High tide in New York brings flooding

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:14 AM GMT on April 16, 2007

Winds from the 2007 Nor'easter have pushed a two foot storm surge on top of an unusually high "Spring Tide" into the New York City area at the time of this evening's 7:30pm EDT high tide,(Figure 1). Battering waves on top of the storm surge have undoubtedly caused significant coastal erosion, and possibly damage to some structures along the coast. It could have been worse for New York City, as the peak storm surge of 2.5 feet occurred during the afternoon before high tide. Sustained winds of tropical storm force have been observed most of the day south of Long Island at Ambrose Light, and in Long Island Sound. The situation is worse along the western shores of Long Island Sound, where strong winds have already generated a 3-foot storm surge, which was still increasing in height as of 7:30pm EDT. High tide at King's Point is not until 9:30pm EDT tonight; Long Island Sound may see a destructive 4-foot storm surge at that time (Figure 2).

The Nor'easter is moving slower that expected, and is still centered over North Carolina at 7pm EDT. Central pressure continues to fall rapidly, and is down to 981 mb. The storm is expected to continue to intensify down to 973 mb, and track NNE up the New Jersey coast and over New York City. By 8am EDT Monday, the storm will peak in intensity over Connecticut and stall.

Figure 1. Tidal levels observed at The Battery in New York City as of 7:30pm EDT Sunday April 15. Note that water levels peaked at 2.5 feet above normal during the afternoon, but fell to 2 feet above normal at the time of high tide.

The storm surge from today's storm will rival some of the largest ones ever observed in New York, such as during the "Perfect Storm" of October 31, 1991, 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, and 5.5 feet in western Long Island Sound. It is possible that the flooding levels seen in the December 1992 Nor'easter will be exceeded in western Long Island Sound tonight.

Figure 2. Tidal levels observed at King's Point in western Long Island Sound on April 15, 2007.

There is too much other remarkable weather to cover in detail. The entire Northeast coast will see an extended period of storm surge flooding, battering waves, and high winds that will likely cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Heavy rains of over four inches have already fallen at New York's Central Park, a tornado from the storm has caused extensive damage in South Carolina that killed one person, and near blizzard conditions are affecting some mountainous regions of New England.

Mount Washington weather
It's a night to hunker down and stay inside at the Mount Washington observatory in New Hampshire. Winds at 8pm EDT were sustained at 70 mph, gusting to 77, and steadily rising. Keep an eye on the history page for Mount Washington to follow the remarkable weather conditions there.

I'll edit this blog tonight to update the water levels and winds, and have a full new blog Monday morning, and there will also be a separate update on the East Coast Winter Storm blog.

Jeff Masters

Fire Flood Rescue (GGGJerseyGuy)
North Eastern Floods New Jersey with heavy rains and wind. Rain totaling up to 5 inche. Here is a photo of a fire rescue in Lodi New Jersey on Main st and Union ave.
Fire Flood Rescue
Sellersville, PA NorEaster (clicks4fun)
Spring deluge - around 1 p.m. - water still rising - roads are being closed - and many more hours of rain to come!
Sellersville, PA NorEaster

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189. seminolesfan
2:08 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Has anyone looked at the winds on Mt. Wash this AM?

108 mph sustained, w/gusts to 137!!
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188. tara77
1:51 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Here in Port Jervis, Ny we have a 974.2Pa. We have had approx 7.27" of rain since yesterday morning. Rivers are up there and schools are closed in fear of flooding situation. At 8am the Delaware in Port Jervis was 9.98 and begining flood stage is 12feet.
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187. DocBen
1:47 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Crazy - got a link for that? I'd love to see that in motion.

I was in a storm once near Chicago that had an eye. Wind and rain; then suddenly clear; then return wind/rain from the opposite direction.
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186. Patrap
8:26 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
if 956.9..was/is...Id be really impressed.LOL
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185. CrazyDuke
1:09 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
Is it me or is an eyewall trying to organize on top of Long Island?
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184. SteveDa1
9:21 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
956.9 is correct:

But the center of the low is clearly over long Island so isn't that where the lowest pressure would be?
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183. TAC9
9:19 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
My pressure is currently 988mb in Brockton, Mass (South Shore). We have had about 2 1/2" of rain so far. Right now we have light rain and the winds have really died down. Does anyone think my pressure will drop further?
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181. SteveDa1
9:11 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
956.9hPa? Are you sure it's not 965.9hPa? Cause that's really low...

