Winter Weather Reports

Sussex County Online User Forums: Sussex County Delaware Discussion Forum: Winter Weather Reports
By Eric Magill on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 11:12 am:

Because weather conditions typically vary so widely throughout Sussex County, you are asked to post conditions in your area of Sussex County here. You can post current conditions in your area, including any effects of the weather, road conditions you may be seeing, or reminisce about past big storms to hit the county.

By Tony Soprano on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 11:27 am:

In Fenwick Island, all roads clear due to amount of Hot Air coming from Town Hall

By elsie on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 02:38 pm:

Eric & Kerin,
Love having the deldot cams of Sussex County link right with the beach cams. It'd be great if you could keep that feature all of the time, if you would.
The ocean is still far enough out in Fenwick right now...and the bayside tides started at a really low level when the storm started. Nothing threatening here in the short term.
Bunting Avenue, the ocean road in Fenwick, has black ice streets at the crossroads then snow drift street covering the black ice between the crossroads.
We tend to watch the wave height readings at Station 44009-Delaware Bay 26 nm (nautical miles) SE of Cape May on
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.phtml?$station=44009
to determine when we are in for an ocean breakthrough. Historically, they have to get about twice as high as they are out at that bouy right now before things break through here. Of course, the winds then were more easterly along with the sequentially high tides in the multi-day storms. We've been nor'easterly until now, but things looks to be going more ENE soon. I am going from the noon and one o'clock Sunday readings of waveheights (WVHT) of 11.5' and 10.5' respectively. I am sure it is not as simple as that! That ought to give your readers something else to check on!

By A Way of Life on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 02:50 pm:

We have blowing snow that hurts your face in Dewey. The snow is all the way down to the water -- very little sand still visible.

Drifts are high on the beach with the wind. The wind is amazing -- and cold.

The water looks like it's boiling, coming in directly from the east and other parts coming from the south, then meeting and erupting into big spouts.

By bill weistling, jr. on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 08:00 pm:

At the high tide in F.I. tonight on the ocean at 7:30 p.m, waves rolled to the dune fence but about 30' of beach was maintained. Luckily, a wide and relatively high dune protects us.
The bay side so far has not experienced any high tides or flooding yet, thanks to the extreme low tides earlier this week combined with a west wind.
Hopefully the winds will shift before Mon. night's high tide. We should be OK for tomorrow's a.m. high tide unless the wind picks up substantially tonight.
Current winds offshore at the De. Light Buoy at 7:00 p.m. were at 33-42 knots with seas at 15' at 8 seconds.
In Feb. of 1998, the ocean breached the dunes in places when the seas reached 23' at 11 seconds. Winds at that time were at 37-47 knots. A very similar situation. In both cases, the wind has gone from NE to ENE. The additional east wind brings the concern.
Steady NE winds over 3 days, and very strong winds in the last day or days after warrant concern.
I'll update tomorrow after the a.m. high tide.

By Eric Magill on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 08:59 pm:

Thanks for the updates Bill and Elsie ... and stay dry.

In Ocean View, the wind is howling, the snow is blowing, and the dog isn't all that excited about going out even though he loves the snow.

Every time we let him out on his chain, we have to find the chain first because it's been buried by the snow again.

The town's snow plows have been by a couple of times, as have kids on sleds being dragged by ATVs.

Judging by non-drift areas, I'd say we have about 8 inches as of 9 p.m.

By bill weistling, jr. on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 10:43 pm:

Raining here in F.I. at 10:30 p.m. Not too much snow in the Town for this storm, but lots of wind.
10:00 p.m. at De. Light Buoy, 20 mls. east, recorded 35-42 knot winds with seas at 20' @ 9 seconds. Seas don't get much higher than this. I'm recording winds at 28-35 with a recent gust to 45 mph.
Hope the winds subside and our dunes hold!

By elsie on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 05:48 am:

5 a.m. 2/17/03 DE Light recorded the prior hour's winds at 31.1 - 40.8 knts, in a diminishing mode, still ENE but the directional degree tending more towards the NE portion of ENE (70) than the prior few hours. With the 5 a.m. seas at 21.7 feet @ 11 seconds, we want to see diminishing winds and a change from due east winds! Hope it continues! High tide is just a few hours away! Good Morning all!

