The powerful Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean and is now pounding the state of Florida. It also caused to occur a rare weather phenomenon, which astonished even meteorologists. The great strength of the storm made the sea water from the shoreline of the Bahamas and Tampa Bay vanish.

Short clips posted on social media showed an empty sea stretching from the shoreline as far as the horizon.

According to meteorologist, this extraordinary occurrence is stuff that you only read on textbooks and one that could happen in theory. However, the possibility of actually seeing one transpire is “slim to none.”

What happened in the Bahamas and in Tampa Bay were brought about by the sheer power of the hurricane capable of changing the shape of the ocean.

People who have witnessed the phenomenon said they were in disbelief. One Twitter user posted that Tampa Bay effectively became a dog park as they wait for Irma. “With parks closed ahead of the storm, this is the best we've got,” it said

Hurricane bulge

Media reports explaining the rare weather phenomenon said that the sea water was sucked into the core of the storm because of the great strength of the hurricane and resulting low pressure. The occurrence was the effect of what experts call as a “hurricane bulge.”

The report explained that water piles up in the core of the storm, where the pressure is lowest and winds converge.

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What the low pressure does is to act like a sucking mechanism that draws the air inward. The result is a bulge of ocean water under the center of the storm.

Water will return

Experts also explained that the water will eventually return once the center of the hurricane passes north of the location. Although the phenomenon resembles an early sign of a tsunami, it is not, according to them.

However, they advise people not to go out onto the empty seabed if they do not want to be caught by the returning sea water.

The water already returned in Long Island, Bahamas and it will be so on the Florida Gulf Coast once Hurricane Irma passes.

Hurricane Irma downgraded

Reports said that Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a Category 1 storm as it moves up toward Tampa with winds projected at less than 100mph. It was a category 4 when it first made landfall in the Florida Keys. The threat of storm surges, however, still remains.

It was also estimated that about 4 million homes are currently without power in Florida, according to the latest update made by the Florida State Emergency Response Team.

The damage is not yet known as forecasters project that Irma’s center will stay inland over the state before it moves into Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.