Skip to main content

Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program

Storm & Hurricane Status and Information Page

Sub-pages:   1999 Hurricane Floyd: Falmouth |  April 2007 Nor'easter |  2011 Tropical Storm Irene |  2012 Hurricane Sandy

Related pages:   FEMA Flood Maps |  StormSmart Coasts |  King Tides

In the event of a catastrophic disaster around Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod, or Massachusetts, go to these sites:

Massachusetts Emergency Management Page

FEMA Hurricane Planning
Planning for disasters website.

FEMA's Disasterassistance.gov
The Federal Disaster Management disaster information website.

Local Planning and Preparedness

SRPEDD hurricane evacuation route evaluation report for SE Mass (22 MB pdf)

Current Storm Information

National Hurricane Center

National Weather Service Hazard Assessment Page

Track Storms with this IR Moisture Map of the East Coast (updated hourly)

New inlet in Hatteras Island
New inlet in Hatteras Island created by Hurricane Isabel in September 2003

Watch effects of local storms on local NOAA weather buoys

You can watch the approach and effects of local storms on local sea conditions by following the links or studying the graphs below.

Important external link: Buzzards Bay Data Buoy BUZM3 wind and wave conditions, updated hourly
Important external link: Buzzards Bay Data Buoy 44070 wind and wave conditions, updated hourly
Check also the Nantucket Buoy data for wave heights (graphs shown at bottom of this page).

Buoy 44008 (100 miles SE of Nantucket), wind and wave conditions, updated hourly

Map to all NOAA buoys

Recent Wave Amplitude Period and Wave Height (previous 5 days) at the SE of Nantucket Buoy:

Wave amplitude period is a good indicator of distant, severe storms. For example, during quiet periods, the period between wave swells may be 4 seconds, and wave heights 5 feet or less. However, when Nor'easters or hurricanes and other storms persist offshore, wave height, and the time between wave swell crests can increase dramatically, and will be shown on the graphs below.

Near Real Wind Gusts at BUZM3

Near Real Time Wave Height at buoy SE of Nantucket

Short Term Woods Hole Tide Predictions

Near Real Time Wave Period at buoy SE of Nantucket (long wave periods generally coincide with large offshore storms)

Hurricane Links

Army Corps Hurricane Surge (SLOSH) Maps for Buzzards Bay and Massachusetts Communities

NOAA's archive of Hurricane Katrina Advisories

Woods Hole Short Term Tide Projections

Short Term Woods Hole Tide Predictions
Click for current conditions in Woods Hole vs. predicted from tide table models


woods hole hydrographNOAA Woods Hole Hydrograph with forcasted tide
Compare this to the above Woods Hole Tide data. The same real time data is compared to a forecasted tide based on current weather conditions.

Hurricane Preparedness Information

NOAA Brochure: Hurricane Basics (1.1 MB pdf)

NOAA National Hurricane Center: Hurricane and Other Severe Weather Guides

NOAA National Weather Service: Hurricane Awareness

American Red Cross Hurricane Information Page

Historic Floods and Droughts in Massachusetts

1987 USGS report on Historic Floods and Droughts in Massachusetts (pdf file).

Past Hurricanes Affecting Buzzards Bay

1938 hurricane souvenir paper.
1938 "souvenir" newspaper issue by New Bedford Standard Times
(10 MB pdf file). Great photos and accounts of the Hurricane of 1938 two weeks after the disaster. The Hurricane hit Buzzards Bay on September 21.

Read also this well illustrated book, NEW ENGLAND HURRICANE (1938) (25 MB pdf).
Wikipedia summary of all hurricanes and tropical storms affecting New England.
Path of all Deadliest and Costliest Hurricanes in US

US Hurricane Strike Locations, 1950-2000


Hurricane Bob on Wikipedia


Great Hurricane of 1815

The Hurricane of 1815 was probably comparable in intensity to the Hurricane of 1938, or perhaps greater (Boldt et at, 2010; Marine Geology 275:127–139).

Brief 1816 Account of the Great Gale of 1815
This account, was published in 1816 by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

1847 summary of various accounts of the Great Gale of 1815
This account was published in an 1846 history of Rochester and Mattapoisett.

Environmental Management Issues associated with Storms and Sea Level Rise

Storms and high seas erode the coast and flood low-lying areas. In addition, since the last ice age 10,000 years ago, sea level has continued to rise. During recent centuries, relative sea level has risen an average of 1 foot per century on the east coast, and this rate of sea level rise is expected to increase with global warming. The combination of sea level rise and coastal erosion has changed many coastal areas in the US since European colonization of North America more than 400 years ago.

For environmental managers and regulators today, construction and development in storm flood zones, and areas of high erosion is an important concern, especially in terms of threats to human safety. Also important are the high public financial costs and economic impacts associated of replacing roads, loss of personal property, and public financing of flood insurance programs and emergency response, particularly in areas repeated damaged by storms. The links to the articles below discuss some of these public policy issues.

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Shoreline Change Project.

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Coastal Hazards Page.

National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise (pdf file).

National Academy of Sciences: Sea Level Rise and Coastal Disasters (pdf file).

URI fact sheet on coastal Erosion.

Army Corps New Bedford Hurricane Barrier Tidal Data.

Frequency of Major Hurricanes striking the United States
Frequency of all Hurricanes striking the United States
"Major" hurricane strikes (Categories 3 to 5) and total number of hurricane strikes in the US for each decade (data from NOAA).

Other Links

NSTAR Power Outage Map

Google Hurricane Sandy Crisis Maps

BB NEP's Weather Page

NOAA web page on hurricane historical statistics and FAQs

NOAA Boston and Region Weather, updated hourly. [Best Gov. site, click on map where you live.]

Today's Sea Conditions (from NOAA's National Weather Service)

New Bedford Standard Times Hurricane Update Page

University of Hawaii, all current storm complete tracks