Sunday, October 28, 2012

Testing . . .

Eli has often pointed out

For those who do not know, the South Shore of Long Island is a long strip of low barrier islands. The most valuable land is closest to the shore and the lowest and most subject to flooding, including, of course, the Hamptons. As Eli often points out, a flood tide hitting that area would cause so much monetary damage that it would pay for just about any action the US takes to limit climate change.
Well, that is soon to get a test.  Not only has there been a fair amount of sea level rise in the area, but tonight the tides are high, and a certain weather disturbance will be in town.   Eli is not one to claim that an additional half meter or more of sea level rise by itself won't cause some problems, but it is always the and not the or what gets you, so sea level rise, high tides and storm surge are the perfect combination.

The National Weather Service expects
  • Tidal departures: between 2 to 3 ft above astronomical Tides tonight during high tide with locally higher values, 3 to 4.5 ft above astronomical Tides Monday morning, and potential for 6 to 11 ft above Monday night into Tuesday morning. The higher end of the range relegated to the New York Harbor, western Long Island Sound and the Long Island South Shore back bays.
  • High Surf and beach erosion, breaking waves are expected to build to 15 to 20 ft along Ocean facing Shorelines By late Monday into Monday night. The destructive waves on top of the storm surge will cause significant damage to coastal infrastructure nearest to sea level. At the same time, 5 to 10 ft waves are possible along exposed eastern and northeastern facing portions of Long Island Sound, Peconic Bay, and New York Harbor. This is expected to cause major beach erosion and Washovers. This will especially be felt for Fire Island communities such as fair Harbor, Ocean Beach, Cherry Grove, Fire Island Pines and Davis Park.
There is a neat tool for estimating how bad this will be at Firetree.  The top image is 0 m sea level rise, in other words maybe this morning, the bottom is for a 3 m sea level rise, somewhere in the middle of that 6-11 ft range

Bunnies can blow that up, or, let Eli help you take a look at upper New York Bay, Brooklyn and Queens

Large chunks of the Rockaways, Coney Island and the other barrier islands gone, most of south Brooklyn, and kind of where the 678 shield is, oh yes, that was Kennedy Airport.  Is it gonna be that bad.  Hope not.  Is it due to climate change?  Well there has been significant, tho not huge general sea level rise and some extra special sauce with subsidence in the area, and, of course, we have loaded the climate dice, so all in all, remember the word and.

As a special added feature Shepard, et al Assessing future risk: quantifying the effects of sea level rise on storm surge risk for the southern shores of Long Island, New York (Shepard et al. 2012, Nat. Hazards, 60:727–745 DOI 10.1007/s11069-011-0046-8) have looked at the combined effects of a 50 cm sea level rise and a cat 3 storm would be.  This one is not cat 3, but it has a significant surge on top of a high tide, and is carrying lots of water.  It will give the model a good workout.

Tamino has been dancing on the pointy headed critics of Shepard who are wearing rose colored glasses about future sea level rise and damages there from.  Now some, not Eli to be sure, might say that he is a bit annoyed at the NC-20 crowd and their insistence that the sea levels are only increasing slowly if at all but he does have something to say about their need for reading glasses.

In closing, to those in the storm area, stay safe, don't do foolish things and spend your time reading and commenting on Rabett Run.  It's safer.


dhogaza said...

" Is it due to climate change? Well there has been significant, tho not huge general sea level rise and some extra special sauce with subsidence in the area, and, of course, we have loaded the climate dice, so all in all, remember the word and."

Masters pointed out the extraordinarily warm ocean conditions in the part of the Atlantic Sandy passed over yesterday or a bit earlier, that allowed the storm to grow back to hurricane strength despite windshear in the 30-40 knot range.

That's one loaded climate die right there ...

david lewis said...

"it is always the and not the or what gets you", or as the NAS explained to the US Navy in National Security Implications of Climate Change for US Naval Forces,

"neither regional nor global sea level is of primary interest in determining naval coastal installation vulnerability. Rather, it is the increased vulnerability associated with extreme events (storm surges) and their dependence on changes in regional sea level, tidal amplitudes, and the nature of extraordinary meteorological forces that are of greatest importance".

Maybe the NAS should hire Eli to write their reports for them....

Neven said...

And how about those high pressure systems around Greenland forcing Sandy to make a sharp left turn? Looking for winter weirdness 1

And how about that very early snow in Europe? Looking for winter weirdness 2

Coincidence? Sure, anything is possible.

J Bowers said...

Been following it on Twitter. People are getting stocked up for the storm: every liqor store on the Eastern seaboard is probably empty by now. One guy in NYC posted a photo curiously saying the river's already at the top of the sea wall.

J Bowers said...

Photo on Long Island.

Anonymous said...

The National Hurricane Center has an interactive map here that gives the probability of a storm surge of > a given height (for the next 3 days)

And as far as spending time reading and commenting at Rabett Run, that's hard to do if you lose your power and internet connection (which some of us did for more than a week after Irene hit).


Arthur said...

FYI I'm volunteering here at a red cross shelter in the middle of long Island (got the graveyard shift) - so far at less than 10% capacity despite some mandatory evacuations in the area. Maybe more people will show up in re next few hours. The midnight excitement though was from parents arriving to pick up kids returning from a high school band trip. Life not highly disrupted here yet at least.


The rate of sea level rise has accelerated alarmingly with Sandy's approach , for Mike Fazinnelli, the Newark Star Leger's dean of Jersey Shore journalism reports:

"Six years ago, Louise Hughes moved to Monmouth Beach — the "perfect shore town," except for one drawback, she said.

It’s a mile below sea level.

That’s why Hughes was among the first people evacuated to the shelter at Monmouth University this afternoon. But she wasn’t complaining as she sat in the makeshift dining area volunteers were constructing around her, reading a newspaper.

"This is my second time, so I am much more comfortable," said Hughes, who evacuated last summer for Irene. "

The capacity of Snooki's cohort to depress coastal towns is staggering- I recall the Monmouth Beach Club as an establishment plumb on the level of the Atlantic.

J Bowers said...

By the time Donna reached NYC in 1960 I believe she was a Cat 1.

Manhattan - The Intersection of West and Cortlandt Street.

cRR Kampen said...

This thing is going to cause damages amounting to 2-3% of a year's US war budget.


J Bowers said...

Didn't realise 60+ million Americans signed up for active duty. I'm sure the negligible 2-3% will be of great comfort (probably 6-10% based on 1938 Express Hurricane costs).

cRR Kampen said...

"As Eli often points out, a flood tide hitting that area would cause so much monetary damage that it would pay for just about any action the US takes to limit climate change."

So, J Bowers, cRR just pointed something like that out, or actually something a little worse. Yes, 60 million Americans started some active duty on Sunday. Of course they will not be paid. The US war budget is holy, every promille of it.

A.Grinsted said...

Lin et al. published a paper on future hurricane surge threat (with and without sea level rise). nature.

And I just published a paper showing that globally warm years has been associated with a much greater hurricane surge threat, compared to cold.

I hope that the impact will be minimal. But the dice are already loaded. Perhaps there is a reason why people call it a Frankenstorm.

J Bowers said...

The water's creeping onto JFK.

Jeffrey Davis said...

There's a webcam of Ocean City, MD which shows the water up to a nearby gazebo roof. With Sandy still many many miles out to sea.

Anonymous said...

Aslak, your presence is appreciated at Tamino's ("Storm surge")