Tides are the predictable rise and fall of water in the ocean.
- When tide is on the rise, it creates a flood current that moves toward shore. High tide is the peak of the flood current.
- Once high tide occurs, the ebb current (outgoing tide) will start. This current moves away from the shore.
- The weakest tidal currents occur between the flood and ebb currents. This is called slack tide.
- The strongest currents occur near the time of high and low tides.
- Tidal range is the height between low and high tide.
- Most areas will have two high tides and two low tides in a lunar day (24 hour and 50 minute period).
- Tidal effects also are influenced by the shape of the land and how water may be funneled through an area. Depth of the water, wind, and weather (tropical storms and hurricanes) also can have significant impact on the strength of tides.
- Tidal charts are available from multiple sources. One resource is the NOAA Tides & Currents website.