Historic Nor'easter pounds Mid-Atlantic coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 03:55 PM GMT die 12o November, anno 2009

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A historic Nor'easter, energized by the remains of Hurricane Ida, is pounding the coast form North Carolina to New Jersey with heavy rain, tropical storm-force winds, and a destructive storm surge. Wind gusts of 64 mph were reported at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and at Cape Henry, VA this morning. The high winds, combined with the slow movement of the Nor'easter are acting to push near-record storm surges onto the coast in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. At Norfolk, Virginia, the storm surge from Ida-ex was 5.0 feet at 10 am EST, the third highest storm surge there since tide gauge records began in 1927. Only Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and the Chesapeake-Atlantic Hurricane of 1933 have brought higher storm surges to Norfolk. Serious coastal flooding is occurring from northern North Carolina to the Delaware/New Jersey border, and the storm surge at Lewes Point, Delaware at 10 am this morning was 4.0 feet, just below the record high of 4.17' set during the January 4, 1992 Nor'easter. Tide records go back to 1919 at Lewes Point.


Figure 1. The Ida-ex Nor'easter at 9:31 am EST 11/12/09. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

The highest storm surges on record at the Sewell's Point tide gauge in Norfolk, Virginia are:

5.62' Sep 2003 Hurricane Isabel
5.61' Aug 1933 Chesapeake-Atlantic Hurricane
5.00' Nov 2009 Ida-ex
4.73' Sep 1933 Hurricane 13, Cat 1
4.66' Mar 1962 Ash Wednesday Nor'easter
4.05' Sep 1936 Hurricane 13, Cat 2

And the highest water levels, measured above Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW, the lowest tide measured in a full 19-year natural tidal cycle):

1933 hurricane (Aug 23rd 1933)..............8.9 feet MLLW
April 11th 1956 Nor'easter..................8.0 feet MLLW
Hurricane Isabel (Sep 18th 2003)............7.9 feet MLLW
Ash Wednesday storm (Mar 7th 1962)..........7.8 feet MLLW

The water level during high tide this morning at 5 am EST reached 6.7' MLLW in Norfolk at Sewell's Point, but the storm surge of Ida-ex has increased by a full foot since then. The next high tide at 5 pm may see water levels near 8.2 feet. The tremendous amount of rain Ida-ex is dumping over the coast is adding to the storm surge, since the drainage of the rivers into the coastal bays raises the water level above what the wind pushes in.


Figure 2. Predicted storm tide (height above Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW, the lowest tide measured in a full 19-year natural tidal cycle, black line) for Sewell's Point, Virgina in Norfolk, as predicted by the GFS model. A storm tide of 8.0 feet is forecast this afternoon during the 5 pm EST high tide. For a full description of this plot, see the NOAA Extratropical Surge web site.


Figure 3. Tide gauge trace from the Sewell's Point gauge in Norfolk, VA, shows a storm surge of 5 feet (green line) at 10 am EST, and a maximum tide of 6.7 feet above MLLW so far today. Image credit: NOAA Tides and Currents.


Figure 4. Radar-estimated rainfall from the Norfolk radar shows a large area of 4 - 5 inches of rainfall over coastal Virginia and North Carolina. The band of very high rainfall amounts of 5 - 8 inches shown in the northeast part of the radar display is not real; rainfall amounts in that region have been closer to 2 - 4 inches. The error results because at that distance from the radar, the beam is about 8,000 feet above the ground, and is hitting a "bright band" of highly reflective precipitation, where snow is melting and forming rain. The highly reflective rain/snow area reflects much more of the radar beam back, making the software algorithm used to estimate precipitation amounts fail.

You can follow the storm today with our Severe Weather Page.

Jeff Masters

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Even though this thing is expected to move east out to sea,its going to set up a pretty good flow off the Atlantic for us here in southern New England to give us a good 1-3 inches of rain.Nothing like the mid-atlantic,but still a pretty miserable day tomorrow here in eastern Mass and the cape and islands.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 878 Comments: 15727
Summer is definitely over :(

WIND WARNING: Greater Victoria Issued at 5:55 AM PST FRIDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2009

SOUTHERLY WINDS TO 90 KM/H ARE OVER THE NORTHERN SECTION OF EAST VANCOUVER ISLAND, VICTORIA AND SOUTHERN GOLF ISLAND THIS MORNING. NORTHWESTERLY WINDS TO 70 KM/H ARE EXPECTED OVER VANCOUVER ISLAND AND SUNSHINE COAST THIS MORNING. THIS IS A WARNING THAT POTENTIALLY DAMAGING WINDS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.
A COLD FRONT IS CROSSING VANCOUVER ISLAND. SOUTHERLY WINDS TO 90 KM/H AHEAD OF THE FRONT CONTINUE IN THE EAST VANCOUVER ISLAND, VICTORIA AND SOUTHERN GOLF ISLAND THIS MORNING. NORTHWESTERLY WINDS OF 70 KM/H IN THE WAKE OF THE FRONT ARE FORECAST TO DEVELOP THIS MORNING OVER VANCOUVER ISLAND AND SUNSHINE COAST. THE NORTHWESTERLY WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO EASE IN THE AFTERNOON.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Oh, and if you guys go, they might get militant if you pronounce their town name wrong.

