Welcome to the blog SeaAndSkyNY, a forum where scientists spill their thoughts on New York City’s atmosphere and waterways.  Our city is a spectacular place for anyone interested in weather or oceanography, and we hope to convey our fascination about these topics here, in digital form.

Estuaries and tidal straits of every stripe run through or near New York City, from the Hudson to East River, Harlem River, Jamaica Bay, Long Island Sound, Newark Bay, and Kill van Kull.  All told, 35% of the annexed area of New York City is water, and there is also the open Atlantic Ocean off our beaches.

New York City weather can vary quite markedly from the seashore to its most inland neighborhoods.  The impact of the city on weather or atmospheric chemistry can sometimes be large, through the urban heat island effect, industrial emissions, or the simple mountain-like geometry of the skyline.

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Lead Author

Dr. Philip Orton (email / homepage) is a research assistant professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.  He holds a PhD in physical oceanography from Columbia University and a MS in marine science from the University of South Carolina.  His newest research examines the threat of flooding from storm surges, rainfall and sea level rise around the tri-state area with a particular focus on New York City and the Hudson Valley. He has recently been serving as a coastal adaptation adviser on the NYC Special Initiative on Rebuilding and Resilience, as well as on the New York City Panel on Climate Change (2013).  In nearly 20 years doing science research, he has studied air-sea interaction, turbulent mixing, sediment transport, carbon dioxide and ocean acidification, and relationships between fish, climate and ocean physics.  Many people are surprised an oceanographer would thrive in New York City, but Philip finds it to be an ideal location.

r. Brian Colle is a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences in the School of
Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. He is an
Editor for the journal "Weather and Forecasting" of the American
Meteorological Society. He has an extensive background in orographic
processes using field data along the U.S. West coast, mesoscale modeling,
synoptic meteorology, and numerical weather prediction. He has current
funded projects on: (1) investigating the modification of convective
storms over the Northeast U.S. by the terrain, coastal boundaries, and
urban areas, (2) Predictability of East coast winter storms as part of a
CSTAR collaborative project with the NOAA-NWS, (3) ensemble modeling and
post-processing as applied to fire weather, storm surge, hydrological
forecasts, and air dispersion modeling, (4) microphysical processes
within coastal winter storms, (5) regional climate change around
New York City and Long Island. For more information, please see