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Irma's timing will dictate how Monday morning's high tides affect storm surge

Strong winds and high tide from Tropical Storm Colin conspired to flood Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa last year. How will Monday morning's high tides impact Hurricane Irma's storm surge? The storm's timing will be key. [
OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]

Strong winds and high tide from Tropical Storm Colin conspired to flood Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa last year. How will Monday morning's high tides impact Hurricane Irma's storm surge? The storm's timing will be key. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

Storm surge from Hurricane Irma is expected to hit the Tampa Bay area between Sunday night and early Monday morning, and some weather experts believe the impact could be intensified if they coincide with high tides Monday morning.

Storm surge, or the water pushed by the hurricane to shore, can pose the greatest danger during a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center's website, and has the potential to cause extreme flooding when it coincides with normal high tide.

LIVE BLOG: Latest updates on Hurricane Irma.

Paul Close, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Tampa Bay Office, said high tides Monday morning would add height to the storm surge.

"Timing at the worst is Monday morning," Close said. "Say there is a surge at four feet. (High tide) makes it worse. Now you're at 6 or more feet."

According to saltwatertides.com, high tides in the Tampa Bay area peak between 3:10 a.m. and 6:57 a.m. Monday, adding between 2.1 to 3.1 feet of height.

"The water level is going to be a fairly uniform increase over the bay area," meteorologist Richard Rude said. "Tampa Bay could start seeing some impacts late Sunday night, but we are looking for the greatest impact Monday morning."

COMPLETE COVERAGE:Find all our coverage about Hurricane Irma here

But Fox 13 Chief Meteorologist Paul Dellegatto posted on Facebook that the timing of the storm surge might put the bay area in a better situation if the worst of the weather arrives before high tide.

"Regarding storm surge flooding," he wrote. "10' to 15' storm surge will occur to the south of the point where Irma makes landfall. This is not a worst case storm surge storm for Tampa Bay because of the angle it is approaching us. You will notice unusually low water levels in the bays today and tomorrow due to a northeast wind pushing the water out of our bays. The water will not rise until AFTER Irma passes and the winds shift to the northwest and west. A storm surge of 5' to 8' is possible in Tampa Bay. The worst of the weather will be Sunday night."

High Tides during Irma

Egmont Key: Monday at 3:10 a.m. at 2.4 feet

Anna Maria Key, Bradenton Beach: Monday at 2:58 a.m. at 2.5 feet

Anna Maria Key, City Pier: Monday at 3:15 a.m. at 2.5 feet

Bradenton, Manatee River: Monday at 4:01 a.m. at 2.4 feet

Redfish Point, Manatee River: Monday at 4:55 a.m. at 2.3 feet

Mullet Key Channel (Skyway): Monday at 3:22 a.m. at 2.3 feet

Port Mantee: Monday at 4:25 a.m. at 2.4 feet

Shell Point: Monday at 5:33 a.m. at 2.3 feet

Point Pinellas: Monday at 5:03 a.m. at 2.1 feet

St. Petersburg: Monday at 5:25 a.m. at 2.5 feet

Ballast Point: Monday at 5:45 a.m. at 3.0 feet

Davis Island, Hillsborough Bay: Monday at 5:28 a.m. at 2.9 feet

Hillsborough Bay, Tampa Bay: Monday at 5:32 a.m. at 3.0 feet

McKay Bay Entrance: Monday at 5:27 a.m at 3.0 feet

Old Port Tampa: Monday at 5:50 a.m at 2.8 feet

Safety Harbor: Monday at 6:57 a.m at 3.1 feet

Pass-a-Grille Beach: Monday at 3:51 a.m. at 2.2 feet

Gulfport: Monday at 3:53 a.m. at 2.4 feet

Pinellas Bayway: Monday at 4:07 a.m. at 2.3 feet

John's Pass: Monday at 3:11 a.m. at 2.4 feet

Madeira Beach Causeway: Monday at 3:53 a.m. at 2.7 feet

Source: saltwatertides.com

Irma's timing will dictate how Monday morning's high tides affect storm surge 09/09/17 [Last modified: Saturday, September 9, 2017 2:25pm]
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