King Tides Reach Peak

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waihi beach

A king tide caused some lifeguards to delay putting out the flags yesterday.

Whangamata and Waihi Beach were both reported to be put off limits temporarily because of the tides, which are forecast to be here until Tuesday.

The king tide is said to have reached its peak last night.

King tides are a term that originated in New Zealand, Australia and around the Pacific. They are simply the very highest tides. The low tides that occur at this time are also the very lowest tides. They are naturally occurring, predictable events.

King tides are caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun and the rotation of Earth.

The gravitational force is greatest when the Moon is closest to Earth (perigee) and least when it is farthest from Earth (apogee – about two weeks after perigee).

The Moon has a larger effect on the tides than the Sun but the Sun’s position also has an influence on the tides.

Local weather patterns and ocean conditions also play a part in what happens.