SCIENCE

Not the wind, the scariest part of a storm is an element of surprise!

When news of a storm is about to land, you will hear a lot about sea level rise compared to normal (Storm Surge).

According to statistics, this phenomenon is the biggest culprit leading to the death of storms and it is also the most devastating.

What is sea level rise?

Strong waves and a river level rise above normal are signs of abnormal sea level rise. The American Oceanic and Atmospheric Association defines this phenomenon as “the sea level rises abnormally during a storm, measured in the height of the water relative to normal tide”.

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Steve Weagle – Head of meteorology team of WPTV – a television station of NBC in Florida said: “Usually storm surge can be explained by two reasons. The first is lower barometric pressure and the other is that strong winds blow through an area of ​​water, friction and pushing the water up above the coastline.

There are many different factors that are used to determine the extent of abnormal sea level rise, such as the magnitude of a storm or the strength of the wind above the water. Those combined with the height of the tides, the slope of the seabed, the distance from the hurricane to the coast … can create an abnormal surge and push the sea level up to 20 feet higher than normal (about 6 meters) and above. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina pushed sea levels higher than 30 feet (more than 9 meters) in areas of Louisina (USA). A world record was set in Australia in 1899 when storm surge rose to 42 feet (about 12 meters).

This phenomenon is not a tsunami. Because tsunamis are caused by physical disturbances such as earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. The abnormal sea level rise is caused by storms.

“Usually, the sea level will rise slowly. When a storm gets close to shore, the water will get higher. This will often let people off guard. Until a storm hits or soon after,” Weagle added. new water has peaked “.

How dangerous is the sea level rise?

According to Howstuffworks, abnormal sea level rise is considered to cause the greatest damage during the storm. Don’t think you live inland so you won’t have to worry about it. Wind-driven sea level rise can also flow into rivers and streams, causing catastrophic floods in coastal areas.

“We have recorded storms where sea levels rise and land up to 20 miles,” Weagle said. One report estimates that in the US in 2018 storm surge could jeopardize 6.9 million homes and cost 1.6 trillion reconstruction costs.

Derek Beasley – meteorologist at WFTX-TV (a TV channel of Fox TV) said that as during Hurricane Katrina, many people were caught off guard with the abnormal sea level rise and the consequences were huge.

Also according to Beasley to avoid this phenomenon, people should stay away from the coast when a storm comes. If on land, stay in a solid house, away from rivers.

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