Meteorological Conditions That Kept Long Island and New Jersey Beaches Free of Floatables During the Summer of 1989

R. L. Swanson
A. Valle-Levinson

DOI: 10.2190/R2R9-TTL7-33MU-N3EQ


During the summer of 1989, the coasts of Long Island and New Jersey were relatively free of floatable debris washing ashore on their beaches as compared to the previous two summers. The extensive rainfall recorded in this period (twice as much as the normal amount) must have contributed as an important source of floatable wastes to the New York Bight. However, the wind characteristics (speed, direction, constancy, and energy) were such that they distributed the floatables offshore and away from the coasts of Long Island and New Jersey. When compared to the climatology of the summers of 1987 and 1988, it is found that the summer of 1989 was unusual in relation to its high precipitation (567mm), its low wind constancy (19-21%), and its lower air mean temperatures (1°C lower than normal). These conditions are not those generally associated with major floatable problems. Consequently, the floatable collection program implemented in the New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary did not get a rigorous test with regard to keeping area beaches open.

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