Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Oct. 28, 2012 -- Talking some all-time tides versus Sandy

Email: “Jay - you have been here a lot longer than I. I have reached out to all, trying to figure out out projected storm surge. It would seem at least as bad as the "92",( perfect storm), and maybe leaning towards the early 60s hurricane.
Did you leave? We are a staying put in BHW. Stay dry. Barry.

(Well, Cap, that question actually opens up a can of historic worms. I’m serious.
The yardstick March Storm of 1962, was a nor'easter -- and an official blizzard on the mainland.

We got virtually nothing special from the 1991 Halloween “Perfect Storm,” short of beach erosion and amazingly large waves, a solid 12- to 15-foot swell, even by Hawaii standards. That somewhat over-famed event offered nothing even remotely near all-time high tide heights.

Now, jump ahead a year and a few months and up pops the one-night insane blow known as the December (11) 1992 Storm. That surprise attack actually exceeded the highest tides registered in the immortal March Storm of ’62, however, it was astoundingly short-lived -- here-and-gone in a day. The Dec, 92 storm's seldom-mentioned claim to fame was the truly insane number of vehicles that were totally ruined by an utterly unexpected high tide. I had the distinct honor of watching an entire parking lot of parked cars and trucks go almost fully under at the height of that storm. The owners of the vehicles had been bused off for an organized sky vacation junket to the Poconos. If you look at Page 152 in the book "Great Storms of the Jersey Shore," you'll see a"Jay Mann" photo of how close to the action I was for that weathery wallop.
The current Sandy set-up seems to have the potential to challenge all-time (modern) high tide heights. What’s more, unlike the Dec. 92 quickie, this current system could be in league with the Great March Storm, duration-wise. It all comes down to duration, believe me. By the by, the March Storm also hit during extreme astronomical tidal conditions.
For me, the complexity in predicting Sandy’s high tide potential is due to the likelihood of wind switches over the next 48 hours, from NE to SW. That's Sandy showing her tropical side. A hurricane first has winds from one direction until the eye (or storm center) passes by,after which, the winds come from the complete opposite indirect.
If a wind switch occurs with Sandy, that could actually ameliorate the so-called tide stacking effect caused by consecutive high tides. NE winds fill the bay -- from whence cometh our flooding -- while the follow-up SW winds evacuate the stacked water.

Again, the components of the Sandy system are so unique it's hard to make any max high-tide determinations, though I'm leaning toward a SW wind coming to our rescue -- though who's to sat how much pain she can inflict with just her onshore wind?

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