Rains, super moons and high tides herald 2014

KUCHING: Sarawak will continue to experience wet weather in the first week of the New Year with more rain expected in West Sarawak and coastal areas statewide.

While several areas in Kuching, Bintulu, Miri, Sibu, Kota Samarahan, Sri Aman, Sarikei and Betong were struck by flash floods, intermittent rains continue and residents of low-lying areas are reminded of potential risks.

As of 8am yesterday, the state Meteorological Department registered 2,120 families affected by flash floods with 15,323 victims.

But as of 4pm yesterday, the figure declined — 1,600 families affected by flash floods and 12,554 victims.

The evacuation centres included Surau Kampung Rimba Padi in Kota Samarahan, Dewan Masyarakat Pakan in Sarikei, Dewan Suarah Bintulu, Dewan Sukan KPSU Tatau, Dewan Suarah Marudi and Dewan Masyarakat Bakong.

Apart from wet days, the king tide which began yesterday (Jan 2) would last until Jan 7.

Besides king tides, Jan 1 also marked the first super moon for year 2014.

According to the definition of super moon coined by Richard Nolle over 30 years ago, this year has a total of five super moons — two new moons in January and a full moon each in July, August and September.

Large tides could be expected around the super moons of the month — Jan 1 and 30 — pointed out a weather news portal.

Super moon is defined as a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 per cent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.

Spring tides are said to accompany January 2014’s super moons. Each month, on the day of the new moon, the Earth, moon and the sun are aligned, with the moon in between. This line-up creates wide-ranging tides known as spring tides.

The Jan 1 and Jan 30 extra-close new moons will accentuate the spring tide, giving rise to what is called a perigean spring tide.

If one lives along an ocean coastline, watch for high tides caused by the two January new moons or super moons.

These high tides are said not to cause flooding unless a strong weather system accompanies the perigean spring tide.

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