A dangerous combination of storm surge, and tidal cycle influences, could cause significant flooding along the Hudson River, particularly from Albany and points south, Monday afternoon through Tuesday night.
The cloud shield from the northern periphery of Hurricane Sandy was already feeding into Upstate Eastern New York and adjacent Western New England this evening. Some light rain showers had also been detected on weather radar across portions of central New York and the New York southern tier. These showers were partially the result of a frontal boundary, moving toward the Atlantic coast, and also from Hurricane Sandy as some of the outer feeder bands from the system were travelling northward.
Moderate to heavy rainfall is forecast to occur during the day on Monday, through Monday night as the low pressure center of the storm makes landfall over southern New Jersey. The storm will be associated with a storm surge as it comes on shore. In short, a storm surge is essentially the piling up of large amounts of water that has been stirred about by the Hurricane. This water heads toward the coastal areas as the storm comes inland, and batters portions of the coast with rapidly rising water levels that can bring significant flooding conditions.
There is already evidence that increased, and opposing, flow is occurring where the mouth of the Hudson River empties into the Atlantic Ocean this afternoon. In addition to this, the full moon and subsequent tidal cycle will be at work as well. Above normal water levels, especially at high tide, are expected across portions of the Hudson River, particularly from Albany and points south. In fact, some minor flooding had already been observed across portions of the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie earlier this afternoon.
The fact that the storm surge from Sandy will send water from the Atlantic Ocean toward the Hudson River, will act to further disrupt the normal emptying process of the River into the Ocean. This may in turn cause water to back up, or worse, travel back upstream into the Hudson River, from the south. Needless to say, this could further exacerbate flooding conditions, as the river level will no doubt be on the rise as it deals with runoff from land and subsequent tributary’s.
Those with interests along the Hudson River, particularly from Albany and points south should take precautions to preserve life and limb in the event of flooding as result of this situation. Remember to seek higher ground immediately in the event that flooding is occurring, or in the event that a flood warning is issued by the National Weather Service. Stay tuned for later statements, and as always heed the instructions of local law enforcement and Government officials.