From Tim Ballisty:
High resolution image [January 7] from NASA's MODIS satellite shows unusually large ice extent in the Delaware Bay, Sandy Hook Bay, and Chesapeake Bay. If you look really hard, you can see ice flowing out of individual bays near Atlantic City. Amazing imagery @nynjpaweather
From Urban Coast Institute:
NASA satellite images show the extent of ice in the Raritan and Sandy Hook bays last week (bottom) vs. before the cold spell
A view of Sandy Hook Bay from Mt. Mitchill in Atlantic Highlands, NJ
By Joe Reynolds
New York Harbor Nature
No surprise, after two weeks of below freezing temperatures, much of Lower New York Bay has frozen over. An ice field of up to 15 inches thick formed from Highlands/Atlantic Highlands to the tip of the Sandy Hook peninsula and extending to Staten Island. It is the most extensive ice sheet along the southern shore of New York Harbor in many years.
But with warmer weather predicted this week, much of the ice will slowly melt away.
Yet, things could always be worse. The archives of The New York Times tell us that on February 14, 1901, there was an ice blockade in New York Harbor that put a temporary halt to shipping. The estuary was so ice clogged from shore to shore that "great ocean steamships, ferryboats, and the strongest as well as the weakest tugs, ocean-going tows, barges and floats" could not move. Winds were also wicked. A 66 mile an hour wind gust was recored at 4:00pm.
Low Temperature Recorded Around Sandy Hook Bay, NJ on Sunday, January 7, 2018
By Joe Reynolds
NY Harbor Nature Blog
The cold snap around New York Harbor continues, at least for one more day. Many people woke up to bone-chilling temperatures in the low single digits or below zero.
According to US National Weather Service in Upton, NY, record low temperatures were set at several locations around the New York metropolitan region:
Kennedy Airport, NY: 4 degrees F, which breaks the previous record of 6 set in 2014.
Islip Airport, NY: 2 degrees F, which breaks the previous record of 6 set in 1968.
Bridgeport, CT: -1 degrees F, which breaks the previous record of 7 set in 1988.
This is on top of record low temperatures set at the start of the New Year:
STATION: NEW RECORD/OLD RECORD (YEAR OF OLD RECORD):
LGA: 8/11 (1963)
JFK: 7/9 (1968)
EWR: 6/11 (1997)
BDR: 2/5 (1963)
ISP: 6/8 (1968)
Ice on the move out of the Shrewsbury River and into Sandy Hook Bay, NJ
It was the second-ever coldest ball drop on New Year’s Eve in Times Square. The temperature was only 10° F. The only New Year’s Eve colder on record in Times Square came in 1907, when it was just 1°.
Below freezing temperatures began on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 when the recorded high in Central Park was 28 degrees F. Since then, temperatures have not been above freezing, and some days the temperature struggled to get above 20 degrees F. Wind chill values often came with with warnings of possible frostbite and hypothermia for people and pets going outdoors.
But it looks like the bottom has finally been reached. The forecast going forward next week was far more encouraging. Monday is expected to be the first day with above freezing temperatures in 2018. Later in the week, temperatures are expected to climb into the 40s — a relatively balmy feeling for sure after nearly two weeks of arctic weather.
It looks like the Farmer's Almanac called this winter season correctly, at least so far!
BY Joe Reynolds
NY Harbor Nature Blog
What kind of year will 2018 be? Well if the first winter storm of the year is any indication, it will be a weather bomb.
The first blizzard of North America whacked the entire East Coast of the United States, including New York Harbor, with snow, ice, high winds, extreme cold, and tidal flood conditions.
On Thursday, January 4, a storm began early in the morning around New York Harbor with snow. But this was no ordinary snowstorm. This would turn out to be an historic event: a nor’easter that intensified and rivaled the strength of a hurricane due to bombogenesis.
Bombogenesis sounds like a childish word until you know what is means. According to Live Science, it’s a “meteorology term that refers to a storm (generally a non-tropical one) that intensifies very rapidly. Bomb cyclones tend to happen more in the winter months and can carry hurricane-force winds and cause coastal flooding and heavy snow.”
NOAA states that bombogenesis “occurs when a midlatitude or 60° latitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure. This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone.” The closer you are to the center of the storm, the stronger the winds. In this case the center of the storm had hurricane force winds over 75 mph.
The storm originated on January 3 as an area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico and first struck the Florida Panhandle. It dumped a half-foot of snow and ice in places that rarely receive wintry precipitation, even in the winter, such as Florida and Georgia. Along the coast of Massachusetts, the powerful winds brought coastal flooding that reached historic levels in some communities with icy water overflowing piers and stranding people and damaging cars.
According to CBS News, “Summit conditions at Mount Washington were so brutally cold Saturday morning the temperature tied for the second coldest on Earth, according to Mount Washington Observatory. The temperature hit minus 36 degrees Fahrenheit -- with a wind chill of minus 90 degrees (minus 68 degrees Celsius), according to the educational and research institution in New Hampshire.”
For New York Harbor, it was located along the outer edges of the storm. Yet, it was still banged around hard with 8 to 15 inches of snow in New York City and its suburbs, high wind gusts up to 50 mph and blowing snow through the night, followed by extreme cold temperatures into the weekend with readings in the teens and single digits. With the wind chill, it felt like minus 20 degrees on Friday night.
Close to 10" of snow was deposited around Sandy Hook Bay, NJ from the January 4, 2018 storm.
Below are some snow totals in inches around New York Harbor:
Sheepshead Bay 12.0 700 PM
Central Park 9.8 700 PM
Howard Beach 13.2 630 PM
Jackson Heights 12.0 716 PM
Whitestone 10.7 600 PM
NYC/JFK Airport 8.0 700 PM
NYC/LaGuardia Airpor 7.4 700 PM
Great Kills 10.8 651 PM
Newark Airport 8.4 700 PM
According to the meteorologists at the Weather Channel, the first winter storm of 2018 “was one of the most intense western Atlantic winter storms in decades, clobbering the East Coast with blizzard conditions and major coastal flooding after bringing one of the heavier snow and ice events to parts of the Southeast.”
Could this winter storm have been caused by climate change? As the world continues to warm there is no doubt that this warming triggers many changes to the Earth’s climate and to “typical” weather conditions, including the jet stream, which normally acts to keep cold air around the pole. A recent article in the New York Times tells us that some scientists are studying the connection between climate change and cold spells, which occur when cold Arctic air dips south, and that they may be related.
Certainly, changes in the weather and climate events, such as intense winter storms, are the primary way that most people experience climate change. We better get used to it, extreme weather events seem to be the new normal.
STOP THE WILLIAMS FRACKED GAS PIPELINE THROUGH NY HARBOR!
MY TOP 5 FAVORITE BOOKS ABOUT NY HARBOR
1. Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City by Leslie Day
2.Heartbeats in the Muck by John Waldman
3. The Fisheries of Raritan Bay by Clyde L. MacKenzie Jr.
4. Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan by Phillip Lopate
5. The Bottom of the Harbor by Joseph Mitchell