Anyone from Florida that withstood the wrath of Hurricane Irma over the weekend knows that news agencies expected massive storm surges to terrorize the shorelines of Florida. Instead, something different happened.
Residents from watched as waterways and shorelines receded into the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico almost entirely, creating an eerie picture for anyone on the coast.
It's typical to see a little bit of water recession during a hurricane because the high winds of the storm impact the ocean, but the sheer amount of water that receded was unprecedented. Many experts were left scratching their heads, and meteorologists threw their arms up in disbelief as they reported the weather.
The effects of the 'reverse storm surge' were only temporary, but Floridians were thankful for what happened because it canceled out most of the expected storm surges. Although some surging was present, it wasn't nearly as destructive as initially predicted.
Hurricane Irma was one of the most powerful storms ever to form in the Atlantic Ocean, so it was far from average. The mechanisms behind this phenomenon aren't well understood because hurricanes of this caliber don't pop up very often, making them difficult to study in detail.