Nor'easter of 2007 winds down

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:50 PM GMT on April 17, 2007

The Nor'easter of 2007 is steadily winding down, but will continue to bring high winds, minor coastal flooding, and up to one inch of rain to portions of the Northeast U.S. today. The nor'easter brought the heaviest rains since 1882 to New York City and northern New Jersey, triggering widespread flooding that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Hoboken, NJ became an island when roads surrounding the city flooded up to three feet deep, submerging cars, basements and parking lots. Over 1400 people were evacuated from homes along the Raritan River in New Jersey, which crested 10.5 feet above flood stage. At least 5000 people were evacuated in New Hampshire due to flooding, and over 400 roads closed. A woman and her 4-year-old granddaughter died when they were swept into fast-moving floodwaters as they tried to cross a washed-out section of a road in Lebanon, Maine, near the New Hampshire border. Winds gusting to 60 mph knocked out power to over 123,000 homes in Maine, the second largest power outage in state history. The record was set during an ice storm in 1998 that knocked out power to 340,000 homes.

Storm surges
Along the Massachusetts coast, tidal flooding has been minor to moderate, with overwash and erosion of dunes, flooding of coastal roads and some homes, but minimal damage to buildings. The peak storm surge in Boston at high tide was 2.2 feet yesterday, which added to the regular high tide to bring a 13.2 foot storm tide. Tonight's high tide may bring a storm tide half a foot higher, leading to moderate flooding. The new moon will bring a slightly higher high tide tonight than yesterday, and winds will remain gale-force, pushing 20-foot waves against the coast. Maine has already seen its highest storm surge from the storm--2.5-3.5 feet of surge during high tide yesterday. This was the fourth highest storm surge along the Maine coast since 1990. Storm surges of 1.5-2 feet are likely along the Maine coast during today's high tide cycles. Storm surges of 1-2 feet are likely at high tide today in New York City and Long Island Sound, which will cause additional minor to moderate flooding. The storm caused major erosion at Jones Beach, Robert Moses State Park and beaches in Montauk on Long Island.

Winds and snow
Tupper Lake, NY recorded 26 inches of snow. Winds gusts of 72 mph were observed in Milton, MA; 81 mph in Cape Elizabeth, ME, and 156 mph at Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

Figure 1. Visible image of the 2007 Nor'easter on Monday at 4 pm EDT. Image credit: The University of Wisconsin CIMSS Satellite Blog, which has a nice page of images and animations of the Nor'easter of 2007.

I'll have a new blog Wednesday or Thursday.
Jeff Masters

high tide in kennebunkport (hossom1)
ocean side business in kennebunkport ME
high tide in kennebunkport
New England Nor'easter (normle)
High tide & a 4' storm surge left the marina parking lot under water
New England Nor'easter

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131. pensacolastorm
3:25 PM CDT on April 18, 2007
33 days to hurricane season. Does everyone think this is going to be an active year?

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130. pottery
4:19 PM AST on April 18, 2007
Thats for Trinidad, West Indies, for any that dont know.
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129. pottery
4:13 PM AST on April 18, 2007
My temp today

90 f, but with heat index, read 96.

This is supposed to be the balmy tropics man............

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128. pottery
4:01 PM AST on April 18, 2007
Good afternoon to all.........
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127. franck
7:41 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Michael...historically tropical moisture is half the Summer moisture for the southeast, and two thirds of the moisture for the Florida peninsula. Tropical moisture comes in a variety of ways ie. lows, squall lines, depressions, tropical storms, hurricanes. Now, break all that up with constant windshear and see how long it takes Florida to look like Kuwait.
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125. thelmores
7:28 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
We are waiting till late April to hedge our bets! LOL
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123. thelmores
7:14 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
uggggh! GW again!

I hope the planet freezes solid so I don' have to hear it anymore! LOL
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121. franck
7:04 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
If ever increasing shear conditions are a result of global warming, then the continental masses will become arid quickly.
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118. mac18
6:20 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
What cracks me up is if we're supposed to be having 'global warming' why are we getting nor'easters in April? Shouldn't it be spring already?
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116. primez
6:09 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Let me ask you something. If hurricanes disappear, what will happen to the poles? Hurricanes transfer heat from the tropics to the poles.

