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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139. stormchasher
7:14 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
My current pressure is 968.0mbs!!!!!!!!!!!!
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138. pottery
7:12 AM AST on April 16, 2007
" Ex-Generals say that global warming will affect American security "

You dont say.
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137. sxwarren
10:44 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Station ALSN6 - Ambrose Light, NY 6:00am EDT

28.55", 966.81mb (falling)

CAT-1, 28.94", 980mb
CAT-2, 28.50"-28.91", 965mb-979mb
CAT-3, 27.91"-28.47", 945mb-964mb
CAT-4, 27.17"-27.88", 920mb-944mb
CAT-5, <27.17", <920mb
Member Since: October 29, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 103
136. pottery
6:25 AM AST on April 16, 2007
My Goodness !!!!!!!!!
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135. sullivanweather
10:26 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Ambrose light 966.8mb (28.55
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134. Bonedog
6:07 AM EDT on April 16, 2007
Observation at PAM site
for Apr 16, 2007 at 06:00 EDT

Winds: 6.8 knts 310* NW
Temp: 35*F 2*C
Wet Bulb: 97.5%
Pressure: 964.4mb


Well I guess I missed it :( My daughter was sick yesterday so it was a day indoors. By 4am this morning during my commute I didnt see much in the way of anything. I am now on the waterfront and must say the water is HIGH still 2 hours till high tide and the water is almost at the top of the docks. I have the camera with me but as of right now I just have wet pavement to look at and a few puddles nothing of importance. I guess I missed this one :(

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133. sfranz
9:18 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
My understanding is that 970 is well within the range of many hurricanes. The 1993 superstorm checked in at 960. This storm seems to be within that range based on pressure readings. We'll have to wait for the "official" numbers.

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132. sfranz
9:12 AM GMT on April 16, 2007

One last rotation picture of the storm center.

Storm Center appx 4:30 a.m.
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131. weathergeek5
9:07 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
The 1993 superstorm broke low pressure readings, this one is very close to that one now!!
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130. Scotchtape
8:45 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
I checked on Allendale, NJ and it's at an elevation of 354 ft. Would that explain the crazy pressure readings? Also, just how bad could this storm get? Have there been lower pressure readings in other Nor'easters over the years, or is this system one of the worst? Thanks.
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129. sfranz
8:31 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
4:30 AM EDT Pressure Checks

Buffalo NY 997 hPa

Concord NH 991 hPa

Boston MA 988 hPa

Woonsocket RI 982 hPa

Albany NY 979.9 hPa

Trenton NJ 970 hPa

Philadelphia PA 974 hPa

New York NY 971 hPa

Dover DE 980 hPa

Hartford CT 976 hPa

Norfolk VA 991 hPa

Pittsburgh PA 1001 hPa
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128. StoryOfTheCane
8:28 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
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127. sfranz
8:22 AM GMT on April 16, 2007

Yep. The circulation was briefly closed
but I don't know if that will last. Butler NJ is down to 958.Jefferson township is reporting 944.
Allendale has 867 but I'm not buying that.

More pictures of the storm center rotation

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126. flibinite
8:03 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Thanks, sfranz... just what I wanted/needed, and you're right, it doesn't look too bad, or at least not as bad as I expected, considering. :-)

And 960 now... gahhh!

Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 363
124. sfranz
7:22 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Bombs away. Butler NJ is now down to 960.9.

Link to Graph
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123. sfranz
7:13 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
3:15 AM EDT Pressure Checks

Buffalo NY 998 hPa

Concord NH 993 hPa

Boston MA 990 hPa

Woonsocket RI 983 hPa

Albany NY 982.3 hPa

Trenton NJ 972 hPa

Philadelphia PA 975 hPa

New York NY 973 hPa

Dover DE 980 hPa

Hartford CT 979 hPa

Norfolk VA 990 hPa

Pittsburgh PA 1001 hPa

It looks like we may have the east motion stall though there still seems to be some movement to the north.

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122. sfranz
7:04 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
It looks like that 965 pressure may be 'pegged'. I wonder what the actual pressure is.
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121. CycloneQld
6:59 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
The centre of the storm's rotation has developed somewhat over the last few hours and is currently passing over Atlantic City.


Any rotation that had previously developed around the Albany,NY region has dissapated, as the storm has gained better overall organisation.

Here's a site within the "eye" if it can be called that, which is reporting pressures of 965mb!

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120. sfranz
7:00 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Here you go. So far so good.

Delaware River at Trenton

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119. flibinite
6:55 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Sigh... thank you, Starwoman. And darn it, someone posted a link to river level gauge near Trenton this afternoon, and I can't find that... it must be very bad there right now. :-(

Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 363
118. sfranz
6:34 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Thanks for the kind thoughts. I'm off to bed now. Up early to put the finishing touches on the ark in the morning. :-)
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117. Starwoman
8:26 AM CEST on April 16, 2007
Good morning all.
Here in Europe another day with blue sky and warm temps.
Strange to think that you there are battered by a nasty storm.
My thoughts are with you. Stay safe!
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116. sfranz
6:20 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
2:15 a.m. EST Pressure checks

Buffalo NY 1000.6 hPa

Concord NH 996 hPa

Boston MA 990 hPa

Woonsocket RI 986 hPa

Albany NY 985.7 hPa

Trenton NJ 974 hPa

Philadelphia PA 976 hPa

New York NY 976 hPa

Dover DE 979 hPa

Hartford CT 981 hPa

Norfolk VA 990 hPa

Pittsburgh PA 1001 hPa
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115. H2PV
5:56 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
I don't know why everybody obsesses on storm eyes.

