What is and isn’t storm surge.
According to the National Hurricane Center, storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm that goes above and beyond regular, astronomical tides. This rise in water level can – and has caused – extreme flooding, in excess of 20 feet in cases when high tide and storm surge have coincided.
Storm surge does move quickly – rising feet in just minutes, and can come with great force, but it is not a “wall of water” or tsunami. The water is being pushed forward by the low pressure and strong wind forces of the hurricane.
What’s the difference between storm surge and storm tide?
Storm surge is, as we’ve discussed, purely the movement of the water over and above the regular astronomical tides. This shouldn’t be confused with storm tide which is the rise in water level due to the combination of both the storm surge and astronomical tide. This can be especially dangerous when normal, astronomical high tide coincides with storm surge.
What factors affect storm surge?
There are three primary factors that contribute to the creation of storm surge:
There are also four main factors that contribute to the effects of the surge:
How would I be affected by storm surge?
In coastal areas storm surge resulting from a hurricane poses a significant threat to lives and homes. The surge brought by a Category 2 hurricane could result in water levels rising to 14 feet above sea level; flooding most of our direct coastal areas. The worst-case scenario, a Category 4 storm, could bring water levels to as much as 25 feet above sea level
What can I do?
Be sure your home is well prepared for a hurricane in advance. Having your home prepared for a storm will give you peace of mind in the event that you need to evacuate. Contact Harper’s to find out what you can do to make your home storm ready long before the hurricane season arrives.