Why do we have high and low tide tides?
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of gravitational forces exerted by the Moon, Sun, and rotation of the Earth.
See our live Thanet High Tide Timetable
Some shorelines experience two nearly equal high and low tides each day, called a semi-diurnal tide. Some locations experience only one high and low tide each day, called a diurnal tide. Some locations experience two uneven tides a day, or sometimes one high and one low each day; this is called a mixed tide. The times and amplitude of tides at a locale are influenced by the alignment of the Sun and Moon, by the pattern of tides in the deep ocean.
Tides vary on timescales ranging from hours to years due to numerous influences. To make accurate records, tide gauges at fixed stations measure the water level over time. Gauges ignore variations caused by waves with periods shorter than minutes. These data are compared to the reference (or datum) level usually called mean sea level.
While tides are usually the largest source of short-term sea-level fluctuations, sea levels are also subject to forces such as wind and barometric pressure changes, resulting in storm surges, especially in shallow seas and near coasts. see our storm surge pictures here.