Sunday, March 03, 2013

Coastal Flooding Concerns For Shore & DE Beaches

While Delaware and South Jersey coastlines did not get pounded to the same extent that North Jersey and New York City did, there was still a pretty nasty round of coastal flooding along the Delaware coastline in the early stages of Sandy before the winds turned to the north and brought an end to the coastal flooding down there.  Tidal flooding levels were among the highest on record in both Lewes and Cape May from Sandy...and it's possible those levels get approached again on Wednesday night.

With the high pressure ridge holding relatively firm to the north and low pressure intensifying as it tracks just to our south, the South Jersey and Delaware coastlines will deal with strong easterly winds and two rounds of high tides that will bring coastal flooding -- Wednesday afternoon and again on Thursday morning.

Modeling (via the NWS) suggests that the whole of the Jersey coastline, including up to Sandy Hook, will have to deal with moderate to major coastal flooding on Thursday morning.  The combination of high tide and a storm surge that could be in the three to four foot range could send the tidal levels upwards of eight to nine feet all along the Jersey and Delaware coastlines.  8.6 feet at Sandy Hook would be a top ten level for tidal flooding -- and it's possible those levels get approached at Sandy Hook...might be a bit tougher to pull off.  Farther down the coast, the odds are better that the eight to nine foot level gets reached and it's possible  that levels seen during Sandy could be approached again down at Cape May and Lewes.  Moderate to major coastal flooding would be possible in such a scenario.

Unlike Sandy, southern areas would take a greater pounding in the midweek storm. While it's important to note that the southern areas will not see the same level of tidal impact that Sandy Hook and New York Harbor received back in October, the prospect of major coastal flooding does exist along with additional beach erosion from a storm does exist.