Sargent’s view: On ‘king tides’ and ‘super moons’

June 30, 2017 - Supermoon

More than 40 people were happily sauntering behind along Provincetown’s mile-long fin after a day spent on a mostly clothes-optional Wood End Beach.

Suddenly, they satisfied they were stranded. The sea was rushing by a low mark in a breakwater, where it had staid like a Merrimack River’s south jetty. They would have to wade by a ocean’s quickly issuing currents while perplexing to change on a algae-covered boulders.

First, dual boys afterwards a lady were swept into a 40-degree water. A male and a teen plunged in after them as someone frantically dialed 911. Eventually a Coast Guard, a harbormaster and people from Flyer’s Boat Rental were means to mislay a 35 people stranded on a boulders and a 5 swimming in a wintry water.

The swimmers had to be treated for hypothermia though in a end, everybody survived with a story to tell about their P’town weekend.

But since hadn’t weathermen warned vacationers about these astronomically high tides? we censure Australians, an astrologer and idle continue forecasters, in that order.

For many years, Australians have referred to intensely high tides as “king tides.” Then about 30 years ago, an astrologer named Richard Nolle started articulate about “super moons.” The names held on and environmentalists started propelling people to take photographs of a aristocrat tides and use them as proxies for what a post-sea turn arise universe will demeanour like.

So in Sep 2015 and again in Nov 2016, we had been urged to take photos though nobody had pronounced anything about a May 2017 impassioned high tides. That was since a renouned terms were confusing. Most people suspicion we could usually have a aristocrat waves or a super moon on a full moon. But both a May “super moon” and “king tide” had been on a new moon that we could frequency see.

If experts had stranded to a aged technical terms, a perigee full moon when a moon is closest to a Earth and a perigee new moon when a moon is closest to a Earth during a new moon, they wouldn’t have lost a perigean high tides and would have been most improved Scrabble players.

Now that we have that all straightened out, we should keep an eye on several destiny high tides that can lead to erosion damage. They will start on a Jan. 2 full moon in 2018, a Jul 13 new moon in 2018, a Aug. 30 new moon in 2019, a Oct. 16 new moon in 2020 and a Dec. 4 new moon in 2021.

Of these, it will be a perigee new and full moon high tides that start subsequent Jan and those that start in Oct 2020 and 2021 that will be a ones to compensate a closest courtesy to since they will tumble in a inclement erosion season. So be protected and don’t take any prolonged walks on settling jetties!

Bill Sargent’s new book, “Plum Island; 4,000 Years on a Barrier Beach,” is accessible in internal bookstores and during He leads Storm Surge beach walks starting from a Plum Island Point beacon on Sundays during 2 p.m. Cost is $10.

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