Does this mean that we would actually see the poles refreeze, and that we would see severe cycles between deep freeze and blistering heat over the whole planet after "global warming' takes place?

Wouldn't that endanger life even MORE?
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115. waverunner
5:57 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Hey weather people. Nice in Texas, the sun is peeking out, come to think of it, something else is peeking out. GOT TO GO. Be back soon.
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114. Inyo
5:22 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
The latest models are bringing some beneficial rains into southern California late this week and early next week... let's hope!
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113. MisterPerfect
5:02 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Global Warming effects on hurricanes
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112. MisterPerfect
4:56 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Global warming may tame hurricanes

A new study concluded that global warming may produce conditions that discourage strong hurricanes, but effects would be years away.


Now, the brighter side of global warming: It might not strengthen hurricanes after all, and it eventually could inhibit their development and growth.

Illustrating the bewildering complexity of the climate, a study scheduled for publication today found that global warming will strengthen a phenomenon called ''wind shear'' -- crosswinds that tear apart or substantially weaken hurricanes.

And that could counteract global warming's baking of the Atlantic Ocean, which some experts have predicted will grow so hot by the end of this century that it turbocharges hurricanes.

''Global warming is producing other changes in the environment besides a warming ocean, and these changes are acting to offset ocean temperatures,'' said Brian Soden, coauthor of the new study and a climate scientist at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Chris Landsea, the National Hurricane Center's science officer and an expert on global warming and hurricanes, said the study suggests that a warmer climate could make the Atlantic ``more hostile to hurricanes.''

Still, any changes will be very gradual, he and other scientists say. For now, we remain in a decades-long cycle of active hurricane development, they say, and last year's relatively benign season was the exception to the current rule.

The next six-month hurricane season begins June 1, and forecasters are predicting above-average activity.


The peer-reviewed study, set for publication in today's issue of Geophysical Research Letters, seemed certain to reignite one of the most heated debates in science: What effect, if any, does global warming have on hurricanes?

Some scientists say they have found evidence that global warming already has intensified the storms and will continue to do so, largely because hurricanes feed on warm water.

Others call that evidence sketchy and inconclusive, and they say any link between global warming and hurricanes is so tiny that it cannot be accurately measured.

The new study, also conducted by Gabriel Vecchi of the federal government's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J., examined 18 computerized forecast models that were tweaked to reflect a steadily warming climate.

It found that one dramatic consequence of global warming will be the creation of stronger crosswinds over much of the tropical Atlantic, the primary breeding ground of hurricanes.

The average intensity of those winds could increase by 10 to 15 percent by the end of the century, said Soden, who also helped write an influential warming study released in February by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

That wind shear is related to the development of El Niño conditions in the eastern Pacific.

El Niños, slightly warmer than normal seas, tend to generate strong crosswinds that move eastward and can inhibit hurricane development.

The opposite conditions are called La Niña, cooler than normal seas that are less likely to produce storm-destroying crosswinds.


This year, scientists say, La Niña conditions are developing -- one reason why they expect an especially active hurricane season.

The study also predicted increased wind shear in the eastern Pacific (near Mexico and Latin America), but less wind shear farther away in the Pacific, meaning that parts of Asia might experience more and stronger storms, called typhoons.

The hurricane center's Landsea, who did not participate in the study, called it ``a very important contribution to the understanding of how global warming is affecting hurricane activity.''

Soden, Vecchi and Landsea emphasized that the new study does not alter the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring, humans are contributing to it and the planet will suffer.

''The fact that there may or may not be a connection between global warming and hurricanes shouldn't in any way undermine our concerns about global warming, which are very real,'' he said.