By me again on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 06:11 am:

ooops! The cobweb in my brain moved and I realize that 70 is more directly easterly than what has been blowing. And as long as it has taken me to type all of this, our readings here at home are showing an average near 20 mph winds with gusts to 29 from E and ENE. By now, I can go check the 6 a.m. report!

By elsie on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 06:31 am:

6 a.m. DE Light winds climbing 35 - 44.7 knts, again more easterly (70) degree of the ENE, seas 21 feet @ 11 seconds

By elsie on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 06:57 am:

6:48 a.m. From our second floor on the west side of Bunting Avenue in Fenwick Island, while the dune from this side of the fence looks to be almost as high as the dune fence top in most places, I just saw a wave roll over the dune in the 1500 block oceanfront. It so far is not consistently coming over the dune, but that tells me how close it is for sure without bundling up to go look at what's left of the beach now.
Suppose South Bethany and Dewey already know the story too well. Think I will peek at the Bethany cam!

By elsie on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 07:44 am:

whew! 7 a.m. DE light winds 31.1 - 38.9 knots, mostly near the low 30's during the last hour, still ENE (70), seas (wow!!!) 23.3 @ 11 seconds.
Only saw that one rolling breach of the dune. Guess our dunes are in better shape than in Feb. '96, though the wave hts. then were still a tiny bit higher. That and the winds are lighter now than then. Whatever, viva la difference!

By M. Opaliski on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 08:36 am:

Lots of snow here in the Greenwood area, no numbers on actual accumulation but its up to 2 feet in some spots due to drifting, like in my driveway and front sidewalk for example.

I went out late yesterday and shoveled a way out if need be but that may not do any good once I hit the roads. I think I'll just sit tight with some coffee.

Stay safe everyone ...

By Eric Magill on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 08:48 am:

Thanks for the updates Bill, Elsie and Matthew.

In Ocean View, we've had more rain overnight than anything and we're actually seeing large patches of grass in our back yard. The road in our subdivision also has a clear lane.

I guess we're close enough to the coast to not get the huge snow amounts yet far enough away to not be affected by the high seas and overflowing bays. Just a lot of wind and rain here.

By elsie on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 08:56 am:

8 a.m. DE light pretty much the same except the seas are at 25.3 feet at 11 seconds!

By bill weistling, jr. on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 09:21 am:

The dunes in FI weathered the 8:00 a.m high tide. Large waves were rolling up the dunes in some cases, but no break-throughs. The dune fence however is heavily damaged and destroyed in many areas. Observed an approximate 30' ramp, complete with handrails on both sides, go floating by before breaking up. By its shape, I'm sure its part of the beach access ramp at the nearby De. seashore state park.
Winds subsiding somewhat here with almost 1.5" of rain overnight.
No flooding yet on the bayside. A couple of hours until the high tide reaches there, but a good sign so far.

By M. Opaliski on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 10:43 am:

I hear that they (DEMA) are recommending that those in the Oak Orchard area that can evacuate do so. Flooding expected in the area ...

Heard live on WGMD, as per Greg Patterson, spokesman for Gov. Minner.

By Rich on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 09:07 am:

Does everyone still have power? We have a place in Salt Pond and I was wondering if the heat would be working? By the way, in Waynesboro, Pa we have about 20-24 inches and it is still flurrying. Supoosed to be 40 degrees by th end of the week, though. Come on, Summer!

By Eric Magill on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 10:31 am:

Hi Rich:
I haven't heard about any major power outages in the Ocean View area (I live in Ocean View, about a half-mile from Salt Pond). We have relatives in Salt Pond, and no one has called or shown up on our door step, so I'm assuming everything is fine there.

We did have a brief power outage overnight on Sunday night ... so if your heat comes back on automatically after a power outage you should be okay.

I don't envy you living in Pa. We used to live in Oxford in Southern Chester County and any amount of snow would shut the whole county down for days.

We published a newspaper there and after significant snow storms, we'd head out the next day, taking our lives in our hands, to take pictures on the Pa-Md state line of the ice-covered roads in Pa leading up to the dry roads in Md.

By Rich on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 12:16 pm:

Thanks for the update Eric, You are absolutely right about the roads. When I was a kid in the 50s we used to joke about bumpy roads being "Maryland" roads because Pa roads were so much better but now it is the exact opposite. The snow crews here do a pretty good job though. Right now the big problem is where to put the snow since there is so much of it. I think the drought is officially over!

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