down a 1/2 ft from yesterday probilby due to the reduction in winds. The xpected is slightly higher than forecast so overall I'll go not over 8' at The Battery.



Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39397
838. Luisport
2:15 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
7 minAccuWeather.com‏@breakingweather

Wet snowflakes now being reported at Atlantic City, NJ
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2029
836. ILwthrfan
2:11 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
NAM might be over doing it a bit...



GFS might have a better handle on it...



Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1540
835. atris
2:08 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting FunnelVortex:


They said they are not naming this system.


The Weather Channel have .. I dont know if Wunderground is following suit....

Weather channel article link

Link
Member Since: September 9, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 56
832. Luisport
2:04 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Gary Szatkowski‏@GarySzatkowski

#noreaster storm surge continues to build. Atlantic City 1.8 ft Cape May 2.3 ft Lewes DE 2.6 ft. Moderate coastal flooding next high tide.
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2029
830. Skyepony (Mod)
2:02 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Wind forecast looks a little better.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 225 Comments: 39397
829. FunnelVortex
2:01 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting atris:


On Most weather sites ,its being called a Nor'easter or winter storm , but I guess here ,it will be called Athena but the NWS is not....


They said they are not naming this system.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
828. islander101010
1:55 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
cold night in florida but if the forecast is right a rapid warm up this wkend. might have to watch the western carib. again
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 5002
827. longislander102
1:53 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
Quoting ThePineBaron:
I am starting my own winter storm nomenclature system. Why? Because I can. I am going to call this one Alexandra. I am also going to make up my own zip codes and rename all the roads where I live.


ROTFL....
Member Since: August 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 146
825. Luisport
1:52 PM GMT on November 07, 2012
3 minJoe Bastardi‏@BigJoeBastardi

Winds now gusting over 55 mph at Buzzards Bay http://twitter.com/BigJoeBastardi/status/266174977 949171712/photo/1


7 minJoe Bastardi‏@BigJoeBastardi

When was the last time people in NJ saw two major precip events in a row with radar echoes moving west? http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/radar.php?rid=DIX&p roduct=N0R&overlay=11101111&loop=yes
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2029

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