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Mysteriously High Tides on East Coast Perplex Scientists

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posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 03:46 PM

From Maine to Florida, the Atlantic seaboard has experienced higher tides than expected this summer. At their peak in mid-June, the tides at some locations outstripped predictions by two feet.

The change has come too fast to be attributed to melting ice sheets or anything quite that dramatic, and it’s a puzzle for scientists who’ve never seen anything quite like it.

“The ocean is dynamic. It’s not uncommon to have anomalies like this but the breadth and the intensity and duration were unique,” said Mike Szabados, director of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s tide and current program.

The unexpected tidal surge is subsiding, has reduced its reach from the entire coast, and is now concentrated just in the mid-Atlantic states.

NOAA is rushing to study the data in an effort to understand what happened. Szabados’ office is already putting the finishing touches on a report that will be released next month on the wind and current patterns that appear to be correlated with the tidal surge.

Szabados said that two main factors appear to have contributed to the extra high tides. First, there were steady winds out of the northeast throughout this anomaly. Second, the ocean current running from Florida up along the coast weakened. While the associations between these phenomena and the tides are provocactive, it’s too early to tell how fully they explain this unexpected tidal event.

“I’m quite sure that there will be more intensive analysis of this event. By no means will this report be the definitive answer to anything,” Szabados said. “Further assessment of this event should be encouraged to better understand the phenomena.”

One thing is for sure: The tidal rise is strange. Kevin Trenberte, head of the climate analysis section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, looked over June climate data on wind, atmospheric pressure and the ocean. June was — high tides aside — “nothing to write home about” in Trenberte’s estimation.

“It’s a bit of a mystery,” he said.

Szabados’ team was initially puzzled that there were no major wind anomalies accompanying the tides, but his team’s wind expert figured out it wasn’t the magnitude that was anomalous.

“He said there’s no significant anomalies in the magnitude of the wind, it’s the persistence of the winds,” Szabados said.

An even bigger mystery is why such winds would suddenly appear and why the current running up the Atlantic coast would weaken. Was it a freak coincidence, some jitter in the data, or part of a long-term trend or cycle?

John Boon, professor emeritus of oceanography at Virginia Institute for Marine Studies, thinks it could be part of a long-term global trend that’s tied in with the Pacific region’s El Niño weather pattern.

“When I’m comparing these decadal cycles, I see that some of the highs in these decadal cycles coincide with El Niño events,” He said. “It’s not to say that one is caused by another, but the degree of association is somewhat surprising.”

strange they haven't offered up the suggestion that it could be related to the "Spring Tide" phenomenon.

Interesting stuff

[edit on 30-7-2009 by warrenb]

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 03:54 PM
I think you mean spring tide. Spring tide is the term used for the two high tides which occur each month, once at the full moon and once at the new moon.

Tide predictions take these into account. What is unusual about the tides on the east coast is that, in June, they were significantly higher than those predictions. Various other factors affect tides though. Atmospheric pressure, wind, and ocean currents can cause the actual tides to vary from the predictions. The article does mention two of these as possibilities.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 04:32 PM

Second, the ocean current running from Florida up along the coast weakened. While the associations between these phenomena and the tides are provocactive

Wasn't this the exact scenario in the movie "Day After Tomorrow"!!

3000 record cool temps in July, weakening North Atlantic Current, El Nino forming, and almost zero Tropical Storms!

I didn't like that movie very much, but I may have to go watch it again!!

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 04:35 PM
Food for thought...

Any correlation to persistent cooler than normal temperatures across the Great Lakes and NE prior to and around that time?

Edit: @ getreadyalready: Seems we were in tune there

Watch for a *Record High* to form off the NE coast???

Lions & Tigers & Highs...Oh My! "@@"

[edit on 7/30/2009 by Hx3_1963]

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 04:45 PM
This could be an issue in certain parts of the Eastern seaoboard, but up here, we deal with the biggest tides in the world.

I wonder what kind of a difference another couple of feet would make in the Bay of Fundy?

There is no place on earth where the difference between high and low tide is as great as it is in the Bay of Fundy. In most places in the world, normal tide levels are in the range of one or two metres, but in the Bay of Fundy, tides average more than 10 metres. The highest tides can be found in Minas Basin, where tides have been recorded at 16 metres higher than at low tide. These tides create fascinating natural phenomenon that are found nowhere else

Going with the flow, on the Fundy coastal drive.

Edit: Bad grammar mistakes

[edit on 30-7-2009 by GioTheGreek]

[edit on 30-7-2009 by GioTheGreek]

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 04:49 PM

An expanding phenomenon?

A *Shift*???

Hmmm...what other events around this time would explain this, being as it's ebbing now?

The recent Solar/Lunar thingy linked to a *supposed* China Dam collapse?

(Thingy is a vague Scientific term used here in Michigan

[edit on 7/30/2009 by Hx3_1963]

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 06:21 PM
I read this article yesterday except from the original source and started to go down the rabbit hole trying to understand what scientists were saying about this. There was one theory that heat was the culprit. I wish I had bookmarked it now because I can't explain the theory but it made a lot of sense.

[edit on 30/7/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 06:34 PM
What no mention of ORCA or planet X/nibiru?

It would be neat if stuff was shifting, has the bay of fundy had record lows lately?

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