What’s the Weather: What is storm surge?

Weather Authority University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – While there are many factors that make tropical cyclones hazardous, the most prominent and dangerous threat is the storm surge.

What is a storm surge?

A storm surge happens when the winds of a strong tropical cyclone displace the water in its way, quite literally pushing that water ashore. Storm surge can cause inches, or feet of flooding, more often, the latter for coastal areas.

That intense flooding is what has lead storm surge to become the deadliest tropical cyclone threat. For example, during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, 1500 people lost their lives as a direct result of storm surge.

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and continues through the last day of November.

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