1938 Hurricane

Long Island South Shore Hurricane Storm Surge Maps

Storm Surge
Lutgens & Tarbuck, The Atmosphere, 7th ed.
Hurricane storm surge causes approximately 90% of all storm deaths and injuries and much of the damage, therefore it is important for residents of Long Island, New York to be aware of the areas that will be affected by the storm surge. The southern shore of Long Island is most vulnerable to storm surge inundation because hurricane landfall will first occur there and the low elevation will allow sea water to move well inland.

See the effects of storm surge from Camille,
a 1969 Category 5 hurricane in Mississippi

The height of maximum storm surge is a function of storm strength, location of eye landfall, tidal time of landfall, elevation, and speed of storm. The image below represents Long Island and the NY City metro region as they would be affected by storm surge from various strength hurricanes. The image is from the New York State Emergency Management Office GIS software that uses historical storm data and regional topography to estimate areas that would be inundated by water. (It should be noted that category 5 storm surges are not predicted because there is little probability of such storms and no historical data exists for reference.)

New York City Long Island Storm Surge Map
Click for full-view. (3.22 MB PDF file)

Storm Surge Interactive Risk Maps from the National Hurricane Center allows the public to anticipate storm surge in their neighborhood from various strength hurricanes. Dr. Jeff Masters also makes storm surge maps available to the public for various regions on his Storm Surge Inundation Maps for the U.S. Coast page.

Some of the key observations from the above include:

Introduction to
Weather History of
'38 Hurricane

Scott A. Mandia, Professor - Physical Sciences
T-202 Smithtown Sciences Bldg.
mandias@sunysuffolk.edu <-- PREFERRED CONTACT METHOD

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