Water receded out of Tampa Bay during Hurricane Ian. But it will come back

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How a hurricane's tempest surge happens

What is tempest surge? Explaining 1 of a hurricane's top dangers 02:47

As Hurricane Ian made its mode toward Florida connected Wednesday, it appeared h2o had receded from Tampa Bay, arsenic if the assemblage of h2o had been drained and dried out. The phenomenon, called a blowout tide or a reverse tempest surge, is an indicator that a hurricane is connected its way. 

A blowout tide often occurs during debased tide, erstwhile beardown winds blowing straight disconnected enactment propulsion the h2o out, exposing the bottommost of the assemblage of water, according to The Weather Channel. 

Walking connected the recently exposed enactment during blowout tide could beryllium unsafe due to the fact that the winds could rapidly change, and the tide could travel back. 

fdvuqpxxoaedwo5.jpg Images amusement the assemblage of h2o looked similar it had been drained. But arsenic Hurricane Ian approaches, a tempest surge tin marque the tide rapidly rise. Tampa Police Department

Several agencies successful Tampa shared images of the blowout tide around the bay on Wednesday, and the National Weather Service Tampa warned residents to not locomotion to immoderate determination with receding water.

Charlotte Harbor is going successful reverse… pic.twitter.com/3XX34rptwS

— Brett Adair (@AlaStormTracker) September 28, 2022

The other of blowout tide is coastal flooding, wherever nonstop onshore upwind pushes h2o inland, often during precocious tide, according to the Weather Channel.

During coastal flooding, besides called tempest surges, the h2o level abnormally rapidly rises and is pushed toward the enactment by the unit of the winds swirling astir the hurricane. This, combined with the mean tides, tin summation the h2o level by 30 feet oregon more.

A exemplary called SLOSH – Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes – is utilized to foretell however precocious the tempest surge volition be, according to NOAA. Evaluating connected the hurricane's track, intensity, and size arsenic good arsenic the h2o depths, onshore elevations and barriers helps find the size of the surge arsenic it moves inland. 

Storm surges tin termination people. During Hurricane Katrina successful 2005, astatine slightest 1,500 radical died, and galore of those deaths occurred arsenic a effect of a tempest surge, either straight oregon indirectly, according to NOAA.

Many impacts from #HurricaneIan are being felt crossed the area!!

🌊SHELTER IN PLACE! Life-threatening tempest surge is ONGOING on SW FL!

🌊 MANTÉNGASE EN SU REFUGIO! Efectos de la marejada ciclónica posiblemente mortal está OCURRIENDO en áreas del suroeste de FL!#FLwx pic.twitter.com/BhSDZI7VH6

— NWS Tampa Bay (@NWSTampaBay) September 28, 2022

On Wednesday, Ian was a Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds — conscionable shy of a Category 5 hurricane, which has winds of 157 mph oregon higher. 

The National Hurricane Center warned that "Ian volition origin catastrophic tempest surge, winds, and flooding successful the Florida peninsula" and NWS Tampa Bay said that tempest surge was ongoing successful southwest Florida and residents should structure successful place.

Millions of Florida residents were nether an evacuation announcement arsenic Hurricane Ian approached. FEMA urged radical to debar h2o – bash not effort to locomotion oregon thrust done it, arsenic conscionable a fewer inches of h2o tin transportation a conveyance away. Those successful areas with rising h2o levels should question higher ground. 

Caitlin O'Kane


Caitlin O'Kane is simply a integer contented shaper covering trending stories for CBS News and its bully quality brand, The Uplift.

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