A low pressure system was centered over the Illinois/Indiana border early on the morning of May 11th and was moving towards the east. A seconday low began to form over eastern North Carolina during the late afternoon on the 11th and eventually absorbed the other low pressure becoming the dominant low. This low began its movement up the Mid-Atlantic coastline late on the 11th into the 12th. Early on the morning of the 12th the low was centered over the southern Delmarva with yet another low forming offshore. With the two lows in close proximity, a strong northeast wind developed and persisted through the evening of the 12th. The prolonged northeast flow combined with higher than normal tides caused tidal flooding in New Jersey and Delaware. There was limited moisture inland from the center of the system but an abundance of moisture was ushered into southern Delaware and Eastern Maryland. By Monday evening the coastal low began moving towards the southeast away from the region, bringing an end to the gusty winds and tidal problems.
A Flood Watch was issued at 337 AM EDT on the 11th and was in effect from late Sunday night until Monday afternoon. The watch was for Cecil County in Maryland; New Castle County in Delaware; and Chester, Delaware and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania. The Flood Watch was cancelled for all counties at 931 AM EDT on the 12th.
A Coastal Flood Advisory was issued at 515 AM EDT on the 11th. The advisory was in effect from Midnight EDT on the 11th through 500 AM EDT on the 12th for Inland Sussex County and the Delaware beaches in Delaware; Middlesex, Eastern and Western Monmouth, Ocean, Atalntic, Cape May and Southeastern Burlington counties in New Jersey and including the back bays. A Coastal Flood Watch was issued at the same time and was in effect from Monday afternoon through late Monday night. The Coastal Flood Advisory was upgraded to a Coastal Flood Warning at 334 PM EDT on the 11th and was in effect from Midnight EDT on the 11th through 800 AM EDT on the 13th. At this time a Coastal Flood Warning was also issued for New Castle and Kent counties in Delaware; Salem, Gloucester, Camden, Cumberland, and Northwestern Burlington counties in New Jersey and Delaware and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania and in effect for Midnight EDT on the 11th through 800 AM EDT on the 13th. Also, a Coastal Flood Advisory was issued for Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's, Talbot and Caroline counties in Maryland, in effect for Midnight EDT on the 11th through 800 AM EDT on the 13th. The Coastal Flood Advisory was cancelled at 415 PM EDT on the 12th. The Coastal Flood Warning was allowed to expire at 800 AM EDT on the 13th.
A Wind Advisory was issued at 906 PM on the 11th for Kent and Sussex counties in Delaware; Talbot and Caroline counties in Maryland; and Atlantic, Cumberland, Cape May and Southeastern Burlington counties in New Jersey. The Advisory was in effect from the time of issuance through 400 PM EDT on the 12th. At this time a Wind Advisory was also issued for Middlesex, Momouth, and Ocean counties in New Jersery, in effect from 400 AM EDT through 400 PM EDT on the 12th. At 554 AM EDT on the 12th, a Wind Advisory was issued for New Castle County in Delaware; Queen Anne's County in Maryland; Somerset, Mercer, Salem, Gloucester, Camden, and Northwestern Burlington counties in New Jersey; and Delaware and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania, in effect from time of issuance until 400 PM EDT on the 12th. At this time the Wind Advisory was cancelled for Sussex County in Delaware and Talbot County in Maryland. At 935 AM on the 12th a Wind Advisory was re-issued for Sussex County in Delaware and in effect from time of issuance until 400 PM EDT on the 12th. At 1025 AM EDT on the 12th, the Wind Advisory was upgraded to a High Wind Warning for Sussex County in Delaware; and Atlantic and Cape May counties in New Jersey. At 355 PM EDT on the 12th, the High Wind Warning was downgraded to a Wind Advisory and in effect until 800 PM EDT on the 12th. The Advisory also remained in effect for the coastal regions of Ocean County in New Jersey. At this time the Wind Advisory was cancelled for New Castle and Kent counties in Delaware; Queen Anne's and Caroline counties in Maryland; Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Salem, Gloucester, Camden, Burlington, Ocean and Cumberland Counties in New Jersey; and Delaware and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania. The remaining Wind Advisory was cancelled at 805 PM EDT on the 12th.
Precipitation was not quite as robust in most areas receiving less than 1.0 inch with locally higher amounts southeast of the I-95 corridor. However, rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches were seen across Southern Delaware and Southeastern Maryland.
Several reports of wind damage were reported in New Jersey and Delaware. Trees and powers lines were reported down across the area as well as damages to several homes and cars. Thousands of people were without power in Southern New Jersey and Delaware as a result of the storm.Wave heights of 21 feet were recorded at Buoy 40009 with wind gusts hitting 54 MPH.
Some peak wind gusts as reported during the storm:
Lewes - 68 MPH
Brandywine Light - 67 MPH
Brandywine Harbor - 67 MPH
Dover AFB - 60 MPH
Wilmington Airport - 48 MPH
Ridgely - 47 MPH
Easton - 45 MPH
Chesapeake City - 44 MPH
In New Jersey:
Ocean City - 78 MPH
Sea Isle City - 76 MPH
Cape May COOP - 66 MPH
Atlantic City NJDOT - 66 MPH
Avalon - 62 MPH
Harvey Cedars - 62 MPH
Barnegat Light - 59 MPH
Atlantic City Airport - 59 MPH
Tabernacle - 57 MPH
Hillsborough - 56 MPH
Seaside Heights - 55 MPH
Sea Girt - 52 MPH
Bivalve - 50 MPH
Woodstown - 47 MPH
Trenton Mercer Airport - 46 MPH
Pittstown - 44 MPH
Phila Intl Airport - 49 MPH
NE Phila Airport - 47 MPH
This was an interesting system as it will probably be remembered as the Mother's Day Storm 2008.
The most significant result of this system was a Coast Guard rescue off the coast of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. A research vessel was damaged and began taking on water early on the morning of the 12th. The 2 crewmen had to be rescued and taken to the hospital, where one was later decared deceased.
Heavy rain combined with high astronomical tides caused several roads to close in Southern New Jersey and Delaware. Some major impacts from the flooding were:
Evacuations took place in Kitts Hummock, Bowers Beach and Woodland Beach in Kent County, Delaware due to coastal and road flooding.
The Indian River Inlet Bridge on Del 1 in Sussex County, Delaware was closed due to flooding.
Del 9 was closed at the Reedy Point Bridge in New Castle County, Delaware.
Coastal Flooding in New Jersey was comparable to the October 2006 floods.
Beach erosion in Delaware and New Jersey due to the high surf has also been attributed to this storm.
A limited State of Emergency was declared in Cape May County, New Jersey due to high winds and coastal flooding and was in effect from 200 PM EDT May 12th through 1000 AM EDT May 13th.
Information contained in this summary is preliminary. More complete and/or detailed information may be contained in subsequent monthly NOAA storm data publications.