Saturday saw one round of spotty minor coastal flooding, however more severe and more widespread issues will be present Sunday and Monday as a coastal storm moves up the East Coast.
Sunday will not feature the same, stiff, northeast wind as Saturday. However, it will not feature the same sunshine that Saturday afforded us nor the dry air. Instead, it will be raw and gray, with that strong northeast wind signifying another coastal storm is near.
The winter outlook in South Jersey appears to be one with more snow shoveling and more bundl…
Coastal flooding Sunday and Monday
The coastal impacts will be the biggest concern. Sunday’s first high tide of the day (generally 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), Sunday evening’s high tide (10 p.m. to midnight), Monday’s midday high tide (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Tuesday morning’s high tide (midnight to 2 a.m.) will all bring flooding. The storm’s motion, slow-moving up the coast, will be similar to the mid-October nor’easter we had, where we saw severe beach erosion in parts of Avalon, Strathmere and Ocean City. Hopefully, we do not have the same result, but expect some impacts from the erosion.
The first nor’easter of the season took a large bite out of area beaches as it meandered a f…
Widespread moderate flood stage looks likely during Sunday’s first high tide, with only the Delaware Bay shore towns staying in minor stage. Thankfully, we should only be on the low end of moderate. Still, moderate flood stage is when water inundation begins in unraised dwellings near the bay. Expect full blocks of bayside roadways to have water on them, with road closures likely in the susceptible spots. Even the ocean side block could see water. Bridges may be impassable for a brief period of time. Move your cars if you need to and do not drive through the salt water on the roads.
Sunday evening’s high tide will be between minor flood stage and moderate flood stage. This will be the nuisance variety that we see. Only the “typical” flooding spots will see water, and no damage to homes or businesses will be expected. However, a few road closures will be likely.
Monday midday’s high tide will be back in moderate flood stage and should be slightly higher than the Sunday morning one. Meanwhile, we’ll really drain our waters for the Tuesday morning high tide. Only Ocean and perhaps Atlantic County will see minor flood stage. The other places should not see any.
Coastal flooding will always be a concern, and that concern has steadily increased in recent…
Wind on Sunday and Monday
While unlikely, power outages will not be ruled out along and near the shore. Downed tree branches or even weakened trees could fall. Loose objects will likely get blown around while high profile vehicles will need to use caution on the bridges.
Sustained winds will be 20-30 mph at the shore. Gusts will generally be 35-45 mph. However, a few gusts should get close to 50 mph.
West of the Garden State Parkway, it’ll be blustery. I just don’t anticipate many wind issues. Sustained winds will be 15-25 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph.
Rain (and some snow) on Sunday and Monday
The dry air that stuffed us with sunshine will try to hang on, despite the cloudy sky.
A washout still looks unlikely Sunday. In fact, western Cumberland and Atlantic counties could very well be dry all day. For the rest of the area, a light rain showers, even falling as non-accumulating snow at times, will fall.
These spotty showers, with dry time, will be present right into Sunday night. Monday should not be a washout either. However, as the low pressure nears our latitude, I’d expect a 1-3 hour shot of rain between 1 and 9 p.m.
Rainfall totals will range from potentially nothing out in western Atlantic and Cumberland counties to a 0.50 inch near the shore.
Dry and seasonable weather will be present from Tuesday through Thursday. It’ll be comfortable for outdoor, late fall activities.
Joe's 7-Day Forecast
The coastal flood warning was downgraded to a coastal flood advisory
Monday midday high tide (minor)
Flooding begins on Absecon Boulevard (US Route 30) in Atlantic City.
Flooding begins on the White Horse Pike (US Route 30 - Absecon Boulevard) in Absecon.
Flooding begins at the most susceptible locations in West Atlantic City.
Flooding begins on the north end of Brigantine.
Flooding begins around Absecon Inlet in Atlantic City.
Flooding begins on the White Horse Pike in Atlantic City, along the back bays in Atlantic City and Ventnor, and on the Black Horse Pike in West Atlantic City.
Flooding begins along the back bays in Atlantic City and Ventnor.
Flooding begins on the Black Horse Pike (US Routes 40 and 322) in West Atlantic City.
Flooding begins on Absecon Creek in Absecon along Absecon Boulevard (US Route 30), Shore Road and New Road (US Route 9).
Bayside flooding begins in Margate.
Bayside flooding begins in Longport between 11th Avenue and 32nd Avenue.
Flooding begins along Bay Avenue in Somers Point.
Flooding begins on the access roads to the 9th Street bridge into Ocean City (NJ Route 52).
Monday midday high tide (minor to locally moderate)
Flooding begins in Lacey Township and Ocean Township.
Flooding begins along local roads in Barnegat Township, including Bay Shore Drive and East Bay Avenue.
Bayside flooding begins in Harvey Cedars.
Flooding begins along local roads in Stafford Township (Beach Haven West and Cedar Bonnets Islands).
Bayside flooding begins in Surf City, Ship Bottom (along Long Beach Boulevard) and in the communities on the south half of Long Beach Island (including Beach Haven).
Flooding begins at the east end of the NJ Route 72 bridge in Ship Bottom.
Flooding begins on Barnegat Avenue and Central Avenue in Surf City.
Extensive flooding begins on Long Beach Boulevard from Ship Bottom to Beach Haven.
Cape May County
Monday midday high tide (minor to locally moderate)
Flooding begins along Park Boulevard in Wildwood Crest.
Flooding begins at the boat ramp in North Wildwood (the bay end of 5th Avenue).
