TAMPA, Fla. - When Hurricane Irma was arriving in Florida, people in Tampa spent time standing in Tampa ...without getting wet!
How was that?
Hurricane Irma's strength and low pressure sucked water into the core of the storm, according to an article in The Washington Post by Angela Fritz, an atmospheric scientist and the paper's deputy weather editor.
The same happened as Irma passed through the Bahamas. The storm blew southeast to northwest, so water on the northwest side of the country was being pushed from the shoreline, Fritz said.
"In the center of the storm, where there is extreme low pressure, water is drawn upward," she wrote. "Low pressure is basically a sucking mechanism — it sucks the air into it, and when it’s really low, it can change the shape of the surface of the ocean. As the storm draws water toward the center, it gets pulled away from the surroundings."
Water returned to the coast after Irma's center passed through the area.
"The best advice is to not venture out onto the dry seabed," Fritz wrote. "You don’t want to be there when the water returns."
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