Why does the west coast of Florida (seem) to have worse storm surge than the east coast?


Hurricane Ian had a ~18’ storm surge prediction in Fort Myers. I’ve grown up on the east coast of Florida and cannot recall surges ever being that high.

I believe a stronger storm (Dorian) was predicted to produce a 7’ surge on the east coast of Florida.

Also – it seems that other gulf states experience higher storm surges than the east coast of Florida.

What goes into the prediction of the surge? Does the water depth play a factor (shallower gulf)? Why does the gulf appear to have higher surges? Do the Bahamas offer some protection?


In: 1

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Warmer in the Gulf of Mexico tends to be much warmer than the Atlantic. This creates a perfect breeding ground for a strong storm.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Depth and slope of the seabed helps the storm surge get bigger (look up storm surge and bathymetry for some great graphics).

Anonymous 0 Comments

If I were to correlate it to something, that’s where the “settlers” started imposing “civility”.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because the force of water can’t dissipate due to geography.Also it seems that the state encourages the filling of wetlands like its their job. The lack of the most basic understanding of hydrology or ecology is astounding.