King tides due on week­end

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

YOU might need a snorkel to drive along the Port Dou­glas es­planade this week­end - a king tide due to hit Port Dou­glas on Sun­day morn­ing could reach as high as 3.36m.

Ex­perts pre­dict the king tide, due to ar­rive at 8.45am on Sun­day, will peak at 3.14m but could surge even higher de­pend­ing on the weather con­di­tions.

Slightly smaller king tides are tipped to hit Four Mile Beach on Satur­day at 8.08am at 3.08m and on Mon­day at 9.19am, which is ex­pected to be 3.12m.

When Port Dou­glas had a king tide peak­ing at 3.34m on Fe­bru­ary 4, 2010, waves lapped at the life­guard hut on Four Mile Beach and heavy rain brought swells to the beach which flowed as far in­shore as David­son St, with low-level cov­er­age across the main thor­ough­fare.

Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy fore­caster Allan Beat­tie said rough weather out at sea and heavy rain­fall as­so­ci­ated with ex-trop­i­cal Cy­clone Olga con­trib­uted to the ex­tra high tides on that oc­ca­sion.

But in­stead of be­ing in­tim­i­dated by the sea surge, lo­cal res­i­dents are in­vited to be part of the Wit­ness King Tides project, be­ing con­ducted by Green Cross Aus­tralia, to help map and record the tidal move­ments.

Green Cross Aus­tralia is the Aus­tralian af­fil­i­ate of Green Cross In­ter­na­tional, founded by the former Rus­sian pres­i­dent Mikhail Gor­bachev, whose mis­sion state­ment is “fos­ter­ing a glo- bal val­ues shift to­wards a sus­tain­able and se­cure fu­ture”.

As part of the project, Green Cross Aus­tralia wants Port Dou­glas res­i­dents to take pho­tographs of the sum­mer king tides to help build a pic­ture of the threat posed by sea level rises and to help track the fu­ture im­pact of cli­mate change.

Green Cross Aus­tralia head of pro­grams Mi­randa Ma­son said it was im­por­tant to have a vis­ual col­lec­tion of im­ages which could help to be bet­ter pre­pared for a fu­ture where sea lev­els are higher.

“If we can en­vis­age fu­ture change, we can plan and pre­pare for it now,” she said.

All you have to do to be part of the Wit­ness King Tides project is reg­is­ter at www.wit­nessk­ingtides.org and then up­load your pho­tos.

The term “king tide” is used to de­scribe an es­pe­cially high tide event oc­cur­ring twice a year when there is align­ment of the grav­i­ta­tional pull be­tween the sun and the moon.

When king tides oc­cur dur­ing cy­clones, floods or storms, water lev­els have the po­ten­tial to cause sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to prop­erty and the coast­line.

The next king tide to be aware of in Port Dou­glas will co­in­cide with the so­lar eclipse on Novem­ber 14, at 9.06am, when the tide is ex­pected to be 2.98m - which could also sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the amount of beach area for peo­ple to gather and watch the phe­nom­e­non.

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

King tide com­ing: Four Mile Beach will be swamped on Sun­day

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