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Lake Erie Flooding Caused by Seiche: What’s a Seiche?

Seiche

With a wind storm sweeping through the Great Lakes, Lake Erie is experiencing a “seiche” (pronounced saysh). This occurs when a rapid change in pressure or wind pushes water from one end of the body to the other. The water then rebounds to the other side and continues to oscillate back and forth. This can last up to hours or even days.

how-seiche-occurs-noaa

(Image: NOAA)

The oscillation can cause wave heights to soar and crash over embankments, resulting in lakeshore flooding. The National Weather Service in Buffalo, New York reported road closure from downed trees due to the flooding.

A Gale Warning is in effect through Friday evening. Wave heights are forecasted to remain between 6-9 feet Thursday night, subsiding 3-5 feet by Friday, and 2-4 feet by Saturday.

Lake Erie is known for seiches. In 1844, a 22-foot seiche breached a 14-foot-high sea wall killing 78 people and damming the ice to the extent that Niagara Falls temporarily stopped flowing.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist, Monica Cryan
(Headline Image and Video: Buffalo News via @RobertKirkhamBN)

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