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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

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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178. indigenous
4:12 PM GMT on April 19, 2007
H2PV, Brilliant post. Very well written, clear and to the point. I printed a copy to show as many people as I can. Your post clears a lot of cobwebs and lets the sun shine through. Thanks to you and to Dr. Masters.
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177. thelmores
4:01 PM GMT on April 19, 2007
"Posted By: franck

thelmores....hardly."

hmmmm, I would have thought the Navy Nuclear Power program would have done a good job teaching me heat transfer...... guess I was wrong! :)
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176. franck
2:31 PM GMT on April 19, 2007
thelmores....hardly.
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174. thelmores
1:20 PM GMT on April 19, 2007
man..... read 200 science books..... I better get started, so maybe I can share a cognitive thought in the future!

Can i get a waiver if I studied heat transfer in the navy? LOL
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173. Srt4Man
12:43 PM GMT on April 19, 2007
H2PV, I decided to get an account here after several years lurking so that i could tell you that i feel that was a great post. Wish there were more people like you around.
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172. ricderr
12:01 PM GMT on April 19, 2007
storm junkie i believe has that info in his blog refill
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171. refill
11:57 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
Anyone know which was the SAL conditions last year in this date???? Thanks
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170. K8eCane
10:48 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
morning Dr Jeff
hope you have a great Thursday!
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169. Inyo
5:10 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
Posted By: TheCaneWhisperer at 1:49 AM GMT on April 19, 2007.
The way things are going Lower Cal, you could see your wettest dry season yet!


last year the east flow tried to kick in during the dry season, which was quite weird. one theory is that with global warming winters will be drier, but we would start getting summer rain. that would change everything.

we will see, it will be an interesting summer.
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167. franck
3:41 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
Weather and porn, like mayonnaise on a peanut butter sandwich.
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165. Andrix
3:18 AM GMT on April 19, 2007

hoodia
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163. pottery
2:24 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
Hello ??
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162. pottery
2:15 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
Is it usual, in La Nina conditions, when the sst on the west coast of central America is as cool as it is now, for there to be such high sst just North of that ?
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161. TheCaneWhisperer
1:49 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
The way things are going Lower Cal, you could see your wettest dry season yet! CPC bodes bad news for the west coast though! Hummm Little rain during El Nino, Less rain during Neutral. Seems the old grey mare just aint what she used to be.
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160. pottery
1:38 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
Inyo....... It does seem that the corelation between ENSO and the predicted effects associated with that cycle are a little out of whack. But surely our historical modelling is going to show some out-of-whackiness purely because historically, we've never been here before.
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159. pottery
1:32 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
H2PV...... well said. Thank you.
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158. LowerCal
1:31 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
That could also be long term for California as we are beginning our dry season. :^(
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157. franck
1:26 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/prelim/drought/zimages/12.gif
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156. franck
1:18 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/prelim/drought/zimages/12.gif
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155. Inyo
1:05 AM GMT on April 19, 2007

Another observation: the cycling between El Nino and La Nina seems to be faster. Anyone else think it seems that way?


I have noticed this as well. Also, for the last 5 years, the correlation between ENSO and rainfall patterns in southern California has not been as strong as in the past - a very mild El Nino brought record rains, and a somewhat stronger el nino brought record drought. Last summer was incredibly weird and can't be attributed to either.
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154. flarancher
12:29 AM GMT on April 19, 2007
H2PV Very well stated. I've not read 200 scientific books but consider myself well read and one thing is certain and that is that the earth is either in a warming or cooling phase at any given point in time with or without man. My question is this: when earth is in a global cooling phase, who causes it?
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153. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
11:49 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
T MINUS 1036 HRS 12 MINS HURRICANE SEASON
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150. franck
11:34 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
H2PV...awesome..nuff said.
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149. hurricanetrak6671
11:15 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
active season ahead?
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148. StoryOfTheCane
10:48 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
The SAL in the Caribbean has vatacted the premisis

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147. H2PV
10:26 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?


Good question, and one that you should tackle until you solve it, not just throw it down, say "so there", dust your hands and walk away. All storms are manifestations of energy. How much energy was in this storm and where did that energy come from?

Scientists ask these kinds of questions, then ponder the evidence, test the evidence, debate it amongst themselves. If they are lucky, then they may arrive at answers in their lifetime. Some science questions were not unraveled for generations over centuries of time. The people in Darwin's day were convinced that the Biblical Flood was the answer for finding fossil sea shells up on sides of mountains. Darwin's geology teacher figured out that glaciers in his day made rubble heaps as they advanced and retracted, and he decided that rubble heaps of a similar nature far from glaciers meant slow processes were causing big global geological changes over long periods of time.

