Weather and Meteorology - Glossary
Included in this glossary you'll find terms related to our public forecasting program, weather observations and unique terminology that is of Environment Canada's hurricane centre and ice service products.
- Storm Surge
The positive or negative difference in sea level from the predicted astronomical tide, due to the forces of the atmosphere. The two main atmospheric components that contribute to a storm surge are air pressure and wind.
Deep low pressure systems can create a dome of water under the storm (much like the low pressure in a vacuum on a carpet). High winds along a coastline can also elevate the water levels at the shore, depending on the direction of the wind with respect to the coast. For powerful storms like hurricanes, the abnormally high water levels are due mostly to the high winds and high waves at the coast.
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