Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy strengthening: Storm Surges expected as it makes landfall

Category 1 Hurricane Sandy was strengthening and the center of the storm was forecast to move over the coast of US Mid-Atlantic States by Monday night, the US National Hurricane Center said on Monday.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were about 85 miles per hour (140 km per hour) and were located 615 kilometers southeast of New York City.

Its landfall is expected to be accompanied by storm surges.

US President Barack Obama declared emergencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania

So what are storm surges?

The storm surge of a hurricane is not a wave, but rather it is a building of the ocean due to the wind. The drag exerted on the ocean by the strong winds of a hurricane literally shoves more and more water toward the coast. This results in a piling-up effect and the height of sea level increases as the storm nears.

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