What is a hurricane storm surge and what causes one?

What is a hurricane storm surge?

Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tide. … All locations along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts are vulnerable to storm surge. This figure shows the areas that could be inundated by water in any given category 4 hurricane.

What are the causes of storm surge?

A storm surge is caused by an abnormal rise in water levels and can often accompany hurricanes, high winds or very intense winter storms. The storm surge itself is caused by the wind and pressure “pushing” the water onto the shore, often resulting in high waves and flooding.

What causes the storm surge that often accompanies a cyclone making landfall?

Most of the surge is caused by friction between the strong winds in the storm’s eyewall and the ocean surface, which piles water up in the direction that the wind is blowing. … Flooding caused by the storm surge is responsible for most of the deaths associated with tropical cyclone landfalls.

How long does a storm surge last?

Depending on the size and track of the hurricane, storm surge flooding can last for several hours. It then recedes after the storm passes. Water level heights during a hurricane can reach 20 feet or more above normal sea level. With powerful waves on top of it, a hurricane’s storm surge can cause catastrophic damage.

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What are the types of storm surge?

There are two major types of storms, tropical and extratropical storms. In principle there are more, such as polar lows, cold surges, and medicanes (Mediterranean hurricanes), which regionally play a role with storm surges, but this chapter is limited to the two main types.

Where is storm surge the worst?

Every part of a tropical storm or hurricane is dangerous, but the dirty side typically brings the worst. The dirty side is where you’re most likely to see storm surge, extreme wind and heavier rain bands that can cause flooding and with the embedded storms that can quickly spin tornadoes.

Is a tsunami a storm surge?

A tsunami is a series of waves created when a body of water, such as an ocean, is rapidly displaced on a massive scale. Storm surges can also cause the inundation of land. … They are a temporary elevation of sea level usually associated with low pressure weather systems.

What do you do during a storm surge?

During a storm surge

  1. Stay inside where you are protected from the water. …
  2. Monitor the storm’s progress and listen for warnings or instructions from local officials.
  3. Before driving anywhere, listen carefully to rescue officials who will be coordinating evacuation plans.
  4. Do not drive through flood waters.