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The Abnormal Tides of January 7


AN abnormally high tide was experienced down the east coast of Britain on Saturday last, January 7, extensive areas being flooded and considerable destruction wrought. At 6 p.m. on Friday, January 6, as shown in the Meteorological Office reports, a very deep cyclonic system appeared over the upper part of the North Sea, the barometer at Sumburgh Head having fallen quickly to 28.7 inches. There was a steep gradient for north-westerly winds, and in the course of the night a more or less severegale from that quarter was experienced over the North Sea, and as the south-going tide from the Pentland Firth was then on the flood, both its velocity and its volume were greatly increased, so that it reached the Thames estuary some hours ahead of its time, and was several feet above the calculated height. While the low barometer of Friday night may have caused the tide level in the far north to have been raised about a foot, the very rapid increase of pressure to 29.83 inches at 8 a.m. on Saturday at Sumburgh Head, a rise of 1.13 inches in fourteen hours, may have done something towards swelling the volume of the tide further south. Except for the hard gale, the conditions were very similar to those which prevailed with the great tide experienced on the southern and south-western coasts at the beginning of February, 1904 (NATURE, vol. lxix. p. 348).

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The Abnormal Tides of January 7. Nature 71, 258 (1905).

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