Friday, 10 January 2014

Calm Seas and tidal floods

Calm Seas ?

Radio Caroline on a calm sea. 

There has been a fair bit of excitement in the media the last few weeks about heavy seas, where these have been pounding the sea walls and coastline in general around the south and west of England.

Here in East Yorkshire we are no strangers to this sort of violence from Mother Nature - every year Yorkshire loses acres and acres of lamed to the North Sea between Flamborough and Spurn point as the mainly clay cliffs are undermined by buffeting waves, particularly in North Easterlies, and huge chunks of cliff end up in the sea. Often these cliffs have roads, homes, caravans etc on top, and unless these are taken away in time they too end up in the sea.

We also get our fair share of flooding too - a depression (area of low pressure) coming down the North Sea, if coinciding with a spring tide and even worse with the wind piling it up, can add a huge 'surge' onto the tide. As this travels down the North Sea, the area it has available to it gets ever narrower, and as it then travels up inlets like the River Humber, it can really pile up very high  There was 15 feet on top of some tides in December - at the height of this the main road through Hull was closed as it got covered, as did thousands of homes and businesses on both sides of the Humber.

NOTE  The BBC completely ignored this disastrous event and saturated its output with interviews with odd people who once met Nelson Mandela, who had died that evening. They even cancelled regular programmes on BBC 1 TV, and replace it with the output of BBC News, which was "wall to wall" Mandela stories.

The printed press are often no better and very prone to inaccuracy, using various descriptions of wind, waves and other weather items.   There is a well thought out and meaningful 'Beaufort Scale' for wind, where the sind force , numbered 1 to 12 describes accurately what the wind speed is.  The Met office describe this much better than I can HERE 
The BBC and newspapers often report Force 12 gales,  Storm force 6 - all utter nonsense - is it a gale (if so what force is it really?) or is it a storm. You just can't tell from our media weather folk,. many of whom seem to be not only unqualified but not having any understanding of what users might want to know it for!

It s a beautiful feeling sailing on very calm seas, when it is just like a mirror. I hope your next sailing is over such waters.

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