What’s storm surge? It’s typically a hurricane’s deadliest and most harmful risk

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Storm surge, the huge mound of water that builds up and comes ashore throughout a hurricane, is usually the deadliest and most harmful risk from these devastating storms.

In truth, storm surge has accounted for about half of all of the deaths in hurricanes since 1970, based on the Nationwide Hurricane Middle. It brought on many of the 1,800 deaths in Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Storm surge is characterised by water being pushed towards the shore by the pressure of the winds shifting across the storm, the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated.

Storm surge watches and warnings at the moment are separated from hurricane alerts as a result of hurricane-force winds and storm surges don’t all the time happen on the identical place or the identical time, stated Rick Knabb, the previous director of the hurricane heart, and now the hurricane professional on the Climate Channel.

Getting ready for hurricane-force winds is completely different than for storm surge, he stated. For storm surge, folks ought to evacuate, whereas for wind, they will keep in place in a robust construction so long as it’s away from flood-prone areas, Knabb stated.

What’s a storm surge warning?

A “storm surge watch” is issued when flooding is feasible, whereas a “warning” is issued when flooding is predicted. Each coastal metropolis alongside the Gulf or East Coast of the U.S. is liable to storm surge, the hurricane heart stated.

Along with being the deadliest risk, storm surge can be usually essentially the most harmful a part of a hurricane. In Hurricane Sandy in 2012, storm surge-induced flooding measured as excessive as 9 toes above floor in elements of New York and New Jersey, resulting in billions of {dollars} in harm.

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The harm occurred regardless that Sandy spun ashore because the equal of solely a Class 1 hurricane, with winds of about 80 mph, and was downgraded under hurricane standing shortly thereafter.

Affect of local weather change

One other issue: Local weather change may worsen storm surge, one latest examine suggests. The frequency of maximum storm surges is projected to extend by as a lot as 10 occasions in coming many years due to warming temperatures, a 2013 examine discovered. World warming has already doubled the possibility of storms like Katrina, based on the examine, which was led by local weather scientist Aslak Grinsted of the College of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Storm surge flooding doesn’t embody floods attributable to the heavy rain from a hurricane, comparable to what occurred in 2017 within the Houston space with Hurricane Harvey and in North Carolina in 2016 throughout Hurricane Matthew.

It additionally has nothing to do with tsunamis, giant ocean waves generated by offshore earthquakes that aren’t associated to climate.


What’s storm surge and why is it so harmful?


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What’s storm surge? It’s typically a hurricane’s deadliest and most harmful risk (2022, Could 18)
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