A Storm Surge

What is a Storm surge:

Development of a storm surge
Development of 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:

  1. A low-pressure system
  2. Winds 
  3. 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.