East Coast of the United States
Map of the East Coast of the United States
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The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, the Atlantic Coast, and the Atlantic Seaboard, is the coastline along which the Eastern United States meets the North Atlantic Ocean. Regionally, the term refers to the coastal states and area east of the Appalachian Mountains that have shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean, from north to south, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
The place name "East Coast" derives from the idea that the contiguous 48 states are defined by two major coastlines, one at the western edge and one on the eastern edge. Other terms for referring to this area include the "Eastern Seaboard" ("seaboard" being American English for coast), "Atlantic Coast", and "Atlantic Seaboard" (because the coastline lies along the Atlantic Ocean).
The 14 states that have a shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean are, from north to south, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.In addition, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia border tidal arms of the Atlantic (the Delaware River and the Potomac River, respectively). The states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, (via the Gulf of Mexico) as well as the territories of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Navassa Island (the latter only bordering the Caribbean Sea) have Atlantic coastline, but are not included in the definition.
Although Vermont and West Virginia have no Atlantic coastline, they are grouped with the Eastern Seaboard states because of their locations in New England and the Old South,and their history as part of the land base of the original Thirteen Colonies (viz. the Colony of New Hampshire, the Colony of New York and the Colony of Virginia).
The original 13 colonies of Great Britain in North America all lay along the East Coast.
Two additional U.S. states on the East Coast were not among the original thirteen colonies: Maine (became part of the English colony of Massachusetts in 1677)and Florida (part of New Spain until 1821, though held by the British from after the end of the French and Indian War until 1781). Florida's written history begins with the arrival of Europeans; the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León in 1513 made the first textual records. The state received its name from this Spanish conquistador, who called the peninsula La Pascua Florida in recognition of the verdant landscape and because it was the Easter season, which the Spaniards called Pascua Florida (Festival of Flowers).
The Middle Colonies (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware) had been owned by the Dutch as New Netherland, until they were captured by the English in the mid-to-late 17th century.[ citation needed ]
There are three basic climate regions on the East Coast according to the Köppen climate classification from north to south based on the monthly mean temperature of the coldest month (January):
The region from northern Maine south to northern Connecticut has a continental climate, with warm summers, and cold and snowy winters. The area from southern Connecticut south to southern North Carolina has a temperate climate, with long, hot summers and cool winters, while the area from southern North Carolina south to central Florida is subtropical, with hot and rainy summers, and mild and drier winters. Around south-central Florida southward (Stuart, south through the Florida Keys) has a tropical climate, which is frost free and is warm to hot all year.
Average monthly precipitation ranges from a slight late fall (November) maximum from Massachusetts northward (as at Portland, Maine), to a slight summer maximum in the Mid-Atlantic states from southern Connecticut south to Virginia (as at Wilmington, Delaware, and Norfolk, Virginia), to a more pronounced summer maximum from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, southward along the Southeastern United States coast to Savannah, Georgia. The Florida peninsula has a sharp wet-summer/dry-winter pattern, with 60 to 70 percent of precipitation falling between June and October in an average year, and a dry, and sunny late fall, winter, and early spring.
Although landfalls are rare, the Eastern seaboard is susceptible to hurricanes in the Atlantic hurricane season, officially running from June 1 to November 30, although hurricanes can occur before or after these dates.Hurricanes Hazel, Hugo, Bob, Isabel, Irene, Sandy, and most recently Florence are some of the more significant storms to have affected the region.
The East Coast is a low-relief, passive margin coast.It has been shaped by the Pleistocene glaciation in the far northern areas in New England, with offshore islands such as Nantucket, Block Island, Fishers Island. From around northern New Jersey southward, the coastal plain broadens southwards, separated from the Piedmont region by the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the East Coast rivers, often marking the head of navigation and prominent sites of cities. The coastal areas from Long Island south to Florida are often made up of barrier islands that front the coastal areas, with the long stretches of sandy beaches. Many of the larger capes along the lower East Coast are in fact barrier islands, like the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Florida Keys are made up of limestone coral and provide the only coral reefs on the US mainland.
In 2010, the population of the states which have shoreline on the East Coast was estimated at 112,642,503 (36% of the country's total population). New York City is both the largest city and the largest metropolitan area on the East Coast. The East Coast is the most populated coastal area in the United States.
|City||City Population||Metro Population||State||U.S. Rank|
New York City
Providence, Rhode Island
Newark, New Jersey
Paterson, New Jersey
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Woodbridge Township, New Jersey
Edison, New Jersey
Newport News, Virginia
Wilmington, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Port St. Lucie
Palm Bay, Florida
Miami Gardens, Florida
West Palm Beach
The primary Interstate Highway along the East Coast is Interstate 95, completed in 2018,which replaced the historic U.S. Route 1 (Atlantic Highway), the original federal highway that traversed all East Coast states, except Delaware. By water, the East Coast is connected from Boston, Massachusetts to Miami, Florida, by the Intracoastal Waterway, also known as the East Coast Canal, which was completed in 1912. Amtrak's Downeaster and Northeast Regional offer the main passenger rail service on the Seaboard. The Acela Express offers the only high-speed rail passenger service in the Americas. Between New York and Boston the Acela Express has up to a 54% share of the combined train and air passenger market.
