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I see little mention of this phenomenon in many of the diaries here, (although I know it is common knowledge amongst our expert diarists, including FishOutofWater who has posted an excellent diary) but that is one of the main reasons why the low pressure of a hurricane is so dangerous:  the low atmospheric air pressure of the storm is physically lifting the level of the ocean beneath it.  This is in addition to the added heights of wind driven waves and precipitation in the air, etc...

From NOAA's website:

Highlighted by me:

That's 5% additional water height. So for a 20 ft storm surge 1 entire foot is from atmospheric uplift alone!

Add to all that just the right kind of topography as Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay
 did for the 1938 storm:

Providence is the PD at the top of the map.  The top of what is effectively a giant funnel.

and you get:

Downtown Providence 1938

Downtown Manhattan 2012

Oh yeah, Did I mention it's a full moon?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sandy was at 943 MB just 3 hours ago. (20+ / 0-)

    In 1938 lows of 946 and 948 were recorded in LI and Connecticut.
    If you are not on high ground now you need to get there.
    I fear what tomorrow's news may bring as so many people apparently did not evacuate the barrier islands of NJ, Staten Island, and New York City/LI.  I have a very good friend who made the questionable decision to shelter in place in Battery Park City with his family.  I know they will be without power for several days now.
    Hopefully that is the worst they will have to deal with.

    There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

    by NYFM on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 05:44:42 PM PDT

    •  Wishing all NYers the best. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, NYFM

      Here in south-central PA, the whole thing is being hyped but so far, so good: all the places that normally flood when we get two inches of rain are going to flood, but the storm has yet to really hit us.

      I hope it doesn't hit us at all...I remember Agnes and Irene.  And I'm glad I live downtown where power is likely to either stay on or be restored quickly.

      Out in the county, they could be w/o electricity for a week.

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 08:25:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  which means maybe they'll have to VOTE... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYFM, Youffraita

        .... on paper ballots.

        Wouldn't that be interesting?

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 04:57:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        • in the city (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          we already vote on paper ballots.  Frankly, I miss the old mechanical voting machines.

          Nope: fill in the circle, then feed your ballot into a scanner, which eats it.  We get to keep the tear-off bottom for our paper trail.

          To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

          by Youffraita on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 01:30:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Funnel harbors are the worst for surges (9+ / 0-)

    and Tsunamis.

    Hilo harbor acts as a tsunami amplifier in Hawaii.

    The pressure drop added to tonight's surge. I  would guess it added a little over half a foot, but that's just a guess.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 08:28:10 PM PDT

  •  The narcissist's problem with low pressure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A mind-killing headache.  Gah.  I didn't need satellite pictures or radar to tell me when Sandy had arrived.

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 07:05:02 AM PDT

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