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Researchers are trying to understand storm surge and ultimately help areas prepare for it

UCF researchers' study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.

TAMPA, Fla. — Storm surge for Hurricane Sally was likely highest near Pensacola. 

Researchers at the University of Central Florida are trying to understand what is causing more or less storm surge over a period of time, and ultimately how to help areas prepare for it.  

The study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 

Researchers are trying to understand the drivers and factors that cause the ups and downs of storm surge over time. That's in addition to factors we know are related to storm surge, like El Niño and La Niña, water temperature and sea-level rise.

RELATED: Hurricane Sally unleashes flooding along the Gulf Coast as it slowly moves inland

Knowing whether we are shifting into an active or less active phase would at least give decision-makers time to allocate resources. 

"Knowing that can help you allocate resources way in advance, adjusting your budgets being prepared for what could happen or is likely to happen according to our projections and predictions," said Thomas Wahl, study co-author and an assistant professor in UCF’s Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering. 

This time of year, hurricane season, is data time for them. It will help with more analysis down the road. They say these models are not perfect yet. More studies need to be done. 

This research was funded by NOAA. Right now they are writing proposals to get more funding to be able to continue their research. 

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