Some of the largest airports in the United States are located along the East Coast of the United States, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Logan International Airport in Boston, Newark Liberty Airport in Newark, New Jersey, Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Baltimore–Washington International Airport near Baltimore, Washington-Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Miami International Airport in Miami, Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tampa International Airport in Tampa and Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida.
As the first spot in the United States that immigrants arrived and the close proximity of Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America, the East Coast is home to a diverse population and home to multi-cultures when compared to the rest of the USA. From the strong Latin culture in southern Florida and New York City, to the 200 year old Gullah culture of the low country coastal islands of Georgia and South Carolina, to the many historic cities in the Middle Atlantic where a strong English, German, Italian, Irish, and French culture are present, the East Coast is significantly more diverse than the rest of the United States. Chinatown in New York City and Little Havana in Miami are examples of such cultural centers in the bigger cities, .
The East Coast is home to much of the political and financial power of the United States, as well as the center for resort and travel destinations in the United States. New York City is the financial capital of the United States and one of the top financial powerhouse cities in the world. Seventy-one of the worlds fortune 500 companies have their corporate headquarters in New York City, while Midtown Manhattan with 400 million square feet of office space in 2018, is the largest central business district in the world. Washington, DC is the political nerve center of the United States. Many organizations such as defense contractors, civilian contractors, nonprofit organizations, lobbying firms, trade unions, industry trade groups, and professional associations have their headquarters in or near Washington, D.C., in order to be close to the federal government.
Miami and Florida are one of the top domestic and international travel destinations in the United States. Miami is the warmest major city in the United States in winter, this factor contributes to it being a major tourism hub for international visitors. Miami has one of the largest concentrations of international banks in the United States, and the third tallest skyline in the U.S. with over 300 high-rises, 55 of which exceed 490 ft (149 m). The port of Miami is the busiest cruise port in the world in both passenger traffic and cruise lines, with over 5.5 million cruise passengers passing through the port each year. The center for tropical plant culture and research in the United States is based in Miami at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, while the state of Florida is the number two producer of oranges in the world behind Brazil.
U.S. Route 1 or U.S. Highway 1 (US 1) is a major north–south United States Numbered Highway that serves the East Coast of the United States. It runs 2,369 miles (3,813 km), from Key West, Florida north to Fort Kent, Maine, at the Canadian border, making it the longest north–south road in the United States. US 1 is generally paralleled by Interstate 95 (I-95), though the former is significantly farther west (inland) between Jacksonville, Florida, and Petersburg, Virginia. The highway connects most of the major cities of the East Coast—including Miami, Jacksonville, Raleigh, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston passing from the Southeastern United States to New England.
Interstate 95 (I-95) is the main Interstate Highway on the East Coast of the United States, running from U.S. Route 1 (US 1) in Miami, Florida to the Houlton–Woodstock Border Crossing with New Brunswick, Canada. The highway runs largely parallel to the Atlantic Ocean coast and US 1, serving areas from Florida to Maine. In general, I-95 serves the major cities of the Eastern Seaboard and metropolitan areas such as Miami, Jacksonville, Savannah, and Fayetteville in the Southeast; and Richmond, Washington, Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, and New York City in the Mid-Atlantic States up to New Haven, Providence, Boston, and Portland in New England. The route follows a more direct inland route between Savannah and Washington, notably bypassing the coastal metropolitan areas of Charleston and Norfolk-Virginia Beach, which require connections through other Interstate Highways..
The East Coast Greenway is a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) biking and walking route linking the major cities of the Atlantic coast of the United States, from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida. The spine route and branching complementary routes are for non-motorized human transportation for everything from local commutes to long-distance trips.
Hurricane Donna, known in Puerto Rico as Hurricane San Lorenzo, was the strongest hurricane of the 1960 Atlantic hurricane season, and caused severe damage to the Lesser Antilles, the Greater Antilles, and the East Coast of the United States, especially Florida, in August–September. The fifth tropical cyclone, third hurricane, and first major hurricane of the season, Donna developed south of Cape Verde on August 29, spawned by a tropical wave to which 63 deaths from a plane crash in Senegal were attributed. The depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Donna by the following day. Donna moved west-northwestward at roughly 20 mph (32 km/h) and by September 1, it reached hurricane status. Over the next three days, Donna deepened significantly and reached maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (210 km/h) on September 4. Thereafter, it maintained intensity as it struck the Lesser Antilles later that day. On Sint Maarten, the storm left a quarter of the island's population homeless and killed seven people. An additional five deaths were reported in Anguilla, and there were seven other fatalities throughout the Virgin Islands. In Puerto Rico, severe flash flooding led to 107 fatalities, 85 of them in Humacao alone.
