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Friday, November 13, 2009

Remnants of Hurricane Ida pounding US east coast

After making landfall in the northern Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm, Ida headed due east and lost her tropical characteristics. As a low pressure system in the Atlantic, however, the storm has retains enough counter-clockwise circulation to fuel a strong Nor'easter causing flooding and heavy rain from North Carolina up to New Jersey.

This storm system has begun to cause deaths due to the wigh waves and strong surf.

Huge Waves and Coastal Flooding Risk (AccuWeather)


Large waves will continue to surge into the mid-Atlantic coast today into Saturday before subsiding, reducing the coastal flooding threat. Strong winds are being fueled between Tropical Rainstorm Ida off the North Carolina coast and an area of high pressure dominating the Canadian Maritimes. Winds are pushing ocean water toward the coast, leading to battering waves.

This is a very dangerous situation for anyone planning to venture near or into the water over the next few days. Very rough surf and deadly rip currents are expected from North Carolina to southeastern New England.

One of the five deaths being blamed on Tropical Rainstorm Ida includes a 36-year-old man surfing at a New York City beach Thursday. He died after getting caught in dangerous surf.

A high pressure system located near the Canadian maritimes is creating a conveyor-belt effect with Ida's remains that is accelerating winds and generating a large storm surge.

The system is expected to move towards New England and then out to sea. The effects of the storm should decrease as it heads further north.

Ida Pounding the Mid-Atlantic to Southeast New England(AccuWeather)
A slow-moving nor'easter that was once Hurricane Ida will continue lashing the mid-Atlantic today into Saturday with high winds. Winds will also increase farther up the coast from Long Island to southeastern New England.

The damage is not expected to be as severe the farther north you go because wind gusts will not be quite as strong. From coastal areas of Virginia to southeastern New England, wind gusts will reach 60 mph.

The strong onshore flow will also continue to push ocean water to the coast today, threatening coastal flooding and beach erosion for areas from the hard-hit beaches of North Carolina all the way to southeastern Massachusetts.

Although Ida has not been classified as a hurricane or even a tropical storm since it made landfall in Alabama, wind speeds in this Nor'easter have reached hurricane strength in some areas. Winds of 65 - 75 MPH were recorded overnight in Virginia along with rainfall of as much as 13 inches.

The big Nor'Easter begins to wind down (Weather Channel)

Between low pressure just east of the Outer Banks and strong high pressure over New England and the Canadian Maritimes, wind, rain, coastal flooding and battering waves continue to plague the East Coast from Nantucket and Long Island to the Jersey shore, the Delmarva Peninsula, Tidewater Virginia and northeast North Carolina.

Areas around the Virginia/North Carolina border have picked up from 8 to 13 inches of rain. Through tonight, 1-to-3-inch rains will focus on coastal New Jersey, much less than has been experienced farther south.

Last evening, the winds peaked with this storm as Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, Cape Henry, Norfolk and Oceana gusted to between 70 and 75 mph, causing many power outages. Into tonight, winds will gust to between 40 and 50 mph from Nantucket and Long Island to the Jersey shore and the Delmarva Peninsula. The risk for power outages will expand northward with these winds.

Strong winds will focus on southeast Massachusetts on Saturday, possibly gusting to over 50 mph on Nantucket.

The persistent onshore flow will also result in more coastal flooding, beach erosion and high waves. The water rises combined with the high tides have approached historic levels of 5 to nearly 8 feet in SE Virginia, not seen since the big nor'easters in January and February of 1998 and Isabel in 2003.


Graphics courtesy of AccuWeather

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