A violent spring storm that killed at least five people in the northeast was caused by a ‘meteotsunami’, it has been revealed.
The meteotsunami extended from southern Connecticut to Delaware, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power on Tuesday night.
A meteotsunami is a ‘disturbance in the bay or ocean surface, just like a tsunami,’ Accuweather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski told the New York Post.
‘But in this case, it’s caused by a sudden atmospheric pressure change and a corresponding rush of air,’ he added.
A violent spring storm that killed at least five people in the northeast was caused by a ‘meteotsunami’. Pictured is storm clouds gathering over New York City on Tuesday
The meteotsunami extended from southern Connecticut to Delaware, downing trees and power lines, Pictured are men working to clear debris in Newburgh, New York
‘It tugs and pulls on the waters’ surface and creates this wave effect.’
While meteotsunamis are generally a ‘minor event’ that can occur with ‘any line of thunderstorms moving off the coast’, they can also have violent results.
Tuesday’s meteotsunami caused irregular high tides throughout the northeast region and downed trees as well as power lines.
The line of strong thunderstorms with wind gusts of 50 to 80 miles per hour sped eastward across the region Tuesday evening, causing local flooding, scattering debris, and dropping hail as large as tennis balls.
Falling trees killed an 11-year-old girl and a woman in separate incidents in Newburgh, New York, police said.
They also killed two people in Connecticut in separate incidents, as well as a person in Pennsylvania, local media reported.
While meteotsunamis are generally considered a ‘minor event’, they can also have violent results. Pictured are scattered trees and powerlines in Newburgh, New York
Falling trees killed five people total in New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Pictured is a fallen tree on a home in Newtown, Connecticut
Local news showed footage of trees resting on top of crushed cars and houses, and vehicles submerged in water.
There were more than 100 reports of hail in states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut, the National Weather Service said.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in several counties in southeast New York and deployed members of the New York National Guard to assist with the recovery.
Officials in Brookfield, Connecticut, declared a town disaster and told residents to stay inside until they could assess the damage.
By Wednesday morning more than 370,000 residents were without power in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, down from more than 600,000 on Tuesday night.
Amtrak and most local commuter railroads in the New York metropolitan area said their services were back to normal on Wednesday.
Some schools canceled classes or delayed their openings.
Local news showed footage of trees resting on top of crushed cars and houses, and vehicles submerged in water. Pictured are two damaged trees in Newburgh, New York