Storm surge watches and warnings: What are they?

First issued by National Weather Service in 2017

By Jonathan Kegges - Meteorologist
Associated Press

Barry Williams talks to a friend on his smartphone as he wades through storm surge from Lake Pontchartrain on Lakeshore Drive in Mandeville, La., Saturday, July 13, 2019. Mandeville is on the north shore of the lake while New Orleans is on…

ORLANDO, Fla.- - Over the next few days more storm surge watches and warnings will be issued by the National Weather Service. In addition to hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings, storm surge watches and warnings can be issued. This is the first time since the watch/warning's inception that the east coast of Central Florida is under storm surge watches and warnings.

In 2017, the National Weather Service started issuing watches and warning for storm surge because they can be so deadly.

Storm surge is flooding as a result of the storm pushing the ocean water inland. This is the greatest threat to life and property from a land-falling tropical storm or hurricane.

A Storm Surge Watch is issued when life-threatening inundation is possible within 48 hours. 

A Storm Surge Warning is issued when life-threatening inundation is expected within 36 hours.

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