Surges from the king tide provided enjoyment for crowds who gathered at the Urangan's seawall for the annual spectacle. Picture: Robyne Cuerel
Surges from the king tide provided enjoyment for crowds who gathered at the Urangan's seawall for the annual spectacle. Picture: Robyne Cuerel

King tide to be lowest highest level in years

Wide Bay will experience its king tide of the year one month from today, but records show it may be the lowest on paper in seven years.

Data shows the highest summer tide is set to reach 4.12m at Urangan on February 28 at precisely 9.29am.

Burnett Heads is expected to reach 3.48m at 9.21am on the same day.

However the predicted water level is the lowest high tide in both regions that BOM and Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) records show from 2014.

On March 3, 2020 the king tide hit 4.27m at Urangan and 3.58m at Burnett Heads.

In February 2019 a monster tide of 4.32m sent water spilling over Hervey Bay roads and almost swallowed Urangan Pier.

Meteorologist Matt Marshall said it wasn’t predicted to hit the highest astronomical tide (HAT) which sits at 4.28m, and so residents shouldn’t expect to see waves and water spilling onto the Esplanade at Hervey Bay from the high tide itself.

“For that to happen you need the king tide and something else to happen meteorologically (like abnormal weather conditions including severe storms, low air pressures and strong winds) to push the water further on shore, which is harder to predict further into the future,” he said.

The HAT is the highest level of water that can be predicted to occur under average meteorological conditions and any combination of astronomical conditions.

BOM and MSQ report that very high tides can increase the dangers of coastal activities like boating and rock fishing.

Police have warned people in the past that they don’t want to see children playing in potential floodwaters.

Councillor Paul Truscott said council will determine closer to the time if there is anything to prepare for.

According to MSQ, king tides occur when the earth, moon and sun are aligned at perigee and perihelion.

The combined effect of the moon’s phase and the varying gravitational forces of the sun and moon result in the highest of the spring tides occurring during the summer months of December, January and February and also in the winter months of June, July and August.

The highest winter tide is predicted to occur at the end of May and June and reach just over four-metres at Urangan.

Waddy Point at Fraser Island will experience its highest tide in December at 2.39m.

Burnett Heads will see 3.46m at the end of June also.



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