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Treebeard's Stumper
8 January 99

Low Winter Tides

There was a huge full moon to bring in the New Year last weekend, rising in the east just as the sun set in the west. There was also an extremely low tide at the beach, minus 1.5 feet according to the newspaper tide table. Everyone knows that the moon causes the tides by gravitational attraction, but the details are tricky. We often (usually? always?) get our most extreme tides of the year in midwinter. The lowest tide last summer was only about minus 1 foot. Why would the season make a difference with the tides? After all, there are full moons in the summer as well.

Answer


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Copyright © 1999 by Marc Kummel / mkummel@rain.org