Delaware is small target during hurricane season – Delaware State News

DOVER — Recently, the Washington Post had an interesting blog post headlined, “Why a single hurricane has not come ashore in Virginia, Maryland or Delaware since 1851.”

The Capital Weather Gang blog said, “If you stare at a map of where hurricanes have made landfall in the United States since 1851, you’ll notice an enormous void over the Mid-Atlantic coast. Virginia, Maryland and Delaware have never been directly struck. Southern New Jersey has only been hit once.

“Is there a magical shield protecting the beaches where many Washingtonians vacation and have second homes? Will a hurricane ever directly strike these shores?”

They summed up our saving grace simply: Delmarva is “tucked in.”

“The Delmarva area is hard for hurricanes to hit both geographically and meteorologically,” said Brian McNoldy, Capital Weather Gang’s tropical weather expert. “It’s a concave part of the coastline and storms that travel that far north are typically curving to the north or northeast. If the Delmarva Peninsula ‘stuck out’ east of Cape Hatteras, the hurricane landfall map would look quite different there.”

Kelvin Ramsey, a geologist at the Delaware Geological Survey at the University of Delaware, said it has a great deal to do with Delaware being “a small target,” he said.

“Hurricanes in this part of the world tend not to go due west and that’s really the only way hurricane would make landfall in Delaware,” Dr. Ramsey said. “There would have to be some weird thing of it coming up the coast, there would be a high pressure system to the north that blocks the storm and it turns it to the west. That is exceptionally rare.”


This editor was reminded of the blog a few days ago when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its hurricane prediction report. NOAA said it was now predicting a higher likelihood (60 percent chance, revised from the 45 percent prediction in May) of an above-normal season. And, it said this…

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