Ernesto: Anatomy of a Storm Tide

John Boon, Virginia Institute of Marine Science


Virginia residents were warned that tropical depression ERNESTO would bring a lot of rain and consequently some flooding from runoff. Although briefly a hurricane (sustained winds greater than 74 mph) near the island of Haiti, ERNESTO spent most of its life as a tropical storm (winds greater than 58 mph) before crossing into Virginia on September 1, 2006, as a tropical depression (winds greater than 39 mph). Little did we know that a mere tropical depression would be packing high winds and a walloping storm tide along with the rain.