Surfers, Spectators Flock to Alaska for Big Tide

Bore tide expected to be biggest of the year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 6, 2012 3:39 PM CDT
The biggest bore tide of the summer roared into Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ron Barta)
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(Newser) – Mother Nature put on a show near Anchorage, and it had nothing to do with Venus and the sun. The largest bore tide of the summer arrived in Turnagain Arm last night, drawing hundreds of people to highway pullouts south of Anchorage. It also drew a few surfers and kayakers hoping to take advantage of a real wave in Alaska. "It was fantastic," one local surfer said. "It was a bluebird day. The water was glassy. ... It was a pretty great ride."

The bore tide is an actual tidal wave, one meteorologist explains, "in the sense that it's controlled by the tide and is largely due to the gravitational influence of the sun and moon." While they happen every day, this one was "predictably large" because "we just had a full moon, and right now, the moon and the sun are in alignment." Those gravitational forces work to pull the tide extremely below what the average mean water level is at low tide. There was no immediate measurement of the bore tide; it was predicted to be about 4.1 feet. (Read more bore tide stories.)

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