Highlands & Islands

'Supertides' forecast for Scotland's coast

A bird and the Moon Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The gravitational effects of the Moon and the Sun play a part in creating tides

A phenomenon known as "supertides" has been forecast for Scotland's coast on Friday and Saturday.

Spring tides on both days could be up to 11" (30cm) higher than usual, scientists at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) have said.

Supertides this weekend and again on 29-30 September come at a peak in an almost 20-year tidal cycle.

They are unlikely to cause problems unless combined with the effects of a storm surge.

Scientists Dr Jason McIlvenny and Dr Philip Gillibrand, of Environmental Research Institute at North Highland College UHI, said such surges were unlikely on Friday and Saturday.

However, they added that low pressure and high winds to the west on Sunday may generate a surge.

The gravitational effects of the Moon and Sun and the tilt of the Earth play parts in generating tides.

An astronomical tidal cycle with an 18.6-year period - known as the nodal period - will reach its peak during 2015, the scientists said.

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