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June 07, 2017

Study: Sea rise, El Nino could spell more flooding at Jersey Shore this year

Seaside resorts along the mid-Atlantic could see more flooding this year than usual because of rising seas and a potential El Nino, a new report found this week.

The federal report found that flooding on the Jersey Shore and other Mid-Atlantic coastal towns may see a 10 to 20 percent bump in the number of days with minor tidal flood. Some other areas along the East and West coasts could see daily flood increases of 25 percent or more.

Researchers also predicted 14 days of flooding in Philadelphia this year compared to four in 2016.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the report Wednesday to update its sea-level outlook on nuisance, "sunny-day" flooding triggered only by high tides. NOAA's tide gauges have seen a rapid rise in annual high tide flood frequencies along the country's shores over the last several decades because of sea rise, the report stated.

Forecasters are also predicting a weak El Nino that could develop by the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean. The East Coast often sees more rain and warmer weather than normal during El Ninos, the study states.

Researchers predicted 33 days of nuisance flooding in Atlantic City and 35 in Sandy Hook, located in North Jersey, this year. Both towns had 29 days of flooding in 2016, the report stated.

Flooding in those towns and in Philadelphia have become more common over the last 50 years, even without an El Nino, the study shows.

See the study here.