Poqouson is pa-KO-sen.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Going out now to check local environs for about an hour, will take a quick glance at the ocean, where nc-12 splits with 158 and heads north to Duck. BTW, NC-12 through Duck is open, but with standing water is spots.
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Quoting presslord:
What are we hearing from the NC and Va Coast?


May not be as bad as feared. Not seeing a lot of news about flooding in homes.

But...
"As feared, the Nor'easter brought a significant amount of water onshore in Poquoson.

This morning, Poquoson City Manager Randy Wheeler said reports were received last night of homes with water inside, but officials have not yet been able to fully assess damage within the city."

http://www.dailypress.com/news/weather/dp-now-weather-update.nov13,0,357943.story
This is the only mention of some confirmation of water in homes from an official. I am certain there are more to come, but how many, I dunno.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting presslord:
What are we hearing from the NC and Va Coast?

Presslord see 715 for update as of 8am est. Some other news, schools in Dare County (the OBX) and some of the mainland, Currituck County (includes main highway from OBX to Norfolk area) are closed today. Pretty much all schools around Norfolk area are closed.
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At the Bay Bridge Tunnel thay had a record tide hight of 7.61 ft this morning. Also a report of 162,000 with out power in this article. Also some video.

HAMPDON ROADS, VA
Member Since: March 22, 2006 Posts: 9 Comments: 1570


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST, to be used in the event you make a minor discrepancy in your forecast.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Local school closing:

Washington County Schools: Closed Friday - Makeup Day Saturday


I'm sure attendance will be high.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1455
Got some wrap around rain to make the commute this morning miserable, but that's about it here in New Bern. 6-7" later, everything's pretty soggy. The parking lot is a No Wake Zone.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1455
from WAVY:

The sheriff’s office was evacuating some residents in the Gloucester Point area this evening. I got a call from a viewer that said that a lot of people had 3-4 feet of water in their home in the Guinea Neck section of Gloucester County. We have about 160,000 people without power in southeast Virginia. I’ve seen probably 20-30 instances of cars flooded. I’m sure there were 10 times that, but I have no proof. We are getting reports from just about everywhere of tidal flooding being on the the same level (roughly) as Isabel. Some residents had a little more, some a little less this evening. You have to remember that the rain around the region was a lot, but varied from place to place. This rain is significant when you add it to the tidal flooding. Also, different folks may have leaves or other debris clogging their storm drains. The winds are finally beginning to taper off tonight as of 9:30pm. The winds won’t die off completely overnight. They’ll stay up through the day tomorrow too, but will be more in the 15-20mph range with gusts to 25 maybe 35mph.

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What are we hearing from the NC and Va Coast?
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Good morning from the Outer Banks OBX - NC-12 is closed in spots from Buxton to Hatteras, the closures appear to be the result of overwash and scouring. There are no reported breaches of NC-12. Officials are determining when the road will reopen, but are not giving any timeframe yet. North of Oregon Inlet, 158 is open from
Whalebone to MP Zero, the Wright Memorial Bridge. NC-12 in this area, known as the Beach road is spotty with sections closed. Haven't heard of any other homes falling into the ocean yet. South Nags Head, the most threatened of areas hasn't announced whether access to this area will be restricted today.
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Quoting futuremet:
hmmm....


Looks to me like the PAC NW has more to worry about...srn Vancouver Island and the Olympics of WA...10" of rain in 3 days starting Sat night...that's a lot of rain even for those locations.
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good morning all :)
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Spring Lake NJ @ 0700
Winds still out of the NE here. Rain picked up before dawn. Waves still look about 8 ft with 4-5 sec. period. Sand continues to migrate with the wind over existing dunes and Ocean Ave. Photos to follow.

