The tides of March are marching

The tides of March are marching

The tides of March are marching again, and it’s quite tough to understand why.

The main thing out of synch is that the tidal coefficients are not that high. Monday’s coefficient was a mere 95 in the morning. Given that the coefficient range reaches over 120, it means that it was only about 85% of what it could have been. The height of the tide on Monday was 2.1m in Durban. Durban’s highest tides come in at a raging 2.3m! That’s 20cm more than Monday’s water.

But it’s the storm surges from the massive swell that really is higher grade learning. Why now? Why The Ides of March?

Very strange stuff indeed.

But if you check this amazing animation of the globe’s wind and weather (and even ocean currents and waves if you select the right overlay), you will be able to monitor the whole lot in real time.

The way I interpret this last push, is that the cyclonic system that grew as it moved south East of Madagascar over the weekend, but did not develop to full cyclone (didn’t even get a name), just stubbornly stayed out there, day after day, whipping swell straight at everyone from the Cape to Mozambique. It’s the positioning of the cyclone that makes for the swells. If it goes crazy and heads for land, it’s not ideal, not by a long way. But when they sit out there, just far enough off not to make too much chaos on land (torrential rain), just behind and below Mad, the distance that  a swell can be built up, is a good 2000 to 3500kms. Winds pushing consistently at 60kmh to 120kmh and sometimes more, can do wonders for us, with this huge fetch of water. Hence the huge swell and storm surges that swamped Durban beachfront and surrounds the last few days. Epic stuff – like a mini tsunami really. And with our best cyclone season for years going on right now, things are gonna stay very interesting.

Aside: If you study the animation at the link above closely and over time, you will also see how come Mozambique is offshore so often, this time of the year. As the winds square the coast, where I write this now – Port Shepstone KZN, it’s raining, it’s onshore, the water is brown and the waves are huge. Meanwhile, get on up to sunny skies and chevrolet, and huge crystal clean barrels – at any low tide in Mozambique, right now!

“I have been trying to get photos or pics from the crew up there, but at this stage, an ominous silence prevails. The wind does look a bit iffy today, but it’s the perfect tides  – things, when they smooth out up there, will be melted plastic.

Calvin Moore is in Pomene! Robin Beatty is in Tofinho! Send news!

Is Caesar going down tomorrow? – Xona”

Endless rains are great for farmers but the brown water instils a nervousness as it's full of sharks.

Endless rains are great for farmers but the brown water instils a nervousness down here in KZN as it’s full of sharks. The Umzimkulu River mouth is a favourite hangout for huge Zambezi’s, that can often be seen free-swimming around the mouth area. Eish!

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