Severe storms generated a 'meteotsunami' Tuesday

It was generated by an abrupt change in atmospheric pressure.

By Chris Michaels - Meteorologist

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. - According to the American Meteorological Society, a meteotsunami is "A tsunami-like wave phenomenon generated by a meteorological or atmospheric disturbance." 

Meteotsunamis aren't necessarily new, but the exploration of them is. These happen fairly often in the Great Lakes, but can also happen off the East Coast of the United States. 

In a statement released Tuesday night, the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey said, "The combination of the air pressure effect on the ocean surface and the speed at which the pressure disturbance travels can generate tsunami like waves in certain situations."

The pressure disturbance being referred to was a line of severe storms that brought downed trees and power outages to parts of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Areas where impacts were forecast from the meteotsunami ranged from Perth Amboy, New Jersey to Fenwick Island, Delaware.

The National Tsunami Warning Center was monitoring the event Tuesday night, though nothing official has been released.

There were other reports of a meteotsunami in New Haven, Connecticut from the National Weather Service in Boston, Massachusetts.

To learn more about this phenomenon, click here.

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