Stormy Weather

Vintage photos of storms, hurricanes, and plenty of weather-related destruction and mayhem
Hurricane Warning Flags  If you see THESE flags flying, you'd better head for shelter.   For over 100 years, yacht clubs, marinas, and Coast Guard stations hoisted flags, pennants and colored lights to warn mariners of storms at sea.   On February 15, 1989, the National Weather Service discontinued this nationwide Coastal Warning Display network in lieu of NOAA marine weather forecasts delivered via marine VHF and HF radio and the Internet.  On June 1, 2007, the U.S. Coast Guard re-established a Coastal Warning Display program at selected small boat stations.   They continue the tradition of hoisting display flags to warn of small craft advisories, gale warnings, storm warnings and hurricane warnings.  Raritan Bay Deep Freeze – 1918  Taken during the winter of 1918, this photo shows Raritan Bay in New Jersey frozen over.   The ice on the bay was over of 10 inches thick as the result of sub-zero temperatures that lasted for more than two weeks.   Many folks walked out to the Great Beds Lighthouse for a close look, and a few brave souls drove their autos out to the light.  Shark River Inlet – 1948  A strong Atlantic storm during 1948 shoaled the Shark River Inlet with sand and made it impossible for large vessels to navigate through the inlet.   Taken on a foggy and overcast day, this photo shows surf anglers fishing from the beach and jetties and a small skiff negotiating the treacherous waters.  Hurricane Aftermath, Perth Amboy, NJ – 1958  The municipal marina at Perth Amboy, NJ after a hurricane in the fall of 1958.   The photo was taken before hurricanes were given names.  Shark River Inlet – 1962  A huge pile of wood and other flotsam piles up on the beach at Shark River Inlet, NJ in the aftermath of a winter Nor'easter in 1962. 
Hurricane BELLE, Atlantic Highlands, NJ – 1976  Hurricane BELLE was the first major hurricane of the 1976 Atlantic hurricane season and it threatened much of the East Coast of the United States.   However, the storm weakened prior to making landfall and struck New Jersey and Long Island, New York as a Category One hurricane.   It caused over $100 million in damages (in 1976 dollars.)   This photo taken at the municipal marina at Atlantic Highlands, NJ shows some of the debris left in the wake of the hurricane.  Hurricane BELLE, Atlantic Highlands, NJ – 1976  Hurricane BELLE also delivered a huge storm surge that placed this vessel on the pier it was berthed at.  Tropical Storm DAVID, Perth Amboy, NJ – 1979  A Category Five hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, DAVID was among the deadliest hurricanes on record.   Thankfully, it diminished to a tropical storm when it made landfall along the northeast Atlantic coast.   With a storm surge in excess of five feet and gale force winds, the now-tropical storm DAVID destroyed the Perth Amboy Marina and sank over fifty vessels including the party fishing boat SEA PIGEON.  Tropical Storm DAVID, Perth Amboy, NJ – 1979  Yet another reminder of DAVID's fury...  The remains of several sailboats that broke loose from their moorings at the Perth Amboy Yacht Club.  Tropical Storm DAVID, Perth Amboy, NJ – 1979  One of the few vessels to remain afloat at the Perth Amboy, NJ City Marina after tropical storm DAVID hit the New Jersey Coast. 
Hurricane GLORIA, Perth Amboy, NJ – 1985  Hurricane GLORIA rips across the Perth Amboy waterfront in 1985.   GLORIA was a powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane that formed during the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season and prowled the Atlantic Ocean from September 16 to September 28.   GLORIA reached Category Four status near the Bahamas, but weakened significantly by the time it made landfall at North Carolina's Outer Banks.   GLORIA closely followed the Mid-Atlantic coastline and made a second landfall on Long Island, and after crossing the Long Island Sound, it made a third landfall in Connecticut.  NO-NAME Hurricane, Perth Amboy, NJ – 1992  The 'No-Name Hurricane' of 1992 struck the New Jersey coast between December 11 and 13, 1992.   The only difference between this mid-December storm and a true hurricane was the lack of a well defined eye.   All of the other ingredients were present, including wind gusts in excess of 75 MPH, driving rain, and a significant storm surge.  In this photo, Captain Marty Haines and First Mate Danny Seich struggle to keep the "SEA PIGEON IV" secured at her berth at Perth Amboy, NJ.   With a storm surge of over four feet, the marina parking lot and Front Street become flooded.  NO-NAME Hurricane, Atlantic Highlands, NJ – 1992  The day after... The municipal marina at Atlantic Highlands, NJ was also a victim of the 'No-Name Hurricane' of December 1992.  Cold Front, Raritan Bay, NJ – 1993  What began as a nice late-spring day ended abruptly and quickly became down-right EVIL.   A strong cold front from the northwest closed in on central New Jersey and it produced 'nickel-sized' hailstones and wind gusts in excess of 80 MPH.   Nonetheless, Bay fishing during this day also produced several large Fluke between 5 and 8 pounds shortly after the front passed.   Go figure!