What is a storm surge? Hurricane Florence brings ‘catastrophic flood’ warnings

What is a storm surge? Hurricane Florence brings ‘catastrophic flood’ warnings,

The storm surge has begun from Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina (Picture: Getty Images)

As Hurricane Florence hits the US, it brings with it a storm surge which is set to cause widespread flooding and damage to the areas it hits.

The first thing you think of when you hear the term ‘hurricane’ is high winds, but they invariably bring about flooding, and this is due to the storm surge.

epa07016416 A handout photo made available by NASA on 13 September 2018 shows Hurricane Florence seen from a camera outside the International <a href= Station (ISS), in , 12 September 2018, as the storm churned across the Atlantic in a west-northwesterly direction with winds of 130 miles an hour. The National Hurricane Center forecasts additional strengthening for Florence before it reaches the coastline of North Carolina and South Carolina early 14 September. EPA/NASA HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES” height=”75″ width=”100″ data-src=”https://metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/sei_29621245-1528.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=100&h=75&crop=1&resize=100%2C75&zoom=1″>What’s the difference between a hurricane, typhoon, tornado and tropical storm?

Parts of North and South Carolina are expecting ‘catastrophic flooding’ due to Florence, despite it only being a Category 1 storm.

So what exactly is a storm surge and how is it created?

The storm surge caused by Hurricane Florence is set to cause widespread damage (Picture: Getty)

What is a storm surge?

A storm surge is the rise in sea level as a result of wind and atmospheric pressure changes during a storm.

It is the rise in seawater level well above the average high tide level, mainly caused by the storm’s winds pushing water onshore.

What is a storm tide?

The storm tide is how much water rises due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide (which is the normal tide that goes in an out due to gravitational effects).

The wind circulation around the eye of a hurricane blows on the ocean surface and produces a vertical circulation in the ocean, when this reaches shallower water nearer the shore the vertical circulation in the water becomes disrupted by the sea floor.

Since the water can no longer go down it is pushed up and out, causing an inland surge of water.

Storm surges are not included in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale which categorises hurricanes, the category of the hurricane does not correlate with the level of storm surge.

For example Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, was a category 3 hurricane but produced a 28ft surge where as Hurricane Charley was a category 4 hurricane and only produced an 8ft surge.

Hurricane Harvery’s storm surge seen at The Holiday Inn (Picture:Shutterstock)

There are other factors that cause water level to rise during a hurricane such as the tides, waves and freshwater input.

The storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property during a hurricane as it can easily wash away houses and structures due to its force.

During Hurricane Katrina, at least 1,500 people died because of the storm surge.

MORE: What’s the difference between a hurricane, typhoon, tornado and tropical storm?

MORE: Donald Trump branded ‘unhinged’ for questioning Hurricane Maria death toll

, {authorlink}, September 14, 2018

Web Hosting

You may also like...

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!