Anyways, someone was laughing at me when I said it would get down betwee 965-970mb and the pressure at New York City as of 9:00AM is 969.6mb.
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1312
180. ajcamsmom
8:07 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Just thinking...I am just glad that enough notice was given for those with good common sense to prepare for this. I also went ahead and looked at the 1993 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which did not look too bad to me. I did notice that the SST's are a bit higher this year. All in all, I would not mind copying that year's Hurricane Season this time around. At least from what I could tell of it.
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179. HopquickSteve
1:07 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
The lowest pressure I stumbled across was in NJ at about 956.9hPa. That's really low.
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178. TheShovler3
1:02 PM GMT on April 16, 2007
I live in south east NY by the CT,MA, NY border, recieved over 6.5" of rain and nearly everything is flooding over, the only good thing here is the terrain is hilly enough not to create massive widespread flooding. We have a pond which overspread its banks and is 4 times orginal size hit our electrical box whiped it out and is now smoking. Should be fun registered a wind gust at 59mph
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177. Bonedog
8:47 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
impressive looking storm.

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176. Bonedog
8:25 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Oh yea it did. Folks should heed this. Imagine if we had higher winds.. I think towns and cities will update emergency managment plans.

We still havent seen the end of the rain and the rivers are way above flood stage already. On my way home I will try and stop by the local dam and shoot some photos of the spill over. They are calling for a historical crest at the dam later today.
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175. Patrap
7:22 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Best be glad it isnt Aug or Sept Bonedog..this in a way.. is a good eye-opener to many.
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174. Bonedog
8:08 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Back. water level is just below the top of the piers!! Just thanking God that the winds have shifted to the NW and the waves are being knocked down a little. If this was stil an East wind then we would be overtoped.

Rain is starting to pick up and so is my baramoter.. showing 966.2 and rising. That makes the 964.4mb earlier the lowest reading on mine. 964 amazing for a non tropical system (pressure equal to a strong cat 2 low cat 3) Im just glad wind speeds didnt equal pressures or we would have been in deep trouble here.

We are looking at our strongest winds later today. NWS is reporting 25 to 35mph gusts to 40 for later today. I am wondering how many power outages will result due to the saturated ground being able to release its grip on trees once the winds pick up.
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173. weathersp
8:03 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Final Rain Total for Severna Park,MD is 2.67" and the lowest pressure recorded is 982.2mb or 29.01" Highest wind gust so far today is 41 mph out of the NW.
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172. IKE
7:00 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Check out the pressure at Central Park!

"Observed at: Central Park, New York
Elevation: 89 ft / 27 m
[Light Rain]
44 ░F / 7 ░C
Light Rain Mist
Humidity: 93%
Dew Point: 42 ░F / 6 ░C
Wind: 9 mph / 15 km/h / 4.1 m/s from the North
Pressure: 28.64 in / 970 hPa (Rising)
Windchill: 39 ░F / 4 ░C
Visibility: 2.0 miles / 3.2 kilometers
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Overcast 700 ft / 213 m
(Above Ground Level)".......
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171. Bonedog
7:58 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Ok 3 minutes past high tide here going to look at the water level.
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170. Bonedog
7:56 AM EDT on April 16, 2007

check the link out to see how high the rivers in my area are running. BTW purple dots signify major flooding. Click any dot to see update height.
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169. Patrap
6:55 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
This mornings high tide just surpassed last nights here at the Battery..due to the slowing and lingering..Link
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168. Patrap
6:53 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Battery Park Tides graph..updated and enlarged..Link
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167. Bonedog
7:52 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
check this out.. Link

its a combined IR image of the storm with overlayed wind barbs and significant wave height in feet. I wont spoil the surprise by telling you what it shows
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166. Patrap
6:51 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Yeah..the GFSx showed that could happen Saturday..its going to linger..thats not a good secnario..Link
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165. Bonedog
7:46 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
check out the storm surge models for the Northeast


Patrap they are forcasting a retrogrde on this system then a departure later Tuesday into Wednesday
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164. sxwarren
11:40 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Station 44005 - GULF OF MAINE 78 NM EAST OF PORTSMOUTH,NH (+/- 250 miles from storm center?)

