From Glossary of Meteorology
(Also called storm tide, storm wave, hurricane tide.) A rise and onshore surge of seawater as the result primarily of the winds of a storm, and secondarily of the surface pressure drop near the storm center.
The magnitude of the surge depends on the size, intensity, and movement of the storm; the shape of the coastline; nearshore underwater topography; and the state of the astronomical tides. The storm surge is responsible for most loss of life in tropical cyclones worldwide.