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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
High tides to hit south coast
Rough seas batter the coast line in Blackpool, 1 February, 2002.
The highest tides in four years will hit the south coast
Homeowners on the south coast are being warned to expect very high tides next week.

The Environment Agency is warning that the highest tides in four years will hit the south on 7 and 8 October.

The agency is monitoring the weather to see if conditions will increase the risk of flooding.

However a spokeswoman for the agency said if the weather remains calm, the tide would come and go without anyone noticing.


This will certainly be the biggest tide this year but it will not be as high as the tides in 1998

Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory

Patrick Nealon, of the Admiralty UK Hydrographic Office, said the weather would have the biggest impact on how high the tide reached.

He said onshore winds could raise the level of the tide but high pressure or a northerly gale could flatten it out.

A spokesman for the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL), which predicts tidal levels, said: "This will certainly be the biggest tide this year but it will not be as high as the tides in 1998."

The high tides are caused because the Moon's orbit comes closest to the Earth approaching the autumn Equinox.

The Sun, Earth and Moon come into alignment, with the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon on the Earth at its strongest.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tom Heap
"Here on the south coast, they're building up the defences to try to break the power of the sea"

Click here to go to Southampton

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See also:

20 Sep 02 | England
01 Oct 98 | UK
20 Oct 98 | Politics
16 Aug 02 | Europe
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