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Tides and Weather for Central Nova Scotia

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High Tide Minas Basin

The tides on Earth are strongly influenced, in addition to astronomical factors, by the sizes, boundaries, and depths of ocean basins and inlets, and by Earth's rotation, winds, and barometric pressure fluctuations. Tides typically have ranges (vertical high-to-low) of a metre or two, but there are regions in the oceans where various influences conspire to produce virtually no tides at all, and others where the tides are greatly amplified. Among the latter regions is the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.

The highest tides on Earth occur in the Minas Basin, the eastern extremity of the Bay of Fundy, where the average tide range is 12 metres and can reach 16 metres when the various factors affecting the tides are in phase (although the highest tides occur typically a day or two after the astronomical influences reach their peak).

Low Tide Minas Basin

The primary cause of the immense tides of Fundy is a resonance of the Bay of Fundy-Gulf of Maine system. The system is effectively bounded at this outer end by the edge of the continental shelf with its approximately 40:1 increase in depth. The system has a natural period of approximately 13 hours, which is close to the 12h25m period of the dominant lunar tide of the Atlantic Ocean. Like a father pushing his daughter on a swing, the gentle Atlantic tidal pulse pushes the waters of the Bay of Fundy-Gulf of Maine basin at nearly the optimum frequency to cause a large to-and-fro oscillation. The greatest slosh occurs at the head (northeast end) of the system in the Minas Basin.

Text by Dr. Roy Bishop

Tidal Bores:

A tidal bore is a rare natural phenomenon occurring on several rivers emptying into the Bay of Fundy. The surge of the incoming Fundy tide temporarily reverses the flow of these rivers and appears as a crest of water traveling upriver. On the Shubenacadie River, the tidal bore and rapidly rising tide results in extremely turbulent waters. It is here where experienced guides offer a safe but exhilarating river rafting adventure and an opportunity to experience the power of the Fundy Tides first hand.

Similar to tide times, tidal bore times for several locations may also be predicted. Locations to view the tidal bore phenomenon include: the Shubenacadie River at South Maitland (Glooscap Trail Route 236), the Salmon River in Truro (Hwy 102 Exit 14, Tidal Bore Rd.), and River Hebert (Fundy Shore Drive Route 242)

For more on the Bay of Fundy and some Fundy Facts go HERE.

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Tide Times:

Bay of Fundy

Northumberland Strait

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