Sunday, 3 Jul 2022

Freak meteotsunami sees tide surge the wrong way in boat-filled UK harbour

One of the rarest tidal behaviours was captured on film in a British harbour this week.

The meteotsunami was spotted by married couple Charles and Claire Davies in the Pembrokeshire harbour of Slova.

It was seen at around 8.50am on Saturday (June 18), in place of what should have been the usual high tide.

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Charles told Wales Online: “The water appeared to be running out of the harbour rather than in.

“We started to see this strange event where the water was surging in and out and in again.

“This happened a number of times over the next quarter of an hour.

“There was a gentle north-easterly wind, the trees were hardly moving, it was a lovely sunny day. “We expect surges during storm conditions but we've never seen one during benign conditions.

“We saw water coming in at seven knots, going back out again and causing boats to lean quite dramatically.

“It was causing an area of swirling water, a back eddy around the little headland.

"If there were people in the water swimming or in kayaks, it would have been quite a serious event to them, because an Olympic swimmer swims at five or six miles an hour and this water was moving considerably faster than that, I would say – they wouldn't have been able to keep up with it.”

According to the US-based weather company Ocean Service, a meteotsunami are driven by air pressure disturbances – not by seismic activity, like a normal tsunami.

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They can reach heights of around two metres and are usually accompanied by a change in storm front.

This, Britannica states: “Creates a buckle in the surface of the ocean or a lake, which pushes out in all directions.

“Like their seismic counterparts, the waves produced by meteotsunamis become larger as they move into shallower water and approach the shoreline, where they often produce storm surges and rip currents.”

The video was posted on Twitter by cousin Andy Davies – who works for Channel 4 News – and one user replied that it looks as if someone had released the mythical beast known as the Kraken.

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