A man, a plan and unusually high levels of iridium.

Monday, April 07, 2008

High Tide, No Really

I went for walk tonight. I should say I went for two: one with Joey earlier and one tonight scoping out a place to do tai chi.

I got a little derailed, though, when I walked by Waterfront Park and saw that Charleston Harbor coming all the way up to the paving stones that line the walkways. It was about to start lapping into the parking lot of the Pilot's House. This is a good 5-10 feet above the usual level, which means the water is 30-50 feet farther up the slope of the banks than normal.

When I got home I checked my weather widget for advisories, and sure enough, found this:

COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC
342 PM EDT MON APR 7 2008
GAZ117-119-139-141-SCZ048>051-080400-
/O.NEW.KCHS.CF.Y.0001.080407T2300Z-080408T0400Z/
COASTAL BRYAN-COASTAL CHATHAM-COASTAL LIBERTY-COASTAL MCINTOSH-
BEAUFORT-COASTAL COLLETON-CHARLESTON-COASTAL JASPER-
342 PM EDT MON APR 7 2008
...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO
MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHARLESTON HAS ISSUED A COASTAL
FLOOD ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO
MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT.

TIDE LEVELS CONTINUE TO RUN HIGH DUE TO A RECENT NEW MOON...
APPROACHING LUNAR PERIGEE AND STRONG NORTHEAST WINDS THAT ARE
PUSHING WATER ONSHORE. THIS SHOULD LEAD TO TIDE LEVELS ON THE
EVENING HIGH TIDE NEAR 7.1 FEET IN CHARLESTON HARBOR AND 9.2 FEET
NEAR SAVANNAH. HIGH TIDE IS EXPECTED TO BE AROUND 10 PM.

TIDES AT THIS LEVEL WILL RESULT IN STANDING SALTWATER IN LOW-LYING
AREAS OF DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON SUCH AS MORRISON DRIVE AND IN MOUNT
PLEASANT ALONG LONG POINT ROAD.

A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE SOME FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE
SHORE. SHALLOW COASTAL FLOODING BEGINS ALONG THE LOWER SOUTH
CAROLINA COAST WHEN TIDES IN THE CHARLESTON HARBOR REACH 7.0 FEET
MEAN LOWER LOW WATER AND ALONG THE NORTH GEORGIA COAST WHEN TIDES
REACH 9.2 FEET AT FORT PULASKI.


Compare tonight to high tide 4 days ago, on April 3, 2008:



I took the picture on the right largely because I thought the water was crazy high and I wouldn't get a shot like that again for a while. Looks like tonight is about 2 feet higher (check the bolts on the posts in each photo).

Compare these to March 27. You can barely see the water at all in this photo of the same spot on the pier, admittedly at low tide:



Anyway, the ocean is scary. Grendel and I walk on this bed of dried reeds all the time, and tonight the whole stretch is just rolling in the waves!

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