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    Storm Surge

    A storm surge is a rise in sea level that occurs during tropical cyclones, intense storms also known as typhoons or hurricanes



    Storm Surge

    A storm surge is a rise in sea level that occurs during tropical cyclones, intense storms also known as typhoons or hurricanes


    Earth Science, Meteorology, Oceanography, Geography

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    Storm Surge

    The storm surge following Hurricane Ike in 2008 flooded this park in Lake Charles, Louisiana. When Hurricane Ike made landfall, it was a Category 2 hurricane. However, Ike was followed by a Category 5 storm surge, with waves of up to 6 meters (20 feet).



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    A storm surge is a rise in sea level that occurs during tropical cyclones, intense storms also known as typhoons or hurricanes. The storms produce strong winds that push the water into shore, which can lead to flooding. This makes storm surges very dangerous for coastal regions.

    Tropical cyclones are circular storms characterized by high winds and heavy rainfall. They form over warm, tropical oceans. The center of a cyclone is called the eye. The eye is surrounded by a ring of clouds called the eye wall, where the winds are strongest. Surrounding the eye wall are clouds that spiral outward, called spiraling rain bands.

    A storm surge is primarily caused by the relationship between the winds and the ocean’s surface. The water level rises where the winds are strongest. In addition, water is pushed in the direction the winds are blowing. The rotation of the Earth causes winds to move toward the right in the Northern Hemisphere and toward the left in the Southern Hemisphere—a phenomenon known as the Coriolis effect. If a cyclone develops in the Northern Hemisphere, the surge will be largest in the right-forward part of the storm. In the Southern Hemisphere, the surge will be largest in the left-forward part of the cyclone.

    Another factor contributing to storm surge is atmospheric pressure. Atmospheric pressure is the force exerted by the weight of air in the Earth’s atmosphere. The pressure is higher at the edges of a cyclone than it is at the center. This pushes down the water in the outer parts of the storm, causing the water to bulge at the eye and eye wall—where the winds have helped add to the rise in sea level.

    More factors contribute to the strength of a storm surge as the dome of water comes ashore. The water level can reach as high as 10 meters (33 feet) if the storm surge happens at the same time as high tide. The slope of the land just off the coast also plays a part: Water will more easily flood a shallow coast than a steep one.

    Storm Surges and Coastal Communities

    Tropical cyclones, and the storm surges they generate, are a serious hazard for coastal areas in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Developing in the late summer months (July-August in the Northern Hemisphere, January-February in the Southern Hemisphere), when the waters are warmest, tropical cyclones hit regions as far apart as the Gulf Coast of the United States, northwestern Australia and Bangladesh.

    When a cyclone hits land, the accompanying storm surge will most often flood the surrounding coastal area. Flooding is responsible for most deaths and economic damage associated with tropical cyclone landfalls. When a hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, in 1900, the storm surge was responsible for approximately 6,000 deaths. In East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), the Bhola cyclone killed as many as 500,000 people in 1970. The storm surge from the Bhola cyclone was estimated to be 10 meters (33 feet) high.

    Improvements in forecasting cyclones and issuing early warnings to the public have become indispensable as both coastal populations and the occurrence of extreme storms continue to rise.

    However, even sophisticated meteorology and storm warnings do not always protect against devastating storm surges. Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge flooded the U.S. coastal communities of Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as the urban areas of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Biloxi, Mississippi, in 2005. The flooding killed more than 1,500 people in New Orleans alone, and caused millions of dollars in damage. Homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals were destroyed.

    Still, improvements in forecasting greatly benefit regions like the Chesapeake Bay, in the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay suffered severe damage from Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Emergency managers failed to predict Isabel’s extreme storm surges, which caused widespread flooding in the region.

