Residents stand in an empty Tampa Bay.
Residents stand in an empty Tampa Bay. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

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Was a hurricane responsible for one of the most memorable stories in the Bible?

Perhaps, says Al Roker, one of the nation's leading meteorologists.

In a segment on Today's Take, Roker joined Sheinelle Jones and fellow NBC meteorologist Dylan Dryer to discuss the Tampa Bay phenomenon right before Hurricane Irma struck.

Sunday morning, Tampa residents made their way out to the bay to observe a rarely-seen phenomenon: an empty waterway. But it wasn't just Tampa.

The Washington Post describes the phenomenon: 

At the same time, some locations may be experiencing the effects of the hurricane "bulge." In the center of the storm, where the pressure is lowest and the winds are converging, water piles up. Low pressure is basically a sucking mechanism in the sense that it draws the air inward. When the pressure is exceptionally low and the winds are very strong, it can create a bulge of ocean water under the center of the storm.

Roker says this phenomenon is similar to what happened when the Lord parted the Red Sea as described in Exodus. The NBC meteorologist says he does not discount the Lord's power, but the hurricane is a scientific explanation for one of most-talked-about biblical miracles.

According to Exodus 14:21-22: "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, so that the waters were divided. The children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left."


Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.

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