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Frequently Used Terms


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  • Climate Change

    ​Any significant change or trend in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period such as major variations in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns, sea level, or increased frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. 

  • Coastal Flooding

    Coastal flooding refers to any type of flooding that is generated from the ocean or other tidally connected waterbodies, as opposed to inland flooding caused by rain, or coming from rivers. The most severe form of coastal flooding is storm surge, which is the rise in water levels caused by a storm’s strong winds and low atmospheric pressure. With increased flooding and storm surge, this can erode shorelines and damage associated infrastructure assets. 

  • Hurricane

    A type of storm called a tropical cyclone which forms over tropical or subtropical waters and is a rotating low-pressure weather system with thunderstorms and extreme winds. ​

  • Inland Flooding

    Inland flooding, also known as “urban flooding” or “flash flooding”, can be caused by intense, short-term rain or by moderate rainfall over several days that can overwhelm existing drainage infrastructure. ​

  • Landslide

    A mass movement of rock, debris, or earth down a slope initiated by erosion, rainfall, snowmelt, changes in water (e.g., groundwater), or human activity. Landslides can be further defined by five modes of slope movement including falls, topples, slides, spreads, and flows. ​

  • Nor'easter

    A nor’easter is a type of coastal storm which typically forms when circulation brings winds from the northeast off the Atlantic Ocean, and is characterized by heavy snow, sleet, and/ or freezing rain. Nor’easters typically occur during the winter. ​

  • Storm Surge

    ​Storm surge occurs when a strong coastal storm, such as a tropical storm, hurricane, or nor’easter, approaches land, raising the water levels and flooding low-lying areas.​

  • Tropical Depression

    A storm originating in the tropics with surface winds less than 39 mph. ​

  • Tropical Storm

    A storm with surface winds 39 mph or higher. ​

  • Wildfire

    A fire that burns significant segments of the wild vegetation within a natural ecosystem, resulting in damage to flora and fauna. When unrestrained, wildfires can result in devastating harm to built environments and human life.​

6/28/2021 3:31 PM