    Now, meteorologists and emergency managers monitor the storms forming in the southeast more closely. New computer simulations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) examined the effects of a Category 4 hurricane (131-155 mph winds) landing in the U.S. states of North or South Carolina, hundreds of miles south of the Chesapeake. The simulation showed the hurricane could produce storm surges as high as 5 or 6 meters (18 or 20 feet) along the Chesapeake shoreline. FEMA used the latest version of its computerized SLOSH model to predict the surge. An acronym for "Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes,'' the SLOSH program is used by the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center.

    Source : www.nationalgeographic.org

    STORMS Flashcards

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    Which process releases the energy that eventually produces lightning in a thunderstorm?

    a. Water droplets freeze

    b. Water condenses to form clouds

    c. Moisture enters the upper atmosphere

    d. Air pressure decreases, causing rapid air movement

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    Which weather event is typically brief, contains very strong winds, and leaves a path of destruction up to 50 miles long?

    a. A cyclone b. A hurricane c. Thunderstorm d. A tornado

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    Terms in this set (25)

    Which process releases the energy that eventually produces lightning in a thunderstorm?

    a. Water droplets freeze

    b. Water condenses to form clouds

    c. Moisture enters the upper atmosphere

    d. Air pressure decreases, causing rapid air movement


    Which weather event is typically brief, contains very strong winds, and leaves a path of destruction up to 50 miles long?

    a. A cyclone b. A hurricane c. Thunderstorm d. A tornado TORNADO

    Which important indoor safety measure should be taken during a thunderstorm?

    a. Lie on the floor b. Cover your head

    c. Go to the basement

    d. Move away from the windows


    Which two characteristics are shared by all thunderstorms, tornados, and hurricanes?

    a. Clouds and wind b. Eyes and clouds

    c. Warm,dry air and wind

    d. Large waves and warm, dry air


    Which effect is most likely from a hurricane?

    a. damaged homes due to flooding

    b. forest fires due to lightning strikes

    c. cars sucked in due to a low-pressure center

    d. damaged personal property due to hail


    Which condition causes storms to occur?

    a. freezing of water droplets

    b. sudden change in air pressure

    c. condensation of water vapor

    d. rapid heating of upper atmosphere


    What causes a tornado to form?

    a. Water vapor condenses, giving off energy.

    b. Wind over ocean water forces water vapor upward.

    c. A warm, moist air mass collides with a cold, dry air mass.

    Air pressure changes suddenly, causing rapid air movement


    A front refers to

    a. the location where two air masses meet.

    b. an air mass that extends across a large area.

    c. a large body of air moved by global wind patterns.

    d. a place on Earth's surface affected by uneven heating.


    What is the center of a hurricane called?

    a. Cloud b. Cyclone c. Eye d. Typhoon EYE

    Which condition causes a hurricane to rotate?

    a. A local storm surge

    b. The Coriolis effect

    c. Several large waves

    d. Severe coastal flooding


    Which condition causes changes in air pressure in the atmosphere?

    a. Building clouds

    b. Rapid air movement

    c. Condensation of water vapor

    d. Uneven heating of Earth's surface


    Which scenario describes an effect of tornadoes on the environment?

    a. A section of forest that has been burned

    b. A path through a town with uprooted trees

    c. A town near the coast with heavy flooding

    d. A sandy beach that shows signs of erosion


    Which weather event is capable of destroying homes and uprooting trees due to a low-pressure area at its center generating winds of up to 300 mph?

    a. Cyclone b. Hurricane c. Thunderstorm d. Tornado TORNADO

    A storm surge is characterized by


    Which scenario describes the damage caused by a tornado?

    a. a flooded city on the coast with trees damaged by high winds

    b. a section of forest with trees that are burned or split in half

    c. a beach that has been severely damaged because of storm surge

    d. a path of destruction up to 50 miles long with destroyed trees and homes


    Which is one characteristic of hurricanes?

    a. Occur mostly inland

    b. Create widespread damage

    c. Last for a short amount of time

    d. Gain strength after passing over land


    Which storm is most likely to trigger forest fires due to lightning?

    a. A cyclone b. A hurricane c. A thunderstorm d. A tornado A THUNDERSTORM

    Where is the safest place to take shelter in a tornado?

    a. A basement b. A bedroom c. A car d. A yard A BASEMENT

    A person trapped outside during a thunderstorm should

    Source : quizlet.com

    Storm surge

    Storm surge

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    For other uses, see Storm surge (disambiguation).

