Saturday’s Storm on the New Hampshire Seacoast: Less Rain, Higher Tides Possible
🌧️ The worst of the storm will be in the early hours of Saturday
🌧️ Flooding along the coast could rival Wednesday's floods
🌧️ Stay out of the seafoam if it develops along the coast
If you liked Wednesday's storm, you'll love the next system headed to the Seacoast region late Friday night.
The only thing missing is the heavy rain and most of the snow. A Coastal Flood Warning is in effect from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday for tides surging up to three feet, with 1-3 feet of water on the road. A Wind Advisory is in effect starting at 4 a.m. Saturday.
"(It's) almost a carbon copy of what we experienced Wednesday. The same general idea with precipitation, precipitation type on most coastal areas are probably going to see all rain from this, though the interior parts of Rockingham and Strafford and York County could start as heavy snow," meteorologist Jon Palmer at the National Weather Service told Seacoast Current.
Palmer said that the coastal flooding on Saturday could rival Wednesday's. Even though the storm is weaker, the tides will be higher overall. Winds will gust up to 60 mph at the coast and 45 mph inland on Saturday morning.
"Wednesday, we had a stronger system with lower tides. This weekend, we're going to have higher tides in a weaker system," Palmer said.
Palmer expects less rain from Saturday's storm with generally a little more than an inch for most of the Seacoast region.
Timeline of the storm:
- Saturday 12 midnight: Precipitation begins as heavy snow inland, rain closer to the coast.
- Saturday morning: Precipitation is rain in all areas by sunrise with strong gusty winds. High tide is late Saturday morning along the coast.
- Saturday afternoon: Wind speed drops off to 30 mph.
Deploying additional assets in Hampton
Hampton Fire Chief Michael McMahon, who is also the town's Emergency Management Director, said that flooding like Wednesday's happens generally every two or three years.
"The drone stuff that I saw is quite impressive, and it really does show that all the streets are underwater at some point, which I think that's unusual," McMahon told Seacoast Current. "We don't always get flooding from both the marsh side and the ocean side. Sometimes we get either, but we don't typically get both."
McMahon and Police Chief Alex Reno are planning to deploy some additional assets for the storm, with help from the Public Works Department.
"Public Works is going to pre-stage their barriers at places where we frequently see road closures and coastal flooding events. We'll have extra police officers and firefighters on duty," McMahon said.
As quickly as the flood water comes in, it also exits just as fast.
"When the tide goes out, the water goes with it. It comes back in 12 hours. There's the rub. Every 12 hours and 25 minutes we get another high tide," McMahon said.
More sea foam?
It could also mean a return to of the sea foam that accompanied the flooding on Wednesday in Hampton, which kind of looks like the head on a root beer.
"It's not necessarily a meteorological phenomenon, but generally it happens when you have a combination of decomposing organic matter and agitation. Likely the agitation that caused all the sea foam in Hampton Beach was the the high waves and the coastal flooding we experienced," Palmer said.
McMahon said that the sea foam is terrible for vehicles, and that you shouldn't drive through it because of the salt in the ocean water, which damages the electronics. Many of the sensors on a vehicle are down low.
"It's going to get into everything," McMahon said. "You've got all sorts of electronics in vehicles today. They don't like water and they certainly don't like salt. Salt just makes the electrolysis and the corrosion happen so quickly."
Driving in general during such high tides is also not a good idea because of driftwood and rocks that can be as big as softballs and volleyballs. It's under the water, and driving over it can cause a lot of damage, according to McMahon.
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Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka