Tide Changes of Nearly 40 Feet to Impact Alaska this Weekend

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11 Feb 2024 5:05 PM

Happening this weekend in Alaska is a change in tides of nearly 40 FEET. On February 10th we will see a "new moon" and an astronomically large tide. In Anchorage the low tide Saturday morning will be -4 feet below sea level to a high tide of 32 feet just 6 hours later - that's a change of 36 feet!

A phenomenon that will be most dramatic this weekend is the "Bore Tide" which is a rush of seawater that returns to a narrow inlet from a broad bay, according to Alaska.org. Bore tides usually happen during full or new moons, but "your chances for seeing a large bore are best during the five-day window that surrounds the new and full moons."

Video from our field correspondent Brandon Clement of a bore tide in 2019.

Bore tides happen all over the world, but the one in Turnagain Arm in Alaska near Anchorage is one of the largest in the world, over 40-50 miles long. Surfers can ride the wave up to a mile! At top speeds, it can reach 10-15 miles per hour. The Turnagain Arm bore tide is also unique as it brings in wildlife including seals and beluga whales who feed on the fish and microorganisms that come in with the tide.

If you want to see one of these events, make sure to be in place to watch or ride a bore tide at least 30 minutes before the forecast tide. Just know that the water will calm down just before it arrives! According to Alaska.org you can also see the Bore Tide many times as "it takes over five hours for the bore to travel from the mouth of Turnagain Arm to the end of it."

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