MIAMI (AP) -- During a hurricane, storm surge is one of the greatest threats to life and land, yet many people don't understand the dire warnings from forecasters to get out of its way.
This season, forecasters hope to offer easy-to-understand, color-coded maps and change the way they talk to the public.
Simply put, storm surge is the abnormal rise of sea water. Predicting it is far more complicated, and so is explaining it. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami discovered that again during a review of Superstorm Sandy.
Forecasts during Sandy were exceptionally accurate, but often confusing. Perhaps because so many things contribute to storm surge: intensity, pressure, forward speed, size, where it makes landfall and other factors.