Snowpocalypse What Delaware Should Worry About

 

Latest Euro model for this weekends storm.
Latest Euro model for this weekends storm.

The last snow we had was fun for a day.  It was predicted five days earlier at a twenty percent chance with flurries.  By the weekend it was a seventy percent chance and we got more than a flurry.  In fact that day WXrisk posted some people could see upwards of three inches of snow.  We had well over a half inch accumulate, with heavy snowfall.  Just goes to show that the weather is predictably unpredictable.  This latest storm is all over the news and social media, they are blowing it up as a historical blizzard.  Some weather guys are cracking on the “armchair meteorologists”  Which happen to be the people I pay attention to because they are usually right.  Weather prediction is supposed to help people and save lives, no need for it to be a contest.  The European model seems to always be the best forecast model.  Now just about every news service is finally paying attention to those models.  Granted the media is all competing for attention for ratings and advertising they are correct about one thing, it is going to be sloppy this weekend.  The question is how bad will it be for Delaware because snow is the least of our worries.

 

Swellinfo waves this Saturday
Swellinfo waves this Saturday

We need to worry about flooding on coastal Delaware, just like with any of these Nor’easter storms.  If the storm shifts further south we will get more snow, it is shifts further north we will get more rain.  We want snow and this is why.  It is going to flood due to the storm surges,heavy winds, and a full moon.  There are predictions on Swellinfo that the coast will see upwards of ten foot waves on Saturday.  The full moon is this weekend and it will create higher than normal tides already, combined with a Nor’easter storm surge and gale force winds.  That is a recipe for flooding along the Delaware coast line.  Expect the normal low lying areas to flood, and possibly more than usual if we do get a deluge of rain, that is why snow would be better it takes longer to melt and collect as runoff water.  The NWS  wrote in their storm warning … “At this time, we can see anywhere from a 2-5 foot surge at the time of high tide and ocean waves of 12-15 feet bashing the shore. That would mean an extensive Saturday morning coastal flood event with at least several hours of road closures expected. Damage may occur in some areas as well as potentially severe beach erosion though not of Sandyesque proportions in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. For Atlantic County southward through Cape May County in NJ and Sussex County in DE, we may run just a couple of inches shy of Sandy tide levels. The Delaware Bay impact for moderate or major is especially higher on the Delaware side due to pounding northeast to North flow. ”  High tide will be at 9 AM at the Indian River Inlet Saturday morning.

 

Weekend Forecast memes floating around Facebook are funny and this one is spot on
Weekend Forecast memes floating around Facebook are funny and this one is spot on
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Offshore the winds will start to pick up Thursday out of the Northwest at 10 to 15 knots and gusts up to 20 knots.  Seas will be at 3 feet in a northwest swell at a dominant period of 4 seconds.  Friday the winds will continue out of the North east and gust upwards of 25 knots.  Friday night is when things really pick up winds will be 25 to 30 knots,  gusts to 40 knots, then increase to 30 to 35 knots with gusts up to 50 knots.  Seas will be 5 to 8 feet, building to 8 to 13 feet after midnight.  The snow or rain will have already started Friday morning.  Saturday winds still out of the Northeast will be 30 to 40 knots with seas 15 to 20 feet (this is offshore).  The winds will start ot diminish on Sunday Morning.   The Delaware Bay will have 3 to 4 foot waves during this period, bay beaches can expect to see some major erosion.  The Delaware beaches are predicted to see close to 13 foot waves.  A twenty four hour pummeling will flatten the beaches and water will be to the dune lines.

 

NOAA chart on storm surge predicted for weekend.
NOAA chart on storm surge predicted for weekend.

If you are preparing for the storm in Delaware be prepared for mostly flooding along the coast.  Snow is the least of our concerns.  Because regardless of how much snow we see the flooding potential will not change.  I would rather see snow so it takes longer to create more runoff water.  Winter flooding is different than summer flooding.  In the summer if you need to you can wade through the water in an emergency it is warm.  Not in the winter, this water is cold and can cause hypothermia.  Just be prepared if you are in a low lying area prone to flooding.   We all know what to do and have been here before.  Just good to have a little warning and heads up if it does happen.  If we get a lot of snow expect drifting and road closures so be prepared for that as well..  I’m looking for an extra car hood for some sledding this weekend if anyone has one available.  Stay safe and warm.

Fish On!

Rich King



  

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