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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Storm Surge arrow Storm Surge - a concern to coastal residents
Storm Surge - a concern to coastal residents PDF Print
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Articles - Storm Surge
Written by Weather World 2010   
Friday, 13 April 2007

One major cause of hurricane damage is storm surge. Storm surge is the rising of the sea level due to the low pressure, high winds, and high waves associated with a hurricane as it makes landfall. The storm surge can cause significant flooding and cost people their lives if they're caught unexpected.

Storm surge can be understood by looking at the video below. The strong winds blowing towards the shore help push water towards shore on the right side of the hurricane's direction of motion. This piling up contributes to most of the coastal flooding.

Also, the central pressure of a hurricane is so low that the relative lack of atmospheric weight above the eye and eye wall causes a bulge in the ocean surface level. This effect is similar to using a straw. When you use a straw, you decrease the air pressure in the straw, and the high pressure pushing down on the rest of the drink pushes the drink up the straw. Here it is the relative higher pressure on the ocean around the outside the hurricane that lifts the ocean surface in the center.

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