Seas Forecast: June’s Supermoon To Bring King Tides To T&T This Week

Over the next seven days, the sea forecast to be quite normal for this time of year with no abnormal waves or swells forecast for the region. Low-level winds are forecast to decrease as we head through the week due to a well-defined tropical wave moving through the region, allowing for slight seas by the end of the week.

In the next 24 hours and continuing through the week, some of the highest hide tides and lowest low tides for the year are forecast to begin. These tides are called King Tides, related to the final supermoon of 2021.

Lastly, visibility may be slightly reduced on Monday due to fluctuating concentrations of Saharan Dust through the forecast period. We continue to monitor the ongoing eruption of the La Soufrière Volcano, though ash venting has ceased for now.

There are no alerts, watches, or warnings in effect for T&T from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service concerning seas at this time,

Seas Forecast For Trinidad and Tobago

Sea state forecast through the next 7 days, as moderate seas are forecast. Note that sheltered areas include bays, beaches, and generally the Gulf of Paria and western areas of the Columbus Channel. Open waters are the Atlantic Ocean (Eastern Trinidad), the Eastern Columbus Channel (Southern Trinidad), and the Caribbean Sea (north of Trinidad).

In sheltered areas, seas are forecast to remain below 1 meter generally. No major long-period swells are forecast with swell periods between eight to ten seconds. Throughout the week, breaking waves may exceed the 1-meter mark along northern and eastern coastlines.

Winds are forecast to be gentle to fresh, with winds generally less than 20 knots from the northeast to south, gusting up to 25 knots in heavy showers and thunderstorms. Wind speeds are forecast to be less than 15 knots late Wednesday through Friday.

In open waters, seas will remain slight to moderate with waves generally up to 2.0 meters as indicated above for Trinidad and Tobago on Monday into Tuesday, and then Sunday into next week. Generally, open waters east and north of Trinidad and Tobago will be the most agitated.

King Tides will cause some of the highest hide tide and lowest low tide levels for the year. These tidal currents will require caution from mariners due to strong currents.

Tidal forecast for Port of Spain, Trinidad courtesy Tide-Forecast.com

Impacts on T&T’s Shorelines

No major impacts are forecast for T&T’s shorelines through the next 7 days. Due to King Tides, stronger tidal currents in nearshore areas; hence mariners will need to exercise extreme caution. Minor coastal flooding is possible in low-lying coastal areas as peak high tides occur.

The June 2021 Super Moon

Supermoons occur annually. It is not a harbinger of natural disasters or the end of the world, but part of the moon’s orbit around Earth.

What makes this moon ‘Super’

 Perigee versus Apogee (Supermoon vs Micromoons)
Perigee versus Apogee (Supermoon vs Micromoons)

The moon has an elliptical orbit around Earth in the same way that the Earth has an elliptical orbit around the Sun. This results in a point in its orbit where the Moon will be closest to (perigee) and furthest away (apogee) from the earth.

During a Supermoon, which is not a scientific term, a perigee syzygy occurs – meaning that the Earth, Sun, and Moon are all in alignment.

What’s the definition of a supermoon through? TimeandDate.com says, “There are no official rules as to how close or far the moon must be to qualify as a supermoon or a micro moon. Different outlets use different definitions. Due to this, a full moon classified as a supermoon by one source may not qualify as a super full moon by another.” But their definition is “a Supermoon is designated when the Moon is less than 360,000 Kilometers away from the center of the Earth and appears about 7% brighter than an average full Moon.”

Based on that definition, the only two visible supermoons of 2021 was April’s and May’s.

Here are the distances (as measured between the centers of the moon and Earth) for the three full moon supermoons of 2021:

  • Full moon (April 27, 2021): 222,212 miles or 357,615 km
  • Full moon (May 26, 2021): 221,851 miles or 357,462 km
  • Full moon (June 24, 2021): 224,652 miles or 361,558 km

In contrast, the most distant and smallest full moon of the year will fall on December 19, 2021. Sometimes called a micromoon, it’ll be 252,235 miles (405,932 km) away. That’s a whopping 30,118 miles (48,470 km) farther away than the year’s closest and biggest full moon on May 26, 2021.

Eliot Herman in Tuscon also compared the June full moon with the November 2016 supermoon. He wrote: “A comparison of the closest supermoon since 1948 on November 14, 2016 with farthest mini-moon on June 9, 2017. Both images captured with a Questar telescope and a Nikon D800 camera. The images were combined with Photoshop.”
Eliot Herman in Tuscon also compared the June full moon with the November 2016 supermoon. He wrote: “A comparison of the closest supermoon since 1948 on November 14, 2016 with farthest mini-moon on June 9, 2017. Both images captured with a Questar telescope and a Nikon D800 camera. The images were combined with Photoshop.”

Supermoons can be both full moons (visible), such as the April, May, and June supermoons, and new moons (unable to see from Earth). These new Supermoons will occur on:

  • November 4, 2021: 223,604 miles (359,856 km)
  • December 4, 2021: 221,708 miles (356,804 km)

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