In that day they could not imagine continental drift and tectonic plates. Geologists lived and died without ever knowing the answers to their questions, and another whole century went past before DNA was confirmed and multiple ice ages became fact.

As of 2007 basic facts of physics are not getting out of the centers of higher learning down to the population. You will see that people here often make posts about convection as if in some way gravity was less for hotter gases than for colder ones. Understanding that gravity does not change means asking deeper questions about convection, and when you have those answers you can see the direct connection between summer heat and winter storms.

At 100 degrees below zero on the Farenheit scale the temperature is still a toasty 200 degrees on the Kelvin scale. Kelvin was one of the two people who simultaneously discovered important facts about heat transfer -- Kelvin got a temperature scale named after him, but the other guy was forgotten even though he was an American Florida dentist who invented the refrigeration that keeps your ice tea cool in the summer.

It's that concept, heat energy making cold in refrigeration which is the stumbling block. We take it for granted that it works when we reach in for ice cubes to fill our glass, but we forget it works when icy blasts race out of the polar regions to freeze our tootsies.

It's the exact same physic principle: heat can cause cold by inducing expansion. Seven words: "heat can cause cold by inducing expansion", yet beyond the understanding of people who are not on the receiving end of the learning known in the centers of higher knowledge. Who is at fault that you have not received this understanding? Is it the universities' fault that they have not gone house to house and made everybody learn? Or is it because you have not gone to the fountain of knowledge and drank deep?

Until all the polar ice is gone there are going to be bitter swings between extremes: extreme heat and extreme cold, extreme dry and extreme wet, very extreme winds at times which this blog watches. By the time the extremes are all finished there won't be any civilization left and maybe not even any human beings. It was already a planet with some nasty extremes before people with no understanding of the "weather machine" started vandalizing it, and now the extremes will be worse for some time to come thanks to deep widespread persistent ignorance.

There once was a time that ignorance was excusable, before all the world's knowledge was at your fingertips and even children have supercomputers on their desktops. That's no longer fashionable. Everybody is born ignorant, but it is a choice if you stay that way.

Cheers to Doctor Masters who cures the disease of ignorance in those who come for the cure. He has far more patience that I ever will. I personally have very little tolerance for adults who haven't read 200 science books in their lifetime, when libraries make them available for free. Good luck Masters, more power to you. The science behind refrigeration, "heat energy making cold", exists, whether deniers accept it or not as they make scorn on science knowledge from air-conditioned homes and eat foods kept fresh in their fridges.
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146. Thundercloud01221991
10:21 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Come Check out my new website
www.yourweather.org
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145. weatherboykris
10:20 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Check my blog.
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144. DocBen
10:12 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Inyo - remember that with the elimination of the ice the albedo will decrease. That will accelerate warming there. Then, as noted, other mechanisms transfer heat.

I wonder if the shift in shear patterns will intensify Pacific storms? More Iokes on the horizon?

Another observation: the cycling between El Nino and La Nina seems to be faster. Anyone else think it seems that way?
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143. Inyo
9:35 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
subtropical storms, extratropical storms, and ocean currents also transfer heat, of course.
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140. weatherboykris
9:09 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
The sun's elevation angle is increasing.
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139. weatherboykris
9:07 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
STL,do I really need to answer that?LOL
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138. airman45
9:05 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Goodnight all. Its past 1000 p.m. Till tomorrow!
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137. Patrap
9:05 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
e
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135. airman45
8:58 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
No kidding pensacolastorm!!! Pensacola is my hometown.
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134. Inyo
8:55 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Posted By: primez at 6:13 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.


That does seem like a logical conclusion, at least around North America. But most models predict more warming at the poles. The whole thing is very complex and nobody knows what will happen! It could do anything, which is why it is so scary. We are all living to the optimal extent with the current climate, when it changes, we will have problems.
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133. pensacolastorm
8:45 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
It appears the bloggers expect a very active year. 15 to 21 storms. Hopefully the bullseye on the norhtern gulf coast has moved - not that I wish storms on anyone else, but we have already had our share.
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132. pottery
8:40 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
Pensacolastorm, go to jphurricane2006 blog, to see what people think will happen !
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131. pensacolastorm
8:34 PM GMT on April 18, 2007
33 days to hurricane season. Does everyone think this is going to be an active year?

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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