National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
News Headlines


A strong low pressure system that deepened offshore of the northeast US coast during the night of October 27 (and especially by October 28th) was responsible for sending long-period swell our way that served to increase water levels in areas adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay (especially the mid and upper bay). This is evidenced by the two large, successive flood tides that were observed at Cape Henry (which is near the mouth of the bay). Water levels were already above moderate flood thresholds in many locations adjacent to the bay by the early morning hours of the 29th. Then, another strong low pressure system slowly approached from the west-southwest during the day on the 29th, while its associated occluded front approached from the SSW. Moderate to strong easterly winds were observed during the day on the 29th (ahead of the front), with gusts of 40-50 mph in spots near the coast. These strong easterly winds served to increase tidal anomalies further, reaching 4ft (or more) above normal in spots near the mid/upper bay by the afternoon of the 29th (where major flooding was already occurring in multiple locations). However, the worst of the flooding was observed across the mid/upper bay during the evening high tide cycle on the 29th, as winds were veering to the SSW in the wake of the occluded front. Despite the fact that astronomical tides were relatively low, water levels during the evening high tide on 10/29 at Cambridge, Bishop's Head, and Crisfield, Maryland were the highest observed since Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (at Crisfield) and Hurricane Isabel in 2003 (at Cambridge and likely Bishop's Head). In fact, water levels were so high that the entire village of Lewisetta, Virginia had to be evacuated. In Cambridge, MD, shelters had to be opened for residents impacted by the extremely high water levels.


nws logo Media use of NWS Web News Stories is encouraged!
Please acknowledge the NWS as the source of any news information accessed from this site.
nws logo