Coast KZN

09 Mar 2017

Equinox brings tidal surge concerns, but Cyclone Enawo passes us by

Judi Davis (South Coast Herald)

The tidal surge of March 2007 batters Uvongo’s Orange Rocks.

No unusual storm warnings have been issued.

Many South Coast homeowners view the March spring tides with some trepidation as they remember the huge tidal surges that caused massive damage to coastal property in March 2007.

Spring tides, when the discrepancy between high and low tides is at its greatest, occur roughly twice a month, at full and new moon. Things become a little more complicated twice a year, around the two equinox periods, when spring tides are a little higher and lower than usual.

Equinox means equal night, referring to the fact that days and nights are almost the same length when this phenomenon occurs as the sun crosses the equator.

Usually its effect on the spring tides is hardly noticeable, but in 2007 there was a particularly close alignment of the sun, moon and earth.
Added to this was a big tropical storm that made landfall about the same time as this mega spring tide occurred – and the results were spectacular. The resulting tidal surges hammered the South African coastline and properties took a fearful battering.

It doesn’t seem that we have anything to worry about this Sunday, when the moon is full and the next spring tide is due to peak. National Sea Rescue Institute always warns people to be extra careful of the surf at spring tide time.

However, spokesman Craig Lambinon said his organisation had not received any warning of particularly dangerous conditions.
It looks like Cyclone Enawo, which hit Madagascar on Tuesday this week, is giving us a miss so hopefully there won’t be any cyclones or tropical storms stirring things up on the South Coast when the full moon rises.


Online Article