Hurricane Gloria was the first significant tropical cyclone to strike the northeastern United States since Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and the first major storm to affect New York City and Long Island directly since Hurricane Donna in 1960. It was a powerful Cape Verde hurricane that formed during the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season, originating from a tropical wave on September 16 in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. After remaining a weak tropical cyclone for several days, Gloria intensified into a hurricane on September 22 north of the Lesser Antilles. During that time, the storm had moved generally westward, although it turned to the northwest due to a weakening of the ridge. Gloria quickly intensified on September 24, and the next day reached peak winds of 145 mph (230 km/h). The hurricane weakened before striking the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 27. Later that day, Gloria made two subsequent landfalls on Long Island and across the coastline of western Connecticut, before becoming extratropical on September 28 over New England. The remnants moved through Atlantic Canada, eventually dissipating on October 2.
Hurricane Carol was among the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island in the United States. It developed from a tropical wave near the Bahamas on August 25, 1954, and slowly strengthened as it moved northwestward. On August 27, Carol intensified to reach winds of 105 mph (165 km/h), but weakened as its motion turned to a northwest drift. A strong trough of low pressure turned the hurricane northeastward, and Carol later intensified into a major hurricane. While paralleling the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, the storm produced strong winds and rough seas that caused minor coastal flooding and slight damage to houses in North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Delaware, and New Jersey. The well-organized hurricane accelerated north-northeastward and made landfall on eastern Long Island, New York, and then over eastern Connecticut on August 31 with sustained winds estimated at 110-mph and a barometric pressure near 956 mb. Carol later transitioned into an extratropical cyclone over New Hampshire, on August 31, 1954.
Hurricane Edna was a deadly and destructive major hurricane that impacted the United States East Coast in September of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season. It was one of two hurricanes to strike Massachusetts in that year, the other being Hurricane Carol. The fifth tropical cyclone and storm of the season, as well as the fourth hurricane and second major hurricane, Edna developed from a tropical wave on September 2. Moving towards the north-northwest, Edna skirted the northern Leeward Islands as a tropical depression before turning more towards the west. The depression attained tropical storm status to the east of Puerto Rico and strengthened further to reach hurricane status by September 7. The storm rapidly intensified and reached its peak intensity of 125 mph (205 km/h) north of the Bahamas before weakening to Category 2 status near landfall in Massachusetts on September 11. Edna transitioned into an extratropical cyclone in Atlantic Canada before its remnants dissipated in the northern Atlantic.
Hurricane Ginny was the strongest recorded tropical cyclone to make landfall in Canada, as well as the latest hurricane on a calendar year to affect the U.S. state of Maine. The eighth tropical storm of the 1963 Atlantic hurricane season, Ginny developed on October 16 over the Bahamas, although it was not initially a fully tropical cyclone. As it moved to the North and later northwest, Ginny intensified to hurricane status as it became more tropical. For eight days, it was located within 250 mi (400 km) of the United States coastline. After approaching North Carolina, Ginny looped to the southwest and approached within 50 mi (80 km) of the Florida coastline. It turned to the North, to the East, and later to the northeast, strengthening late in its duration to peak winds of 110 mph (175 km/h). Ginny became an extratropical cyclone shortly after striking Nova Scotia at its peak intensity on October 29.
The 1944 Great Atlantic hurricane was a destructive and powerful tropical cyclone that swept across a large portion of the United States East Coast in September 1944. Impacts were most significant in New England, though significant effects were also felt along the Outer Banks, Mid-Atlantic states, and the Canadian Maritimes. Due to its ferocity and path, the storm drew comparisons to the 1938 Long Island Express, known as one of the worst storms in New England history.
The 1821 Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane was one of four known tropical cyclones that have made landfall in New York City. Another, even more intense hurricane in pre-Columbian times left evidence that was detected in southern New Jersey by paleotempestological research. The third was the 1893 New York hurricane, and the fourth was Hurricane Irene in 2011.
