A king tide will be running Wednesday and Thursday because gravitational forces of the sun, the moon and the earth will be lined up in a cue shot of fleeting geometry and rare power. It will raise the water level between one and two feet above normal high tides for many areas on the Atlantic coast. It’s an entirely natural phenomenon. This year, a network of scientists is asking members of the public to take pictures of the tides at their peak, and then again in a week, at their ordinary heights.
An extreme tide can give a telescopic view of a future with rising seas, when tides might routinely reach levels that they now get to only twice a year, said Kate Boicourt, an ecologist with the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program.
“What we’re seeing Wednesday and Thursday is probably what we normally will be seeing by 2080,” Ms. Boicourt said.
The Long Island Sound Study is looking for before and after photos. Here's how Larissa Graham of New York Sea Grant described it:
The Long Island Sound Study is participating in the Climate Ready Estuary's King Tide Program and looking for photos of this month's King Tide. More details below and at: http://longislandsoundstudy.net/2011/09/capture-the-king-tide/
Here’s how you can “Capture the King Tide”:
1. Pick a site! Choose a site around Long Island Sound that is easy to access during high tide. (Please remember to exercise caution and do not go to areas where dangerous conditions exist!)
2. Know the tides! Determine when the high tide will be for the daylight hours of Oct. 19 or 20 (for comparison) and the daylight hours of Oct. 26 or 27 (the King Tide!). You can do this by using the tide charts on the following Web sites:
Connecticut tides: http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2686&Q=322298
New York tides: http://www.saltwatertides.com/dynamic.dir/newyorksites.html
3. Capture the King! Take photos of your site during HIGH TIDE and daylight hours of Oct. 19 or 20 (for comparison) and Oct. 26 or 27 (the King Tide!). IMPORTANT: Make sure the photos are taken from the same spot (or as close as possible) so we can be compare the water levels among the dates!!
4. Show us your stuff! Submit your photos, along with the location, time, and date each photo was taken, to email@example.com or post them to our Facebook page by Nov. 4. Selected photographs will be posted to the Long Island Sound Study’s Web site in early December!