Having returned from vacation just yesterday I was left on the outside looking in as days of rain, wind, and tidal surge battered New Jersey beaches and intracoastal ways. Even though our area was spared the brunt of Joaquin thanks to just missing a capture from an upper level low spinning over the southeastern United States, my home town and neighboring beaches and waterways had front row seating to extended onshore flow that wrought moderate tidal flooding and a deluge of rain.
Sitting in Florida, a mere few hundred miles from the center of Joaquin’s cyclogenesis, I was crossing my fingers model run to model run as spaghetti plots meandered all over the eastern seaboard; many sending landfall to areas directly affected by Superstorm Sandy. Ultimately, after laying a beating on the Bahamas this turned into a fish storm and began its northeast march toward Bermuda and out to sea. But with a powerful blocking high pressure locked in around Maine and the low pressure of the storm off the coast of Florida, Mother Nature set up the physical mechanics of a pitching machine enabling a 72-96 hour period of onshore flow to fire streams of moisture and wind at much of the east coast; bringing devastating rain to South Carolina and beach erosion to many coastal areas. With the abrupt left hook of Sandy still fresh in all our minds, this was a little too close for comfort.
Pictured above is my photograph of tonight’s sunset still showing off the tidal remains of all that water that was pushed up toward the coast thanks to that pitching machine effect. Despite being days after peak flooding you can get a sense of just how long it takes water to recede safely back whence it came.