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11/25/2007

Time for tidal extremes

Oregon, USA
A series of UNUSUALLY HIGH tides, separated by some UNUSUALLY LOW tides, could leave Oregon beaches looking a little different this weekend. Waves are expected to reach farther than they have in some time, and the water could easily float even the big logs and tree trunks that appear firmly anchored to the beach. Tidal heights vary along the coast, but at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport anything above 10 feet is considered quite strong. High tide was expected to hit 10.3 feet Friday at 10:04 a.m., followed by 10.6-foot high tides at 10:48 a.m. Saturday and 11:33 a.m. today. The last time high tide hit 10.6 feet at that location was Jan. 11, 2005. In between will be some unusually low tides that will top minus 2 feet. The strong tides don’t make sneaker waves any more likely, but they can be extra dangerous at such times because the high tides leave little room for escape and the low tides create extremely strong outgoing currents. “You definitely want to watch the water. Don’t turn your back to the water.”
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