Does a hurricane draw up a large amount of salt water from the ocean?
Robbie Gallton, Chicago
Salt comes out of solution and remains behind in the ocean when sea water evaporates. However, a hurricane’s extreme winds can blow salt spray off the ocean surface inland. In southern Florida, many people miles inland experienced rust problems with vehicles in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Salt spray, even without a hurricane, creates rust problems. The torrential rains of a hurricane quickly dilute salt spray as it moves inland, rendering it less of a threat to water supplies and agriculture. Storm surge, which occurs when ocean waters sweep over a landscape, are another matter. Golf courses on Key Biscayne had to be replanted after Hurricane Andrew.