One day before the king tides. The tide calendar says 3.15 meters and as we pass our regular spots, where the water is always seeping through at high tide, we see that the water is defiantly coming up. Although, truth is, last month was worse.
The February tide is just 9 cm higher than the January one, and 15 cm higher than the predicted March tide. 15 cm can make the difference between the water coming into your house or not and not to mention the effect in case of a storm. For the impact of the tide depend on much more than just the tidal water. The general weather conditions, atmospheric pressure and special climate conditions like La Nina are influencing how the tides are affecting the costal communities.
At last high tide – on the 21st of January – there was not only high tide, but Funafuti was also struck by a storm. Consequently, the water was not just seeping through the ground. It was also pouring down from the sky and flushing over the island in large waves. When we were driving towards the end of the island, the road was filled with rocks, rubbish and coconuts – everything in the way of the powerful waves. In short: should a storm struck during the king tides – it would be serious.
Now, as the King Tides are coming in, the water is high – but that is it. It is flooded in the regular places – but we are not walking around with water to our knees or anything.
The administrator at the Metrology Office told us today that there will be no storms this king tide, but that the storms might come in next month. So although the March tides will only rise to 3.09 m at the highest, they might get much worse than the February king tides.