Tides and Currents

Objectives: Trip Leader Candidates shall be familiar with tidal terms, timing, forecast tables, and the concept of drift.

Course application and suggestions: The Canadian government publishes a concise glossary on tidal, current, and water level terms at their Fisheries ad Ocean Canada website. I suggest skimming over the glossary and return for terms as needed.

As we look at tide tables, please be aware of different classifications of tides (diurnal, mixed, semi-diurnal). These classifications primarily exist in different geographical regions as illustrated by Beltofoiron. The Gulf Coast, for example, has primarily diurnal tides. Thus, the adage that tides and currents have a six hour cycle does not hold true in Texas.

Please check the projected tides and station information at San Luis Pass (station 8771972) available from NOAA.  See if you can predict the tides for the weekend.  In addition, find the ‘Station Home Page’ under adjacent tab ‘Station Info’ to find additional information including current weather conditions. What challenges and/or opportunities do you see with the predicted tides? How would heavy North winds or hard rains (with rivers and creeks discharging into our Galveston Bay system) disrupt planning with these predictions?