COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Storm surge is one of the deadliest threats of a hurricane.

Parts of southwest Florida are forecasted to receive 15-20 feet of storm surge.

So, what is storm surge?

The National Weather Service defines it as “an abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, and whose height is the difference between the observed level of the sea surface and the level that would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone. Storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomic high tide from the observed storm tide.”

Broken down even simpler, it all starts with pressure.

A hurricane is an area of low pressure. As the pressure drops at the center of the storm, it starts to pull in water.

As this collection of wind, water, and low pressure moves toward the shoreline, it has to go somewhere.
Water is then pushed inland and up the coast.

This is extremely dangerous. In fact, storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property during and after a hurricane.

Click here to learn more about storm surge from the National Weather Service.