    Part of a series on Tropical cyclones

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    By RegionWarnings and watchesStorm surgePreparednessResponse


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    A storm surge, storm flood, tidal surge, or storm tide is a coastal flood or tsunami-like phenomenon of rising water commonly associated with low-pressure weather systems, such as cyclones. It is measured as the rise in water level above the normal tidal level, and does not include waves.

    The main meteorological factor contributing to a storm surge is the high-speed wind pushing water towards the coast over a long fetch.[1] Other factors affecting storm surge severity include the shallowness and orientation of the water body in the storm path, the timing of tides, and the atmospheric pressure drop due to the storm. There is a suggestion that climate change may be increasing the hazard of storm surges. [2]

    Most casualties during tropical cyclones occur as the result of storm surges and surges are a major source of damage to infrastructure and property during storms.[] Some theorize that as extreme weather becomes more intense and sea level rises due to climate change, storm surge is expected to cause more risk to coastal populations.[3] Communities and governments can adapt by building hard infrastructure, like surge barriers, soft infrastructure, like coastal dunes or mangroves, improving coastal construction practices and building social strategies such as early warning, education and evacuation plans.[3]


    1 Mechanics

    1.1 Direct wind effect

    1.2 Atmospheric pressure effect

    1.3 Effect of the Earth's rotation

    1.4 Effect of waves 1.5 Rainfall effect

    1.6 Sea depth and topography

    1.7 Storm size

    2 Extratropical storms

    3 Measuring surge 4 SLOSH 5 Impacts 6 Mitigation

    7 Reverse storm surge

    8 Historic storm surges

    9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 External links


    At least five processes can be involved in altering tide levels during storms.[4]

    Direct wind effect[edit]

    Strong surface winds cause surface currents at a 45° angle to the wind direction, by an effect known as the Ekman Spiral. Wind stresses cause a phenomenon referred to as "wind set-up", which is the tendency for water levels to increase at the downwind shore and to decrease at the upwind shore. Intuitively, this is caused by the storm blowing the water toward one side of the basin in the direction of its winds. Because the Ekman Spiral effects spread vertically through the water, the effect is proportional to depth. The surge will be driven into bays in the same way as the astronomical tide.[4]

    Atmospheric pressure effect[edit]

    The pressure effects of a tropical cyclone will cause the water level in the open ocean to rise in regions of low atmospheric pressure and fall in regions of high atmospheric pressure. The rising water level will counteract the low atmospheric pressure such that the total pressure at some plane beneath the water surface remains constant. This effect is estimated at a 10 mm (0.39 in) increase in sea level for every millibar (hPa) drop in atmospheric pressure.[4] For example, a major storm with a 100 millibar pressure drop would be expected to have a 1.0 m (3.3 ft) water level rise from the pressure effect.

    Effect of the Earth's rotation[edit]

    The Earth's rotation causes the Coriolis effect, which bends currents to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. When this bend brings the currents into more perpendicular contact with the shore, it can amplify the surge, and when it bends the current away from the shore it has the effect of lessening the surge.[4]

    Effect of waves[edit]

    The effect of waves, while directly powered by the wind, is distinct from a storm's wind-powered currents. The powerful wind whips up large, strong waves in the direction of its movement.[4] Although these surface waves are responsible for very little water transport in open water, they may be responsible for significant transport near the shore. When waves are breaking on a line more or less parallel to the beach, they carry considerable water shoreward. As they break, the water moving toward the shore has considerable momentum and may run up a sloping beach to an elevation above the mean water line, which may exceed twice the wave height before breaking.[5]

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

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