Sandy Leaves Coast Vulnerable to Nor'easters
By By Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist.
November 02, 2012, 6:53:15 AM EDT
Hundreds of miles of sand along the Atlantic coast have been greatly displaced during Sandy, leaving some coastal communities vulnerable to future storms.
Storm surge and waves from Sandy have damaged or destroyed protective dunes and sea walls along portions of the Atlantic Seaboard.
Dunes act as a natural buffer from the ocean, during high astronomical tides and storm waves.
A lack of dunes, or damaged sea walls could lead to lowland flooding inland of the coast, if anything other than an average nor'easter were to come around. (There is no strict wind, precipitation or pressure criteria for a nor'easter, but generally this is a storm that tracks northward or northeastward along the Atlantic coast of the U.S., producing a partial wind component from the ocean; a northeasterly wind).
While some winters bring very few storms to the Atlantic coast, during the average winter, there are a half dozen to a dozen nor'easters that bring some rain, snow and wind causing minor disruptions or inconveniences.
Of these, a couple storms tend to pack a stronger punch during a typical winter. It is primarily these storms which AccuWeather.com meteorologists are concerned about bringing major impact to the now very vulnerable coastline.
The lack of a blocking pattern, or bucking of steering winds high in the atmosphere, last winter greatly limited the amount of nor'easters, take away the Halloween Weekend storm.
According to Paul Pastelok, Expert Senior Meteorologist and head of AccuWeather.com's Long Range Forecasting, "We are likely to have a blocking pattern for at least part of the upcoming winter, which could lead to more coastal storms in general, when compared to last winter, and an opportunity for a couple of potent nor'easters."
Lingering warm water along the Atlantic coast could play a role, by amplifying the intensity of some of the storms. Setting aside rain versus snow, stronger storms bring more wind.
While the exact number, track and timing of these storms is beyond present day forecasting ability, the ingredients are there for strong winds with some of the storms. And storms moving up along the coast tend to bring a period of onshore winds.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists are monitoring a potential storm for the middle of next week.
At this time, the storm does not appear to be a severe nor'easter, but it may bring a period of rain, wind and perhaps some snow to portions of the mid-Atlantic and New England.
Winter is coming, of course, but indications are this winter will not be so mild-mannered as last winter in terms of the number of storms and their intensity along the Atlantic Seaboard.
Prompt repair of dunes and sea barriers could be essential to minimize risk of future damage and impact as these storms come calling this winter.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 7:09:12 AM EDT
Three fatalities have been reported near Golden City, Missouri, as a severe thunderstorm outbreak hit Oklahoma to Illinois on Wednesday. A tornado also struck the capital city of Jefferson City, producing extensive damage.
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 4:09:37 AM EDT
This Memorial Day weekend is set to have the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes in 2000; INRIX predicts drive times could be more than three times longer than normal.
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 4:52:40 AM EDT
Isolated tornadoes are among the dangers as a surge of heat and humidity helps to fuel severe thunderstorms in the northeastern United States on Thursday.
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 4:07:12 AM EDT
After a severe weather outbreak hammered areas from Texas to Kansas and Missouri early this week, more severe weather will threaten these same areas in the days leading up to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 4:34:20 AM EDT
Temperatures approaching the century mark amid the hottest weather yet this year will challenge records in many places that date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Weather News - May 22, 2019, 1:43:10 PM EDT
There is concern that the Gulf of Mexico may be the breeding ground for a second tropical storm to form before the Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1.
Weather News - May 22, 2019, 11:32:34 AM EDT
Heading into the second week of the 2019 hurricane season in the East Pacific basin, there is the potential for a system to develop near the Central American coast.
Weather News - May 22, 2019, 11:30:54 AM EDT
In a circumstance similar to the iconic film Jaws, a great white shark -- one of the most predatory types in the world -- has been detected for the first time in an estuary on the Northeast U.S. coast.