What Is the Definition of Storm Surge?

A storm surge is a dangerous and damaging natural event caused by a rise in water beyond that usually caused by a tide. Storm surges are the result of coastal storms, including hurricanes, and they can have impacts similar to that of a tsunami.

One famous and devastating example of a storm surge occurred in 2005 as Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans. Combined with the impact of the storm, the surge caused by Katrina was responsible for hundreds of death and millions of dollars in property damage. Storm surges are caused by the force of storm winds pushing water toward shore.