Long Island, New York
Steven Bellone, County Executive
Nor’easters usually develop in the latitudes between Georgia and New Jersey, within 100 miles east or west of the East Coast. These storms progress generally northeastward and typically attain maximum intensity near New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. They nearly always bring precipitation in the form of heavy rain or snow, as well as winds of gale force, rough seas, and, occasionally, coastal flooding to the affected regions. The heavily populated region between Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York and Boston, the “I-95 Corridor,” is especially impacted by Nor’easters.
The U.S. East Coast provides an ideal breeding ground for Nor’easters.Â During winter, the polar jet stream transports cold Arctic air southward across the plains of Canada and the United States, then eastward toward the Atlantic Ocean where warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic tries to move northward. The warm waters of the Gulf Stream help keep the coastal waters relatively mild during the winter, which in turn helps warm the cold winter air over the water. This difference in temperature between the warm air over the water and cold Arctic air over the land is the fuel that feeds Nor’easters.
Weather forecasters at NWS local forecast offices around the country and at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction near Washington, D.C., monitor conditions conducive for Nor’easters, especially during the fall and winter. When they see conditions are favorable in the upcoming days, forecasters may issue winter storm, blizzard, high wind and coastal flood watches to alert the public that some of the worst effects of Nor’easters might be possible. If conditions are imminent, those watches are changed to warnings.
Follow weather.gov to get the latest forecasts and warnings. If a Nor’easter threatens your home town, take steps to prepare, such as having three days of food, water and other provisions in a disaster supplies kit. A Nor’easter could cut power and leave you in the dark. Also, sit down with your family and create an emergency communications plan so your loved ones know how to stay in touch if you are separated. Stay off the roads if advised by local authorities and never drive into flood waters. These simple actions will help you stay safe during a Nor’easter.
Joseph F. Williams
John G. Jordan Sr.
Director of the Office of Emergency Management
PO BOX 127
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinates the county's response to natural or man made disasters. OEM personnel are responsible for the operations of the county's Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and work with local, state, and federal officials in shelter management, planning, resource management, and radiological response coordination.
Phone: (631) 852-4900
Fax: (631) 852-4922
© Suffolk County Government, 2015