Storm Surge Around New Zealand: From Hindcasts to Future Projections

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Storm Surge Around New Zealand: From Hindcasts to Future Projections

Storm Surge is defined as the rise of water level generated by a storm over and above the astronomical tide. It is primarily caused by the strong winds generated with a storm and by the influence of sea level pressure changes. As a weather system approaches land, storm surge tends to increase, particularly at the shoreline, resulting in flooding of coastal areas especially when combined with large astronomical tides and wave induced contributions.

Although storm surge in Aotearoa New Zealand is generally lower than other areas of the world, as it 'only' reaches maximum values of approximately 0.8 meters compared to 3-9 meters in places such as the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, it is still a key contributor to total water elevations that ultimately control coastal flooding in low-lying areas.

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