You don't appear to have any favorites yet, or your cookies may be disabled.
U.S. Storm Surge Records
By Jeffrey Masters, Ph.D. — Director of Meteorology, Weather Underground, Inc.
The highest documented storm surge in the U.S. occurred in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, when Pass Christian, MS, recorded a 27.8 foot storm surge above mean sea level. The highest High Water Mark on record for a U.S. hurricane occurred in Biloxi, MS during Katrina, where a High Water Mark of 34.1 feet above mean sea level was recorded on the outside of the Beau Rivage Lighthouse (Figure 1). The surge was 22 feet high in Biloxi, so the combination of the tide (about 1 foot) and 11-foot waves on top of the storm surge created the 34.1-foot high water mark.
Figure 1. A survey team found a damage trimline on the exterior of the Beau Rivage Lighthouse in Biloxi, Mississippi, at an elevation of 34.1 feet above mean sea level. This represents the highest High Water Mark ever recorded for an Atlantic Hurricane. Image credit: Hermann Fritz, Georgia Tech University.
Highest Theoretical U.S. Storm Surge
The highest theoretical storm surge produced by NOAA's SLOSH model for the U.S. is 38.5 feet above mean sea level, for a Category 4 hurricane hitting New Bedford, Massachussets. New Bedford lies near the end of a narrow bay, and narrow bays and river estuaries can act as funnels that focus the storm surge to extreme heights if the hurricane's direction of motion is aligned so that the surge propagates up the bottleneck. Storm surges in excess of 32 feet are possible at New York City; New Bedford and Buzzard's Bay, Massachussets; Florida's Apalachee Bay; the coast north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and in St. Louis Bay in Mississippi.
Figure 2. The four regions of the U.S. coast theoretically prone to storm surges in excess of 33 feet at the coast. These Maximum of the Maximum Envelope Of Waters (MOM) SLOSH model plots are for a maximum strength hurricane hitting at high tide. A theoretical peak storm surge of 33 - 34 feet (pink colors) is predicted by the SLOSH model for New York City near the JFK Airport (upper left), for the Big Bend region of the Florida Gulf Coast (lower right), and for the Intracoastal Waterway north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (lower left). The highest theoretical surge occurs at New Bedford, Massachussets (upper right), 38.5 feet for a Category 4 hurricane.
U.S. City Records
If you find references for the highest storm surge on record for a U.S. city not listed here, send the info (and URL documenting the record), to: email@example.com.
Mobile: 11.6', July 5, 1916 Hurricane 11.45', Hurricane Katrina, 2005 Dauphin Island: 9.2', Hurricane Camille, 1969 7.7', July 5, 1916 Hurricane Gulf Shores: 11.8', September 1906 hurricane 9.1', Hurricane Camille, 1969
Coconut Grove 15', Great Miami Hurricane of 1926
New Orleans Lakefront Airport 11.8', Hurricane Katrina, 2005 Grand Isle 12.0', Hurricane Katrina, 2005 Port Fourchon 8.0', Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Bay St. Louis: 25.0', Hurricane Katrina, 2005 21.7', Hurricane Camille, 1969 15.2', September 1947 Hurricane Pass Christian: 27.8', Hurricane Katrina, 2005 22.6', Hurricane Camille, 1969 13.4', September 1947 Hurricane Long Beach: 25.7', Hurricane Katrina, 2005 21.6', Hurricane Camille, 1969 14.0', September 1947 Hurricane Gulfport: 24.5', Hurricane Katrina, 2005 21.0', Hurricane Camille, 1969 14.0', September 1947 Hurricane Biloxi: 22.0', Hurricane Katrina, 2005 19.5', Hurricane Camille, 1969 11.1', September 1947 Hurricane Pascagoula: 18.0', Hurricane Katrina, 2005 11.8', Hurricane Camille, 1969 9.0', September 1947 Hurricane
Port Lavaca: 22.8', Hurricane Carla, 1961 Corpus Christi 12', Atlantic-Gulf Hurricane of 1919
Weather Underground Storm Surge Articles:
Copyright © 2013 Weather Underground, Inc.