An Interesting Coincidence? (Updated 11-08-12)

Russ Steele

While we are watching the damage in New York City,  one has to wonder if it has happened before? There was a 13.88 storm tide from the current hurricane. In the Great Hurricane of 1821 it was a 11.2 foot wall of water.  The difference this time is that the surge came at high tide with a full moon while in 1821, amazingly the surge came at low tide.

The 1821 Hurricane was one of four recorded tropical cyclones that have made landfall in New York City. One was the1893 hurricane, another Irene and then Sandy in 2012. Technically these storms touched land first elsewhere before battering New York, but the Big Apple was swamped by the storm surge.

Ironically the 1821 hurricane was the last of 4 such recorded storms to target NYC from 1815 to 1821 during the Dalton solar minimum, a period not unlike the current period when Irene and Sandy hit in successive years.

We live in a chaotic world driven by chaotic cycles. Sometimes we have an opportunity to observe one of these cycles and wonder, are they related.

Update (09:25) I was reading A Meteorological Account of the Weather in Philadelphia, from January 1, 1790 to January 1, 1847 . . . last night and I discovered that following the hurricane  on the 24th of November there were several days of rain and a few flakes of snow at the end of the month. And, it rained and snowed in Philadelphia several days after the 2012 hurricane at the end of October.  An interesting bit of trivia.  I hope to make better use of the Weather in Philadelphia book in future posts.

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About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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