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WATER LEVELS: 1-3 feet of storm surge possible in Tampa Bay

A storm surge warning remains in effect for much of the bay area.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There remains the potential for coastal flooding Wednesday afternoon from Tropical Storm Elsa as the storm makes landfall in the northern Florida Gulf coast.

A storm surge warning remains in effect for the west coast of Florida from Aripeka to the Aucilla River. This means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water.

Click or tap here to see the latest observed water levels across the Tampa Bay region. As of  12:00 p.m. Wednesday, reporting sites at Clearwater Beach, Port Manatee, St. Petersburg and Tampa show water levels close to minor flooding.

Strong winds from tropical cyclones, like tropical storms and hurricanes, push water onshore. According to NOAA, the amplitude or how much the water level rises depends on the orientation of the coastline with the storm's track, intensity, size and speed of the storm.

The "bathymetry," or the "bed" of a given body of water, is another factor. Tampa Bay and the western Florida coastline are highly susceptible to storm surges.

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