6:40am EDT

29.30" (992.2mb) falling rapidly
18' wave hgt
35kt sustained wind, gusts to 45kts (due east)

.75" rain in Midcoast Maine in the past 2 hours
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163. Patrap
6:47 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Take prudent measures to stay safe Bonedog..
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162. Patrap
6:46 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Im sure that Dr. Masters will have an update later this morning for us to see.
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161. Bonedog
7:45 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Yup. I noticed that earlier this morning when I got my WXFax. The gradient is actually tightest in the southwestern quadrent so I will see my highest winds later this morning into early evening.
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160. Patrap
6:44 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
The system has slowed to a crawl as it now organizes and stays around drifting slowly for another day. Things along the coast could become problamatic thru the next 24hours...too.
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159. Patrap
6:41 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
The backside of that thing ,,is pretty stiff too,..the winds will be gusty. Notice here,..how the isobars are tighter on the coastal land side than the ocean side. Link
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158. Bonedog
7:40 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
High tide expect in the next 10 minutes or so. I will go out and see where the water level is.
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157. PerfectNoreaster07
11:39 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
It appears an eye like feature is trying to develop east of southern New Jersey.
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156. Patrap
6:39 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
If wandering out in floodwaters..ALWAYS carry a large stick or other implement to probe ahead.We lost 2 people after Katrina in our group to just walking into open submerged manhole covers. A real danger they are..pass the word on that if venturing out Chaser.
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155. Bonedog
7:38 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Local news reporting we are under the "eye" right now. Meaning low winds no precip. within the next few hours though we will see the winds shift to the NW then W and pick up again and get the wrap around moisture.
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154. Patrap
6:37 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Certainly...I was just relating how its not WHAT brings the misery..its the effects that count.No slight intended....its only Monday.
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153. stormchasher
7:37 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Will try Pat !! Gotta go out to town and help clean up around the town!
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152. Bonedog
7:34 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Patrap I didnt say it was a cat anything I was relating what 965mb pressures to. Sort of an anology. Even the news reports are doing the same.

The winds here are about 12mph gusting 20 so I know its not even a bad wind storm.
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151. Patrap
6:34 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Thats a big drop as it came in on the Buoy data..always impressive to see a drop like that.Link
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150. Patrap
6:34 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Stay safe..chaser..Get some pics!.
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149. thelmores
1:39 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Station 44025 - LONG ISLAND 33 NM South of Islip, NY

Wave Height (WVHT): 17.1 ft
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 28.59 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY):
-0.06 in ( Falling )
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148. Patrap
6:33 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
Buoy 44040..Long Island area...Link
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147. stormchasher
7:31 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Thanks Pat i kenw that there was something different between the two!!!:) My town is flooding as i type! and my basement is flooding!!!
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146. Patrap
6:28 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
The animated infrared in Motion..Its a Noreaster...closing off this morning offshore...the pressures dont relate to a warm cored wind field...its cold cored..a big difference. A warm cored Hurricane is Vertically stacked around a tight center..This isnt. But the wind field is large and the effects are widespread.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 139984
145. stormchasher
7:27 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Bone isnt 965 cat 4 pressure?? Hey i only got my degree at severe weather not tropical weather!:)
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144. Patrap
6:24 AM CDT on April 16, 2007
That isnt a Cat-3,,,nor a cat anything.Its a cold core..Noreaster...Period.
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143. Bonedog
7:22 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
I think we may see Cat 3 pressures here.. only needs another .7mb to reach it.
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142. Bonedog
7:18 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Just looked at the barometer... 965.6mb!!! falling still.
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141. PerfectNoreaster07
11:18 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Currently here on Cape Cod, MA heavy wind driven rain with gusts almost 50mph and sustained 30-35mph. The lowest pressure so far here has been 983mb and the highest wind gust reported by the NWS has been 63mph here.
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140. Bonedog
7:09 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
NJ now in a state of emergency due to historic river floding. Acting Gov Codey issued state of emergency after 50 to 80 major roads are flooded and most if not all rivers are at flood stage and forcast to reach historical crests.

Local news stations reporting pressures as low as a Cat 2 Hurricane (thank god the winds dont match!!) A reporter for the local Fox news station has said pressures are now lower then The Storm Of The Century, Perfect Storm, And the 1992 Storm. They are expecting the pressure to continue to fall as the day progresses forcast to bottom out at 964mb!

I can tell you this folks the water is getting higher here at the piers! Almost even with the top of them. Guesstimating about 8 inches to a foot below the top. Normally these piers stand 5 to 10 feet above the water level (I work on container ships not pleasure boats) so the water being this high is cause for concern as high tide is still 45 minutes away and the winds are pushing the waves up the channel still. Camera is at the ready!
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139. stormchasher
7:14 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
My current pressure is 968.0mbs!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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