Images captured in Tampa Bay ahead of Hurricane Ian’s landfall on Wednesday showed waters receding, leaving exposed parts of the bay's sandy bottom.
The phenomenon is known as a “negative surge,” “blowout tide,” or “water level set-down,” as the strong winds from an approaching storm push water out. Then, once the eye of the storm passes, a storm surge usually will push all of the water back in.
The city of Venice, Florida, shared images of waters receding from its Venice Fishing Pier, and the National Weather Service of Tampa Bay posted images on its Twitter account with a warning to residents that they should not attempt to go near the area or "any other location with receding water."
"The water WILL come back," it said.
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The striking scenes were reminiscent of what happened ahead of 2017’s Hurricane Irma, when Tampa Bay saw a significant negative surge just before the arrival of the massive Category 2 hurricane.
Ian is expected to make landfall along Florida's southwest coast on Wednesday as a highly destructive Category 4 hurricane, bringing 155 mph winds and up to 16 feet of storm surge to some coastal areas.