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Highest Tide Becomes Only a Statistic in Calm Ocean

TIMES STAFF WRITER

One of the year’s highest tides rose and fell Monday, causing no serious problems in Orange County.

An Arctic storm that could have whipped up waves and caused havoc with the rising tides dissipated before hitting the county and was gone by the time of the early-morning high tide, which reached 7.3 feet.

“We could have had some problems had there been high winds, but as it was, it was very calm today (Monday),” said John Garofalo of the county’s Environmental Management Agency.

According to WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times, the tide hit the 7.3-foot level at 8:02 a.m. Monday. That tied the Dec. 2 mark as the highest tide of the year. The highest tides for this part of the world occur in December because of the sun-moon alignment, meteorologists pointed out.

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Weather forecasts early last week predicted that a storm moving south from Canada and the Arctic Circle would bring high winds to the Southern California area. That storm, however, began turning eastward earlier than expected, and its full brunt never struck Orange County. Only light winds ruffled the ocean waters on Monday morning.

A high tide by itself usually causes few, if any, problems because the waters simply rise and fall along the shoreline, marine officials have pointed out. Most boats and docks are geared for such tidal fluctuations.

The Orange County Harbor Patrol reported no unusual situations resulting from Monday’s high tide, Sheriff’s Department Lt. Richard J. Olson said.

“The only time we have trouble with high tides is when we have a storm and high winds and (water) surges from the storm,” Olson said.

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Tides will start to decrease beginning today, when high tide is expected to be 7.2 feet at 8:50 a.m. The high tide on Wednesday will be 6.8 feet at 9:37 a.m.


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