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111. Tazmanian
9:08 AM PDT on April 18, 2007
there is some in mass up with the Climate Change blog

all it is this saying is

No Such Entry

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110. snotly
3:41 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
To ease your GW fears Link now if we could only get those tunnels working
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109. catastropheadjuster
3:07 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Good Morning Everyone. It's been a rainy day here so far, but know the sun is peaking thru.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3684
108. franck
2:54 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
How dare you criticize the runoff from my lead battery factory, when mice are taking dumps anywhere they want.
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107. hurricane23
10:52 AM EDT on April 18, 2007
Just a study i dont put to much into it but if it were to indeed pan out it would indicate quieter times across the atlantic and more active seasons for the pacific.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13868
105. franck
2:47 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Find the darkest pine log lying in the Sun on a 100 degree day and put your face against it. You'll be fine. Now walk over and do the same on a black asphalt road. You'll need skin grafts.
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104. franck
2:44 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Cellulose absorbs very little heat, no matter where it is found on the earth.
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103. HopquickSteve
2:36 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
There are always weird articles like that. I just read one the other day that said, although tropical rainforests help global warming, northern forests do not, since they absorb more heat than the ground would.

So a plant in the tundra = bad...a plant in the tropics = good?

LoL, I'm so confused.
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102. weathermanwannabe
2:27 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
This is all great stuff; very humbling for us amateurs in terms of how much research and thought goes into trying to predict Mother Nature............As we know around here, She never ceases to amaze us and curve balls (like last season) are thrown all the time......(which we then end up calling an anomily year)
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 13145
101. airman45
2:26 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Just goes to show you how many variables there are (and many more we probably don't know about) when dealing with the climate!
Member Since: April 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3516
100. TheCaneWhisperer
2:18 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Global Warming = Increased Shear in the Atlantic?

Good article on the subject! Very interesting indeed.
99. airman45
2:08 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Good afternoon! Sunny, warm, light breeze, 75 degrees F., humidity 35 %, Great view of the ocean today here in balmy Portugal.
Member Since: April 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3516
98. hurricane23
2:00 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Good morning guys...
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13868
97. weathermanwannabe
1:55 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
MissBennett.......This is very interesting research (great article) but like any of these type of long-range studies/predictions, it may take a few decades to determine the outcome of the shear vs. warming impact on tropical formation.......If the well documented El Nino/La Nina studies hold true, then last year's high shear environment was a function of El Nino...........
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 13145
96. catastropheadjuster
1:27 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Who the heck is Andrix He needs to be kicked off What a JERK. This is awful!
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3684
95. Patrap
1:10 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Hurricane Betsy SLOSH model..New Orleans ..1965. Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 139984
94. MissBennet
12:39 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Article from the AP.

In Short, it says that with Global warming comes more shear which destroys hurricanes. A possible counter argument to global warming = more intense hurricanes.

Any thoughts?
93. biff4ugo
12:06 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
When is Africa going to start sending hurricane smoke signals across the atlantic?
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 119 Comments: 1638
91. TayTay
9:27 AM GMT on April 18, 2007
What did Randrewl do?
90. Raysfan70
9:16 AM GMT on April 18, 2007
usually after 5 ! it will disappear.
Member Since: July 28, 2005 Posts: 138 Comments: 57354
89. louastu
9:15 AM GMT on April 18, 2007
I already hit the - button, the ! button, and sent wuba-mails to Aaron and Dr. Masters. Hopefully that crap will be removed from here very soon.
88. Raysfan70
9:07 AM GMT on April 18, 2007
Randrewl was banned from the wu. Sorry to say. HE is unable to access the site.

Hit the ! who ever is on.
Member Since: July 28, 2005 Posts: 138 Comments: 57354
87. TayTay
9:05 AM GMT on April 18, 2007
Randrewl's gone?
86. StoryOfTheCane
8:15 AM GMT on April 18, 2007
someone who knows Aaron's handle shoot him an e-mail so we can get this lowlife's comment off of here before people end up having to see it at work
85. StoryOfTheCane
8:14 AM GMT on April 18, 2007
is Andrix formerly known as Randrewl?
84. StoryOfTheCane
8:13 AM GMT on April 18, 2007
lol that is a first that Ive seen for this blog, Andrix that is disgusting buddy
81. TheCaneWhisperer
4:17 AM GMT on April 18, 2007
That is why I speak Hypothetically! Now until the middle of May, I look deep into EVERYTHING, as does everyone else. Patterns are setting up as we speak. Things change all season, I realize that but, come May 19th I will be able to give a pretty decent look on the season.

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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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