The Causes and Dangers of Storm Surge - 6abc Weather School

Philadelphia -- The greatest threat to life during a hurricane ISN'T the powerful winds. The most dangerous part comes from the water in the form of storm surge.

Storm surge is water from the ocean that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the wind wrapping around the hurricane.

The strength of the storm surge depends on several factors: hurricane intensity, forward speed, size, its angle of approach as well as the shape of the coast and the slope of the ocean bottom.

Storm surge is not a "wall of water." Instead, it's a rapid rise of water that can go from just a couple inches to several feet in a matter of minutes.

Hurricanes can deliver a storm surge exceeding 12 feet, reaching the second floor of homes.

The force of that running water can demolish buildings and erode beaches and coastal highways.

We cannot prevent storm surge but we can warn you well ahead of time.

The National Hurricane Center started issuing Storm Surge watches and warnings in 2017 to help identify the areas most at risk.