Current Moon Phase

Waning Crescent
4% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Watch for Super Tides this Week

Watch for Super Tides this Week

If you live near the ocean, you may notice larger than normal tides this week.

On October 6, at 10 a.m., the Moon will be at its closest point in its orbit relative to the Earth. Astronomers call this position “perigee.” The following day, October 7 at 2:44 p.m., is the New Moon, which is also the time when the Moon is closest to the sun.

Because the Moon is at perigee near the time of the New Moon, the Earth will experience exceptionally high tides.

Any time the Earth, Moon, and Sun form straight line, larger than normal tides, called spring tides, occur. The word “spring” has nothing to do with the season, but rather is from the German “der springen” meaning to “spring up,” since that’s what the tides tend to do during times of full and new moon.

When the Moon is also near perigee, its pull on the ocean is even stronger. And when it’s on the same side of its orbit as is the Sun, both tug on the oceans from the same directions, resulting in a very strong and high tide. This super high hide is called a “proxigean spring tide.” The Earth experiences proxigean spring tides no more than once every 1.5 years.

Proxigean spring tides can be dangerous if a big ocean storm is offshore. Because tide levels are much higher than normal, even without a storm, these tides can often result in widespread flooding.

1 comment

1 Terri { 10.29.10 at 5:01 pm }

Having commercial fished with my family, I am expected to know these facts…the article on tides was super informative and I will pass on this information as the family still regularly boats…and gloats of our sea knowledge…or maybe lack of!

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.