Live Video: Hurricane Irma is literally sucking the water away from shorelines

Hurricane Irma is literally sucking the water away from shorelines


Sept. 9: Hurricane Irma dries Bahamas beach
Video from Long Island in the Bahamas shows a dry shoreline as a result of Hurricane Irma.(Adrian Wells/ViralHog)

As a meteorologist, there are things you learn in textbooks that you may never see in person. You know they happen theoretically, but the chances of seeing the most extraordinary weather phenomena are slim to none.

This is one of those things — a hurricane strong enough to change the shape of an ocean.

Twitter user @Kaydi_K shared this video Saturday afternoon, and I knew right away that even though it looked as though it couldn’t be possible, it was absolutely legit.

“I am in disbelief right now…” she wrote. “This is Long Island, the Bahamas including the ocean water is missing!!!”

Basically, Hurricane Irma is so strong and its pressure is so low, it’s sucking water from its surroundings into the core of the storm.

I am in disbelief right now… This is Long Island, Bahamas and the ocean water is missing!!! That’s as far as they see  wtf

The wind on Long Island on the Bahamas is from the south-east to the northwest on Saturday. On the northwest side of the island, it would be flipping the water away from the shoreline.

It also may be experiencing the effects of what I call the hurricane “bulge.” In the centre of the storm, wherever there is very low pressure, water is drawn upward. 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 centre, it gets pulled away from the surrounding.

In any case, this isn’t the symbol of a tsunami. The water will return to Long Island, and it probably won’t rush back with any great force. It will probably be back by Sunday afternoon.


‘Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best’: South Florida braces for Hurricane Irma
As Hurricane Irma barrels toward Florida, residents are doing what they can to prepare their homes. (Thomas Johnson, Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post)

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