Nov 10, 2016 2:31 PM
Largest 'Supermoon' in decades, king tides return to NH next week
The full moon occurring early Monday will appear the largest and brightest in our sky in decades, as this 'supermoon' makes its closest approach to Earth since 1948.
Also known as the full "Beaver Moon", this is the second in a series of three consecutive supermoons in 2016. The moon will reach the peak of its full phase on Monday, November 14 at 8:52 a.m. In New Hampshire, this supermoon will rise Sunday evening at 4:14 p.m. and set Monday morning at 6:20 a.m. The moon will appear largest in our sky right when it is on the horizon Sunday evening and Monday morning.
The highest tides of each month occur when the moon is full. When these tides are the highest of the entire year, they are referred to as 'king' tides. When the sun, moon and Earth align, solar gravity combines with lunar gravity, creating very high and very low tides.
Last month's king tides, occurring during the October supermoon, brought flooding to shore roads and surrounding marshes as the water level rose well above the norm. Even on a sunny and calm day, these tides can produce flooding in susceptible areas. This naturally occurring high tide can bring more severe impacts if there is a storm or persistent onshore wind.
For example, on October 18, a northeasterly wind churned up the seas, causing more significant erosion and splashover.
The next round of king tides will occur on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
High tides on Tuesday and Wednesday will naturally be a tick higher than the king tide that occurred in October.
Coincidentally, it appears a storm may try to develop along the east coast Tuesday or Wednesday. It is too early to speculate its exact track or intensity, but the potential does exist for a coastal storm of sorts. At minimum, this could cause rough seas with an onshore wind. The tides occurring Tuesday and Wednesday will be the highest astronomically in years, so it will not take much of an onshore flow to cause water levels to surge above flood stage.
This is something we'll be closely watching in the days ahead.