King tides due on weekend
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.
King tide coming: Four Mile Beach will be swamped on Sunday