Storm Surge

A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones. Storm surges are caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface. The wind causes the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea level. Low pressure at the center of a weather system also has a small secondary effect, as can the bathymetry of the body of water. It is this combined effect of low pressure and persistent wind over a shallow water body which is the most common cause of storm surge flooding problems. The term "storm surge" in casual (non-scientific) use is storm tide; that is, it refers to the rise of water associated with the storm, plus tide, wave run-up, and freshwater flooding. "Tidal surge" is incorrect since there is no such thing. When referring to storm surge height, it is important to clarify the usage, as well as the reference point. The National Hurricane Center defines storm surge as water height above predicted astronomical tide level, and storm tide as water height above NGVD-29. Most casualties during a tropical cyclone occur during the storm surge.

In areas where there is a significant difference between low tide and high tide, storm surges are particularly damaging when they occur at the time of a high tide. In these cases, this increases the difficulty of predicting the magnitude of a storm surge since it requires weather forecasts to be accurate to within a few hours. Storm surges can be produced by extratropical cyclones, such as the Night of the Big Wind of 1839 and the Storm of the Century (1993), but the most extreme storm surge events typically occur as a result of tropical cyclones. Factors that determine the surge heights for landfalling tropical cyclones include the speed, intensity, size of the radius of maximum winds (RMW), radius of the wind fields, angle of the track relative to the coastline, the physical characteristics of the coastline and the bathymetry of the water offshore. The SLOSH (Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) model is used to simulate surge from tropical cyclones. Additionally, there is an extratropical storm surge model that is used to predict those effects.

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900, a Category 4 hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas, drove a devastating surge ashore; between 6,000 and 12,000 lives were lost, making it the deadliest natural disaster ever to strike the United States. The deadliest storm surge caused by an extratropical cyclone in the twentieth century was the North Sea flood of 1953, which killed a total of over 2,000 people in the UK and the Netherlands.

Read more about Storm Surge:  Mechanics, Measuring Surge, Records, SLOSH, Mitigation

Other articles related to "storm surge, surge, storm, storms":

Tropical Cyclone Forecasting - Storm Surge
... See also Storm surge The main storm surge forecast model in the Atlantic basin is SLOSH, which stands for Sea, Lake, Overland, Surge from Hurricanes ... It uses the size of a storm, its intensity, its forward motion, and the topography of the coastal plain to estimate the depth of a storm surge at any individual grid point across the United States ... An accurate forecast track is required in order to produce accurate storm surge forecasts ...
List Of Retired Pacific Typhoon Names (JMA) - List of Retired Typhoons - Listed By Deaths
... Most storms cause fatalities not by their high winds but rather through flooding—either storm surge or inland flooding due to rainfall ... Storm surge has the highest potential for deaths ... With modern forecasting, warning, and evacuations, storm surge deaths can be nearly eliminated however, the potential is still very high for catastrophe in places where warning ...
Storm Surge - Mitigation
... meteorological surveys alert about hurricanes or severe storms, in the areas where the risk of coastal flooding is particularly high, there are specific storm surge warnings ... of 1953 is the construction of dams and floodgates (storm surge barriers) ... passage but close when the land is under threat of a storm surge ...
List Of Texas Hurricanes (1980–present) - 2005–2009
... At one point during the storm, 1 million energy customers lose power due to outages ... of Houston, originally thought to be at risk, escape the brunt of the storm ... September 2, 2006 – The remnants of Hurricane John, an East Pacific storm, cause moderate to heavy rainfall ...
Track Forecast Cone - Single Station Forecasting of A Tropical Cyclone Passage
... Within 6 hours of the center's arrival, rain becomes continuous and the storm surge begins to come inland ... At this point, the pressure ceases to drop as the lowest pressure within the storm's center is reached ... This is also when the peak depth of the storm surge occurs ...

Famous quotes containing the words surge and/or storm:

    We have had enough of action, and of motion we,
    Rolled to starboard, rolled to larboard, when the surge was seething
    free,
    Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892)

    Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
    Under this cradle-hood and coverlid
    My child sleeps on.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)