There are other parts. For example I happen to think that Hurricane Gordon last year had exceptionally attractive eyelashes.

Gordon Eyelashes
114. sfranz
5:50 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Hard to say. That lovely tongue of dry air is doing a nice job of moderating the rain here a bit. I rather hope it stays with us.
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113. FaystonVTMom
5:49 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
good morning everyone We are sitting around 996mb in Vermont lots of snow trees down everywhere and so much more fun to come!!!
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112. franck
5:37 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Wonder if the eye will clear out more and close the low, once it is over water, or if the storm will maintain the comma shape?
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
111. anvilhead
10:40 PM PDT on April 15, 2007
lol, hi
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110. sfranz
5:25 AM GMT on April 16, 2007

Link to picture.

Well - she's certainly thinking about tossing us an eye.

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109. franck
4:56 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Taz..now don't wimp out, just because this is a noreaster and not a 'cane.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
108. Tazmanian
9:55 PM PDT on April 15, 2007
some one went me no in my blog how low the mb got with this storm ok
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107. Tazmanian
9:48 PM PDT on April 15, 2007
hey all can you do some in for me Please

i am going to bed now and i no some of you like to stay up late like a night like this back on the E coast what a mass out there so i was hoping that you can keep me update in my blog why i am sleeping be come i am going to bed now and i like some one to drop by evere now and then and keep me update on the storm and what gos on in the overe night hrs can you do that for me? thanks you all i love you all and be safy out there to night i would want you to have a lifejacket with you tonight if you need it be safe from the foold waters
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106. ARKpoopdeck
4:39 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
105. FreeholdBoro
4:50 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Wishful thinking we have now dropped to 974.93 mb at 12:50 am here in Freehold, NJ and resume the downward spiral....
4:41 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Hey FreeholdBoro - I live off Main near the race track. This storm is weird - NWS Belmar reads 28.85" (976)and there is no wind, none at all. The low looks to be right on top of us, or just off shore now. Belmar has the lowest reading I can find.
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103. CycloneQld
4:39 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Is it just me or does there appear to be two distinct areas of low pressure rotation associated with this storm?

One in the south over Chesapeake Bay approaching Atlantic City.

And one further north near Bennington, Vermont.

It would be interesting to hear pressure readings from these areas.

The Great Blizzard of 2007 is starting to get into its stride, my thoughts go out to all those affected, its looks like its going to be a rough ride ahead for you guys.

Blizzard 2007

If this continues to intensify at its current rate, we may see a visible eye begin to form around the northernmost rotational axis well within 24 hours.

Take care guys, you're in for a long, cold night.
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102. FreeholdBoro
4:33 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
It is possible that the center has passed Freehold, NJ. Lowest pressure in last 20 minutes was 975.57 mb and now (12:36 am) pressure is 975.64 mb. Wow!!
101. franck
4:31 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
whick, whack across your face..pull yourself together man..
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
100. ARKpoopdeck
4:24 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
there is an impressive sound from the stream just down the hill. the next level is tree branches firing off. and then whole trees. that's when the earthquake will bring forth god's wrath upon the earth and! ... what am i saying ?? sorry, kinda got away on me here. the wind is picking up. (lol)
meanwhile, the poster on the tip of Long Island is stranded on an island now with mad waters all around chest level. (eastcoast) earthquake??
4:15 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
pressure will bottom out at 97.1 to 96.9 by 6 am est then slowly rise as deep cyclone moves off by late tuse early wed total qpf totals between 12 to 14 inches liquid precip with 2 ft or more of snow in higher elavations expect highest winds to occur from 2 am till 2 pm blocking pattern will be in place for at lease another 4 to 6 days cyclone should start to fill in and weaken by late mon evening
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 195 Comments: 62881
96. FreeholdBoro
4:01 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Pressure now 976.45 mb in Freehold, NJ at 12 midnight and still falling rapidly!!
95. SteveDa1
3:59 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Pressure down to 977.3mb in Atlantic City! (-1.7mb from last hour)
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1312
94. CapeWeather06
3:54 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
I messed up, the storm is now east, northeast of Atlantic City, NJ and moving to the north and west. High winds are still expected to overpread the region soon. As storm nears closest spot before the loop.
93. V26R
3:50 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Time to go to work (UGH!)
Member Since: July 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1766
92. sdcbassman
3:50 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
now down to 979mb in west-central NJ and still falling.
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 132
91. TheCaneWhisperer
3:47 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
Night All! Hopefully all prepared, the big stuff is yet to come! Be safe and my prayers are with all in it's path.
90. SteveDa1
3:45 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
There's problems here too... this snow is certainly going to keep falling through the night and by tomorrow morning I could be looking at a foot of snow with no electricity (it usually takes 10-12 inches of wet snow for the power lines and branches start falling.)

I understand the seriousness over your way though, probably will be worse than here.

This could easily be the season's best snowfall .... in mid-april! (best I got was 14 inches this year in one storm.)
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1312
89. MZT
3:37 AM GMT on April 16, 2007
7 inches is getting alarming.

To put that in perspective, the historic floods in North Carolina from Hurricane Floyd were about 10-15 inches in most areas, with some 20 inch+ zones.

Considering that this storm could run for another couple of days, the rainfalls could be incredible. =:-(
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 812

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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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