Link below attempts to show back bay water ponding due to consistent winds. Very powerful model.

http://hudson.dl.stevens-tech.edu/maritimeforecast/PRESENT/index.shtml

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Quoting leftovers:
rich surfers from all over the world are converging on the leeward islands for movies and photo shoots 456 wax up


Going to have some great photo's in the surf mags in a month.
Can't say I enjoyed any of Ida's waves here on the Gulf - the Menfolk had fun w/her - had one okay day on Monday -- but I came out with a "buckled" board : (
The winds have FINALLY laid down..
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@699
Not sure how accurate that will be but definetly worth watching.
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Rain has stopped, still breezy with some gusts. Rain gauge 4.5 inches. Hopefully we are done. Post 699-wht is that?? Looks pretty scary.
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QUANTITATIVE PRECIPITATION FORECAST DISCUSSION


DAYS 2/3...

...NORTHEAST...

THE MODELS AGREE IN GRADUALLY TAKING THE DEEP LOW INVOF THE NC
OUTER-BANKS EWD OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS...AWAY FROM THE EAST
COAST. HOWEVER...SUFFICIENT MID/UPR LVL ENERGY ASSOC WITH THE DEEP
LYR CYC WILL ADVECT NWD UP ALONG THE NRN MID-ATL AND NEW ENGLAND
COAST TO GENERATE A WELL-DEFINED INVERTED TROF AND POSSIBLY A NEW
SFC LOW
. THIS SHOULD PROMOTE AN INFLUX OF DEEP ATLANTIC MOISTURE
ACROSS NEW ENG WITH A THREAT OF MDT TO LOCALLY HVY RAINFALL
AMTS...ESP ALONG THE COAST. HPC QPF GENERALLY FOLLOWED A BLEND OF
THE NAM/GFS WHOSE MASS FIELDS WERE IN REASONABLE AGREEMENT
THROUGHOUT THE PERIOD.


list of abbreviations and acronyms
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703. IKE
70 more TWO's after this one and.....it's over.
426 hours...
20 minutes left...


TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
700 AM EST FRI NOV 13 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BERG
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Good Morning. OMG it is early but somebody has to wake up the rooster. Shaping out to be a great W/E here. What happens when you have lots of mileage and years? Never mind I remember as look into my medicine chest. Looks like my grandmothers.
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G'morning all.

Well, DocMaster's kept saying all Season™, that there'd be an event that needed a response.

Hate to wish he was wrong...but I wish he had been wrong.

post 699- you gotta be kiddin' me. No way, not more.
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LOCATION PEAK WIND GUST (MPH

CBBV2 (CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE TUNNEL VA) 71 (800 PM EST)
CHYV2 (CAPE HENRY VA) 72 (543 PM EST)
YKRV2 (YORK RIVER LIGHT VA) 66 (506 PM EST)
KORF (NORFOLK VA) 74 (611 PM EST)
RPLV2 (RAPPAHANNOCK LIGHT VA) 60 (230 PM EST)
KWAL (WALLOPS ISLAND VA) 59 (758 PM EST)
WAHV2 (WACHAPREAGUE VA) 57 (600 PM EST)
KNTU (OCEANA VA) 75 (614 PM EST)
KOXB (OCEAN CITY MD) 56 (1215 PM EST)
KECG (ELIZABETH CITY NC) 54 (204 PM EST)
OCIM2 (OCEAN CITY INLET MD 44 (848 AM EST)
44009 (15NM E OF FENWICK IS DE) 62 (400 PM EST)
DUKN7 (DUCK PIER NC) 53 (1012 AM EST)

Currently without power here in Norfolk, been running on Generator since about 5 pm last night.
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hmmm....
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000
WTNT31 KWNH 130857
TCPAT1

PUBLIC ADVISORY NUMBER 38 FOR REMNANTS OF IDA
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD AL112009
400 AM EST FRI NOV 13 2009

...MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINS CONTINUE ALONG THE MID ATLANTIC
COAST...

FLOOD WATCHES...WARNINGS...AND ADVISORIES REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR
PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S. AND THE MID-ATLANTIC. HIGH
WIND...GALE...AND STORM WARNINGS ARE ALSO IN EFFECT ALONG COASTAL
REGIONS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC.

FOR INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE WATCHES
AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV.

AT 400 AM EST...0900 UTC...THE CENTER OF REMNANTS OF IDA WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 34.7 NORTH...AND LONGITUDE 75.8 WEST...OR 35
MILES...60 KM...SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA AND 75
MILES...80 KM...EAST OF MOOREHEAD CITY NORTH CAROLINA.

DURING THE DAY ON FRIDAY...THE SURFACE LOW WILL SLOWLY TRACK
EASTWARD AWAY FROM THE COAST OF NORTH CAROLINA.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 994 MB...29.36 INCHES.

(Selected Storm Total Rainfall excluded)

ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE ALONG
THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST AND OVER SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND.

