A Storm Surge
What is a Storm surge:
This is a rise in the ocean’s water level as a result of extreme winds blowing over the sea’s surface. Water levels can rise to 15 feet and a lot more. As the storm makes landfall, the high sea level brings water inland, causing major flooding and destruction.
How is a storm surge created?
Before a storm surge can occur, we need some elements to be present:
- A low-pressure system
- High tides.
Now, here is how a storm surge develops:
In a low-pressure system, remember we mentioned that warm air rises,
and as it develops into a tropical storm or hurricane, the uplift of air is so
powerful that it lifts a bit of weight off the water’s surface.
This means that the water level in the area of the low-pressure system
is higher than its surrounding areas. In the center of this low-pressure zone, there is a bulge forming on the water surface.
With high winds blowing coastwards, the bulge of water is pushed along
the direction of the winds — usually towards land. Once it reaches land, water finds its way all over the place, causing massive flooding and destruction.