A meteotsunami or meteorological tsunami is a tsunami-like wavephenomenon of meteorological origin. Tsunamis and meteotsunamis propagate in the water in the same way and have the same coastal dynamics. In other words, for an observer on the coast where it strikes the two types would look the same. The difference is in their source only. One definition of a meteotsunami is as an atmospherically generated large amplitude seiche oscillation.
These tsunami-like ocean waves are principally caused by travelling air pressure disturbances, including those associated with atmospheric gravity waves, roll clouds, pressure jumps, frontal passages, and squalls, which normally generate barotropic ocean waves in the open ocean and amplify them near the coast through specific resonance mechanisms. In contrast to "ordinary" impulse-type tsunami sources, a travelling atmospheric disturbance normally interacts with the ocean over a limited period of time (from several minutes to several hours). Once a wave has enough energy to travel to the shore, it needs to hit a bottle-shaped ("V" neck) harbor to be funneled in and rise in height.