The National Hurricane Center is changing the way it talks about storm surge in hopes that emergency officials, the media and the public can better understand the dangerous phenomenon.
Storm surge is the hurricane hazard that poses the greatest threat to life and property. It is the abnormal rise in sea water during a hurricane, and it can happen quickly and move miles inland, flooding areas not normally inundated with sea water. Large death tolls have been blamed storm surge.
This year, the hurricane center hopes to test color-coded maps showing which areas are at the greatest risk of storm surge during a storm. Forecasters have also been working with social scientists to learn how to clearly communicate the danger.