Waves off New Jersey


Powerful Thunderstorms Created 'Meteotsunami' In New Jersey

May 16, 2018 - 9:38 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A small weather-generated tsunami was recorded in New Jersey during Tuesday's deadly thunderstorms.

WCBS 880's Chief Meteorologist Craig Allen said it was a "meteotsunami."

"It is similar to its cousins of the earthquake-related tsunamis," Allen said. "They were trying to take a look along the Jersey Shore as to why tidal gauges suddenly went up about a foot -- anywhere from a half-foot to a foot-- above normal. High tide was about a foot above the projected nromal for this time of year for not only the atmospheric conditions but the astronomical positions as well. Now the reason behind this was yesterday's storm system. As the thunderstorms moved out into the water at the speed that they were traveling they created enough air pressure differences between the storm vs. where they were pushing into and the water actually rose by about a foot or so and that is called a meteotsunami."

"The thunderstorms were so intense and moving at such a great speed that they actually created pressure differences in the ocean and that came ashore showing up on the tidal gauges as a foot above normal and everybody was scratching their head at first and then they figured out what it was," Allen added.

Tidal levels were also up a little bit along the south shore of Long Island.

It is now receding because the line of thunderstorms is weaker and much farther south.

There were no reports of damage from the event.