The 1991 Perfect Storm, also known as The No-Name Storm and the Halloween Gale/Storm, was a nor'easter that absorbed Hurricane Grace, and ultimately evolved into a small unnamed hurricane itself late in its life cycle. The initial area of low pressure developed off the coast of Atlantic Canada on October 29. Forced southward by a ridge to its north, it reached its peak intensity as a large and powerful cyclone. The storm lashed the east coast of the United States with high waves and coastal flooding before turning to the southwest and weakening. Moving over warmer waters, the system transitioned into a subtropical cyclone before becoming a tropical storm. It executed a loop off the Mid-Atlantic states and turned toward the northeast. On November 1, the system evolved into a full-fledged hurricane, with peak sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km/h), although the National Hurricane Center left it unnamed to avoid confusion amid media interest in the precursor extratropical storm. It later received the name "the Perfect Storm" after a conversation between Boston National Weather Service forecaster Robert Case and author Sebastian Junger. The system was the twelfth and final tropical cyclone, the eighth tropical storm, and fourth hurricane in the 1991 Atlantic hurricane season. The tropical system weakened, striking Nova Scotia as a tropical storm before dissipating.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is a commission of U.S. states formed to coordinate and manage fishery resources — including marine (saltwater) fish, shellfish, and anadromous fish - along the Atlantic coast of the United States.
Adventure Cycling Association's Atlantic Coast Bicycle Route is a 2,615-mile-long (4,208 km) bicycle touring route traversing the East Coast of the United States. The route has two connecting segments, extending nearly the entire length of the nation's eastern margin. The northern section of the route features historic New England coastal villages and towns, rural countrysides, and Amish farmlands. The route's southern section begins after the Mason–Dixon Line and is notable for the Civil War battlefields in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the city of Richmond, Virginia. The northern section of the route can be ridden between late spring and late fall, and the southern section can be ridden year-round.
Hurricane Bob was one of the costliest hurricanes in New England history. The second named storm and first hurricane of the 1991 Atlantic hurricane season, Bob developed from an area of low pressure near The Bahamas on August 16. The depression steadily intensified, and became Tropical Storm Bob late on August 16. Bob curved north-northwestward as a tropical storm, but re-curved to the north-northeast after becoming a hurricane on August 17. As such, it brushed the Outer Banks of North Carolina on August 18 and August 19, and subsequently intensified into a major hurricane. After peaking in intensity with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 km/h), Bob weakened slightly as it approached the coast of New England. Some sources say the winds of Bob might have gone as high as 125 mph sustained.
Tropical Storm Brenda was the second named storm of the 1960 Atlantic hurricane season. It developed in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico on July 28, and after moving ashore over the Florida Peninsula, it attained tropical storm status. Brenda accelerated northeast along the U.S. East Coast, ultimately peaking as a moderate storm with winds of 60 mph (97 km/h) before crossing the Mid-Atlantic states and New England; it dissipated on July 31 over southern Canada. The storm inflicted moderate damage in Florida, the worst since Hurricane Easy of 1950, and dropped heavy rainfall as far north as New York City. Total damage is estimated at US$5 million, and only indirect deaths are blamed on the cyclone.
Hurricane Alma saw the latest development of the first storm since 1941. The first named storm of the 1962 Atlantic hurricane season, Alma formed from a tropical wave located offshore South Florida on August 26. Initially a tropical depression, it subsequently moved inland over South Florida. Impact in the state was minor, generally limited to light rainfall and rough seas. Early on August 27, the depression reemerged into the Atlantic Ocean and strengthened into Tropical Storm Alma later that day. Thereafter, it moved northeastward and remained offshore the East Coast of the United States. Alma strengthened into a hurricane on August 28, while located offshore the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In the eastern portion of the state, strong winds downed electrical poles, which caused power outages. Storm tides caused erosion in some areas. Damage in North Carolina reached $35,000 (1962 USD).
Hurricane Arthur was the earliest known hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. state of North Carolina, and the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Isaac in 2012. The first named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, Arthur developed from an initially non-tropical area of low pressure over the Southeastern United States that emerged into the western Atlantic Ocean on June 28. After sufficiently organizing, developing a well-defined circulation and deep convection amid a favorable environment, it was classified a tropical depression on July 1. The system continued to strengthen, and was declared a tropical storm later that day. Drifting northward, the storm reached hurricane status early on July 3 and curved toward the north-northeast. Further structural organization resulted in additional intensification, and by 01:00 UTC on July 4, the system attained its peak winds of 100 mph (155 km/h) as a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale. Arthur made landfall at 03:15 UTC over North Carolina's Shackleford Banks, positioned between Cape Lookout and Beaufort, and intensified slightly further, with a minimum atmospheric pressure of 973 mbar. The storm then trekked swiftly northeast, weakening as it passed by Cape Cod and Nantucket, before transitioning into an extratropical cyclone and coming ashore at Weymouth, Nova Scotia, on July 5. The remnants continued generally northeastward through Atlantic Canada before ultimately dissipating on July 9 over the Labrador Sea.
The January 2018 North American blizzard was a powerful blizzard that caused severe disruption along the East Coast of the United States and Canada. The storm dropped up to 2 feet (61 cm) of snow in the Mid-Atlantic states, New England, and Atlantic Canada, while areas as far south as southern Georgia and far northern Florida had brief wintry precipitation, with 0.1 inches of snow measured officially in Tallahassee, Florida.