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‘Cyclonic eddy’ responsible for low tides

  • Sea level variations in local waters tracked this month by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (Map supplied by Bios)

Unusually low tides this month were explained yesterday by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.

The research station, based in St George’s, reported that tides were running three to four inches lower than predicted.

Rush Curry, a Bios scientist, explained a large dip in the ocean’s surface near Bermuda had affected tides.

She said the gauge at Ferry Reach had confirmed lower water levels.

June 21 marked a new moon, which caused a larger tide range than usual as the gravitational pull of the sun aligns with the moon’s pull on Earth’s oceans.

Ms Curry said Bermuda was also being influenced by a “cyclonic eddy”, which created a lower-than-average sea surface height.

She said yesterday that Bios had recovered an unmanned glider equipped with sensors, which had been on patrol up to ten miles offshore for three weeks.

The aircraft also confirmed reductions in the height of the sea surface.

A reader told The Royal Gazette on Wednesday that she had noticed exposed coral sea fans off Coney Island near Ferry Reach at low tide, which she said was “a sight I have never seen”.

Uneven seas have also delivered unusually high tides to the island in recent years.

A warm ocean eddy in 2017 added an extra one to 1˝ feet to the tides, which caused floods in low-lying areas such as King’s Square in St George.

There was also flooding in February 2015 because of an ocean eddy and a cyclonic eddy caused exceptionally low tides in the summer of 2010.