...SUMMARY OF 400 AM EST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...34.7N 75.8W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OR 205 DEGREES AT 9 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...994 MB

THE NEXT ADVISORY ON THIS SYSTEM WILL BE ISSUED BY THE
HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER AT 1000 AM EST. PLEASE REFER
TO YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE FOR FURTHER
INFORMATION ON THIS STORM.

GERHARDT

FORECAST POSITIONS
INITIAL 13/0900Z 34.7N 75.8W
12HR VT 13/1800Z 34.2N 74.6W...EXTRATROPICAL
24HR VT 14/0600Z 34.0N 72.6W...EXTRATROPICAL
36HR VT 14/1800Z 33.2N 70.8W...EXTRATROPICAL
$$
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Just got up and checked the winds they have dropped off but still around 30 knots. They are starting to nudge more to the NNE over the bay. That should help keep the water level from gaining too much additional ground from a tidal standpoint. Once the wind goes to the west side of north then the tidal flooding will back off. It will still take at least one full cycle to get back to normal. Maybe two, lot's of water out there.
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696. 789
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


And good night again (whoo hoo'ing myself anyway, don't care, hap-pee.)
do you responed red cross
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hay Storm W-- I am on the east coast Its 55 and droping..how about you? Iam cold!!!
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Good nite from obx. It is eerily quiet right now. Nice meeting you all.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
WHOO HOO! Know I said good night, BUT:

Hadn't checked my e-mail this afternoon, and

Got a "Please Stand By to Stand By" to go out for post-disaster recovery work.

Would be a hell of a way to meet some WU bloggers. Just wanted to tell somebody. Too late to call gal pals. Thanks.


And good night again (whoo hoo'ing myself anyway, don't care, hap-pee.)
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
WHOO HOO! Know I said good night, BUT:

Hadn't checked my e-mail this afternoon, and

Got a "Please Stand By to Stand By" to go out for post-disaster recovery work.

Would be a hell of a way to meet some WU bloggers. Just wanted to tell somebody. Too late to call gal pals. Thanks.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting atmoaggie:

I guess that partly depends on whether or not all of the El Salvador fatalities are attributed to her...though they had a lot more to do with EP96(?)


They are attributed to EP96 so on second thought maybe not. Which isn't a bad thing at all eh?
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Okay, I don't get the "adjustment" made in the plots in post 680 in the last few minutes...

Obs were well over the forecast water levels and now tracking right along with it? Odd.
I still think the prediction is low, though. We'll see at wake-up time. L8R.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Ok everyone have a good nite and please be "Safe" ot there, for the ones in VA and NC....

Taco :0)
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Yeah, that isn't good. We are at low tide, yet this low tide did not fall to levels as low as the previous low tide, though it should have been more (look at the green line-astronomical tide range).
The 6 AM high tide will have had a head start in water levels without the low tide doing it's thing. The key is the wind-drive surge, here. If the forecast timing is off and the wind abates completely...now or very soon...then the peak observed levels could still be the forecast peak or lower.


low isnt moving as quickly as planned, im still getting rocked by winds...
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I am sorry to say they will be much higer than that :(.
and press mail


I think so too...I would love to disagree and we could have a shouting match instead, but...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Yeah, that isn't good. We are at low tide, yet this low tide did not fall to levels as low as the previous low tide, though it should have been more (look at the green line-astronomical tide range).
The 6 AM high tide will have had a head start in water levels without the low tide doing it's thing. The key is the wind-drive surge, here. If the forecast timing is off and the wind abates completely...now or very soon...then the peak observed levels could still be the forecast peak or lower.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Dan, you are killing me. Smothering laughter, hubby asleep on couch, snoring...

Good night all. Hey, you guyz across the river -- Stay safe and that means getting in a place where trees won't hit you. Please.

Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting StormW:


Any word near Culpepper? My sis lives there.



From what I have heard they should be fine, have not heard any bad news from there.
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Quoting KitchenGypsy:
press, are we gonna fight over VAbeach? lol



Uh oh sorry i sent it to press ;) you want a copy of it?
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Quoting atmoaggie:
There it is. The wind isn't letting the low tide go ahead and fall like it should. (See the 2 red "X"s almost on top of each other near the end of the reds) And the result is that the forecast is well below the observations.

May or may not exceed this afternoon's water levels at 6 AM. Forecast says no, but forecast was between 0.5 and 1 foot lower than obs today.

This is the middle of the bay bridge-tunnel:


And at Sewells Point (this is representative of Norfolk flooding):


I am sorry to say they will be much higer than that :(.
and press mail
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I'm too old and tired to argue ; )
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.