Flooding begins on the access roads to the NJ Route 47 bridge into Wildwood (including Rio Grande Avenue).
Flooding begins in North Wildwood and West Wildwood.
Flooding begins around Yacht Avenue in Cape May.
Flooding begins on the access roads to the Ocean Drive bridge between Wildwood Crest and Cape May (Cape May County Route 621).
Flooding begins along Beach Avenue and New Jersey Avenue in Cape May.
Flooding begins around the Leaming Avenue-Elmira Street bridge between West Cape May and Cape May.
Flooding begins along the Delaware Bay shoreline from Reeds Beach to North Cape May.
Flooding begins around Yacht Avenue in Cape May.
Flooding begins on the access roads to the Ocean Drive bridge between Wildwood Crest and Cape May, on Beach Avenue and New Jersey Avenue in Cape May, and around the Leaming Avenue-Elmira Street bridge between West Cape May and Cape May.
Flooding begins around 96th Street in Stone Harbor.
Flooding begins along Landis Avenue in Sea Isle City (around 29th Street).
Flooding begins around the Townsends Inlet Bridge between Sea Isle City and Avalon.
Flooding begins in the Haven Avenue Basin area of Ocean City (24th Street through 34th Street).
Flooding begins along Ocean Drive (Cape May County Route 619) between Ocean City and Strathmere.
Flooding begins along Longport Boulevard (NJ Route 152) between Somers Point and Longport, along Mays Landing Road in Somers Point (the section between US Route 9 and NJ Route 52), and on Ocean Drive leading to the Ocean City-Longport Bridge.
Flooding begins along Bay Avenue on the north end of Ocean City and along the NJ Route 52 causeway.
Flooding begins on the access roads to the 34th Street bridge in Ocean City (Cape May County Route 623) and in Ocean City from 34th Street to 55th Street.
Flooding begins along the Delaware Bay shoreline in Dennis Township and Middle Township.
Monday midday high tide (Minor flood stage)
Flooding begins in Money Island and Gandys Beach.
Flooding begins along the road into Fortescue (Cumberland County Route 637). Flooding begins in Bivalve.
Flooding begins in Fortescue and in Maurice River Township.
Flooding begins along local roads in Tuckerton, including South Green Street.
Flooding begins in Green Bank and Lower Bank (both in Washington Township, Burlington County).
Flooding begins around the Burlington County Route 542 bridge at Wading River.
What factors impact coastal flooding?
Coastal flooding will always be a concern, and that concern has steadily increased in recent decades.
Compared with the 1950s and ’60s, the 2010s have seen about eight times more coastal flooding events annually.
In 2030, three months of the year would have coastal flooding, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“Each year we settle (or sink) a little more. For people who don’t want to live by the ocean, then living inland is the only solution, but no matter what, wherever you live you have issues. You just need to be aware of your surroundings and be prepared,” said Donna Peterson, emergency management coordinator for Ventnor.
Since 1978, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has paid out more than $1.1 billion for losses along the South Jersey barrier islands and Delaware Bay communities due to flooding.
With coastal flooding occurring with such frequency, and at such a high cost, it is important to know the five factors that come into play: wind direction, wind distance, wind speed, duration of onshore winds and moon phase.
Any onshore wind will push waters from the Atlantic Ocean onto the shores, back bays and the Delaware Bay, that includes a southerly wind, since South Jersey is shaped south-southwest to north-northeast.
“A southeast wind favors the waters building up in the Chesapeake and Delaware bays. Our biggest surges during the winter are from east-northeast, which is worst for heavy wave action on the south side of inlets,” said Jim Eberwine, retired National Weather Service forecaster.
The longer the distance of onshore winds, the more water that can be carried onto shore. Weather systems that have onshore winds for 1,000 miles will carry more water, and bring more water to the shore, than one for just 100 miles. When talking about a low-pressure system, an “elongated” trough, or an area of low pressure shaped like an oval, will generally produce some of the worst coastal flooding.
Eberwine said that when the low pressure isn’t nearby, an origin farther east than Cape Cod will produce coastal flooding.
The stronger the onshore winds, the more ferociously the water will push onshore. Weak winds will likely not bring much coastal flooding, unless they run for long periods of time.
Sometimes, coastal flooding lasts for just one high-tide cycle. Other times, it is an issue for days. Days of onshore winds will “stack” the water, not allowing it to effectively drain out during low tides. The back bays are the most susceptible to stacking.
“Our main problem in Ventnor with the coastal flooding is being cut off and the subdivision (Inside Thorofare) within the city itself. Once the flooding starts, if you are in Ventnor Heights you will have no access because Wellington Avenue and Dorset Avenue will be flooding and impassable,” Peterson said.
Even after the winds turn to an offshore direction (westerly, northerly are examples), a stacking situation may require strong winds to end the flooding threat.
Days of the full and new moon, and the one to two days surrounding it, will also bring higher tides.
When the moon is full, it is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun, and the gravitational pull of the moon and sun are combined. During these times, the high tides are very high and the low tides are very low.
During the quarter moons, the pull from the moon and sun negate each other, so the tides are not as extreme.
Peterson said three days before a coastal flood, her city’s emergency management officials start monitoring and getting prepared, in part because she knows what the moon phases will be like well in advance.
“We send out notifications for what might happen and set out barricades for certain areas that flood so cars will not drive through those areas. The day before we verify the information we have for tides and weather and send out the appropriate notifications via our social media,” she said.
As if predicting storms isn’t tricky enough, there are other variables: all five factors aren’t required for coastal flooding; and sometimes those same factors won’t lead to flooding.