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#246069 - 29/08/2002 21:45 King Tides
Beachy Offline

Registered: 31/05/2002
Posts: 511
Loc: Peninsula
Can anyone please explain when King Tides's never been an issue for me until I moved to the beach. I'd love to see one and yet it scares me a little because my car might drown!
I've heard it's a 100 year cycle or am I way off target???

#246070 - 30/08/2002 08:06 Re: King Tides
thermalben Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/04/2001
Posts: 769
Loc: Tweed Coast
Hi Beachy

King Tides occur more regularly than you think - they are just a common name for the highest high tides. High tides are a combination of several factors, the most important being the gravitational attraction from the moon and the sun. The 'lunar' effect is stronger than the 'solar' effect, but when their both coincide at the same time (around twice a year), we get an abnormally high tide, which is sometimes referred to as a King Tide.

I imagine your concern with high tides may be due to the effects of other conditions - topographical, meteorological etc. This is where the danger may lie; sea level height is also affected by barometric pressure (around 1cm/hpa), so when under the influence of deep low pressure systems (for your area this will be winter lows travelling through the bight), the sea level can raise. Strong winds blowing in certain directions (in Melbourne anywhere from a W thru S, I imagine) for a sustained period can also 'pile up' the water, enhancing high tides. This is known as a coastally trapped wave.

When conbimned with a astronomically high tide (King Tide), the effects of barometric pressure and a 'coastally trapped wave' can create 'Storm Surges'. These are the typical scenarios that cause destruction. However they are generally quite rare - in Adelaide this year we've had a few small surges with little effect, and there's generally only some areas that are prone to the (due to location). It has been several years since we have had a storm surge related flooding in our region.

All in all, nothing to get worried about! King Tides are a well known fact, and most areas will be out of their range - you'll be able to view them easily without fear of drowning smile Bear in mind they are a little 'uneventful' though - it's the Storm Surges that are worthy of a few pictures!

Cheers, Ben

#246071 - 31/08/2002 00:08 Re: King Tides
Beachy Offline

Registered: 31/05/2002
Posts: 511
Loc: Peninsula
Hey thermalben,

Thank you very much!
My car will be very happy to hear this laugh

I appreciate it, sorry it took a while to get back to you.

Have a great weekend.


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