Observed tide levels - 2CoolFishing
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:33 PM   #1
ACC
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Observed tide levels

Are tides running about 1 foot higher than predicted water levels? The NOAA water level stations at Pier 21 & Bay entrance) has communication problems and does not report observed water level. It post a preliminary level but the site cautions that it should not be relied upon because data has not gone through usual quality assurance procedure. This may also be true for the Galveston Bay entrance station as well.

Does anyone know from their own personal observation whether actual water levels are higher than the predicted level?
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ACC View Post
Are tides running about 1 foot higher than predicted water levels? The NOAA water level stations at Pier 21 & Bay entrance) has communication problems and does not report observed water level. It post a preliminary level but the site cautions that it should not be relied upon because data has not gone through usual quality assurance procedure. This may also be true for the Galveston Bay entrance station as well.

Does anyone know from their own personal observation whether actual water levels are higher than the predicted level?
I tong oysters and closely monitor the observed water levels with those predicted. There is a certain and definitive bias for tides to be about 1 foot above their predicted values.

I have no clue as to why this forecasting error exists but it does.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:54 AM   #3
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I too began watching that pier 21 tide station since about last September. You are correct it does always seem to show observed levels about 1’ higher than predicted. Has anyone looked at any of the other NOAA tide stations to see if this same variance exists?
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:35 AM   #4
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https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/map/index.html

This link will allow you to zoom in and get the observed and predicted water levels from stations all along the USA coasts.

Most of the Gulf of Mexico stations observed levels at this moment are running above predicted. The Pacific Ocean stations observed levels are tracking for the most part close to predicted. Some of the Atlantic stations are above predicted and some are close to predicted.

Seems like the Gulf of Mexico has been extra full of water in recent years as compared to the Atlantic and Pacific. Water is constantly flowing out of the gulf between Florida and Cuba and coming in to the gulf from the Caribbean between the Yucatán and Cuba. Then there’s the rivers transporting water into the gulf. And evaporation removing water. Maybe the water balance of in and out gets a little skewed at times? Wind and currents push water around and water piles up on stretches of coastline at times. Lots of moving parts in the system.

https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/

Then there’s the upward trend in sea levels. 3.3 mm/year, according to the satellite data. I don’t think the water level stations are necessarily accounting for that, but maybe they are. 3.3 mm/year is a little over an inch per decade. If you’ve been fishing here for decades, then that level might be a half a foot higher than when you were a kid.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:29 AM   #5
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The tide "predictions" from NOAA only take in Harmonic Constituents or the position of the earth, sun and moon. Winds also have a huge effect locally.

I always have attributed the bias in the predicted values from NOAA to be caused primarily by our tendency to have a wind that is much more likely to blow from a southerly direction and hence pushing the tide in on most of the Texas coast.

https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/products.html
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:47 AM   #6
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https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/

Here are how the sea level trends vary place to place. We in Texas are in a zone with rising levels. Much of Alaska and the PNW is in a zone with falling levels. Lots of moving parts, this world.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:30 AM   #7
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I was concerned whether the red “preliminary” data on the Pier 21 site was reliable since it was not the green “verified” data and contained a disclaimer. I spoke with NOAA and they informed that preliminary data is observed data. It is unprocessed raw data from the gauge. Perhaps, the chart has always been preliminary data and I just noticed it now? Anyways, my confidence in the Pier 21 data is restored.

There is a lot of good information posted on this thread. It’s Catchy is correct, the tide predictions posted on many websites, including NOAA Pier 21, is based solely on the effects of the moon and sun. It does not take into account the effects of the wind, runoff, tropical storms and evidently a lot of other factors that can affect water level in Galveston Bay. Over the years, I have noticed that there have been periods of many weeks when the water level was way higher or lower than the predicted level.

I had forgotten about this website. NOAA processes the other factors and makes a short time forecast of the actual water levels. It is publish as part of their Operational Forecast System. https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/of...pe=wl_forecast

Anyone reviewing the Pier 21 data should remember that it is reported in Greenwich Mean Time which is 5 hours ahead of Central Daylight Time and 6 hours ahead of Central Standard Time (if my math is correct.).
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:17 PM   #8
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Tides

I have lived near the Surfside beach area my entire life, 53 years. For the last 3-4 years the tides have been much higher for approximately a 3 month period. These cycles occur regardless of wind/weather conditions. I have been using the saltwater recon page to document this for a little over a year. I don't know whats causing it but I can only speculate it's not good. The thing that really amazes me is that no one says anything about it. The other phenomenon is the crystal clear water that has been showing up. The first occurrence of that a few years ago, the local news channels attributed it to a hurricane hitting Florida and blowing all the "good" water over hear. That statement is to this day one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. If anyone has any information, please share.
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:08 PM   #9
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Hey Karstopo, do you know if those values account for Coastal Subsidence or if they are absolute sea level rise?
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:38 PM   #10
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Hey Karstopo, do you know if those values account for Coastal Subsidence or if they are absolute sea level rise?
Although I have not seen an express statement that the NOAA site takes into account local subsidence, I think it does. The webpage states that the map illustrates “relative sea level" trends. This should be the sea level relative to the land underneath the water. The conclusion is supported by the map's depiction of falling relative sea level in Alaska. The volume of ocean water throughout the globe is rising due to thermal expansion and runoff from melting glaciers and ice. This would cause the absolute sea level to rise everywhere. However, in Alaska the bays are getting shallower because the land is rising faster than the ocean is rising. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/arti...ds/2010/12/28/.

So, in Alaska, relative to the sea floor, the sea level is falling. Hence, the map shows a falling relative sea level. Since, the map takes into account the upward movement of the land in Alaska, I feel certain that it also takes into account the downward movement of the land in Texas.
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