Storms that ripped through northeast caused a ‘meteotsunami’

The powerful thunderstorms that rocked the Northeast on Tuesday produced a weather phenomenon known as a “meteotsunami,” meteorologists said.

Accuweather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski told The Post Wednesday that the meteotsunami extended from southern Connecticut all the way down to Delaware, resulting in the fluctuation of the sea surface.

But what is a meteotsunami?

“It’s a disturbance in the bay or ocean surface just like a tsunami, but in this case, it’s caused by a sudden atmospheric pressure change and a corresponding rush of air,” Sosnowski said.

“It tugs and pulls on the waters’ surface and creates this wave effect,” he added.

Sosnowski said that meteotsunamis can occur with “any line of thunderstorms moving off the coast.”

He added that the phenomenon is not “highly unusual.”

“It’s much ado about nothing,” Sosnowski said. “It’s a fancy name for a relatively minor event.”

During the severe storms, irregularly high tides were reported in areas from Perth Amboy in New Jersey to Delaware’s Fenwick Island.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “unlike tsunamis triggered by seismic activity, meteotsunamis are driven by air-pressure disturbances often associated with fast-moving weather events, such as severe thunderstorms, squalls, and other storm fronts.

“The storm generates a wave that moves towards the shore, and is amplified by a shallow continental shelf and inlet, bay, or other coastal feature.”

Some meteotsunamis have been observed to reach heights of 6 feet or more, according to the NOAA.

With Post wires

https://nypost.com/2018/05/16/storms-that-ripped-through-northeast-caused-a-meteotsunami/

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