More than 1,800 annual Tide Prediction Calendars for 19 Pacific locations have now been distributed to 14 National Meteorological Service offices and other key ocean stakeholders throughout the region.
These annual calendars are a popular product of the Australian-funded Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac) and are now being designed and produced in the region by the Pacific Community (SPC)’s Ocean and Tides Knowledge Unit.
In many Pacific Island countries, the National Meteorological Service acts as the distribution point for these calendars. The Climate Manager of Vanuatu Meteorological Service, Philip Malsale says, “There are many users back home that are calling up to get the tide information and these calendars have been very beneficial.”
Similarly, the Director of the Marshall Islands Weather Service, Reginald White says of the tide calendars, “Now that we are doing coastal protection activities, many contractors come to find the appropriate day to work on the sea wall. It’s come to the point where we are printing our own copies of the calendar and distributing them. It is a needed product that is used over and over.”
The calendar predictions are calculated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Tidal Unit with information from the Pacific Sea Level Monitoring stations and a few additional tide gauges around the region.
The calendars also include a local map, a table of highest and lowest predicted tides of the year, phases of the moon, indicators of highest and lowest tides of the month, and a fact sheet about tidal variability and extreme high tides (also known as King Tides in the region).
“We use the tide calendar to issue extreme high tide advice for Tonga,” reports Chief Quality Assurance Officer of Tonga Meteorological Service, Moleni Tu’uholoaki.
“It is also being used by the Port Authority of Tonga to plan the arrival time of cruise ships to the Kingdom,” Mr Tu’uholoaki says.
With the multitude of uses, many countries are requesting calendars for additional outer-island locations.
“Two new locations in the Solomon Islands have been added this year and the project hopes to be able to expand to additional locations next year, provided we can get more quality data,” says SPC Ocean and Tides Knowledge Unit Coordinator, Molly Powers-Tora.
“This is the only product of its kind available in many countries, so it’s very popular. Still, we’re always looking for ways to improve the calendars and make the information more accessible to more users.”
2017 Tide Prediction Calendars are available for the following locations: Rarotonga, Cook Islands; Pohnpei Harbor, Federated States of Micronesia; Lautoka, Fiji; Suva, Fiji; Betio, Kiribati; Majuro, Marshall Islands; Aiwo, Nauru; Alofi, Niue; Malakal, Palau; Lombrum, Papua New Guinea; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Apia, Samoa; Honiara Solomon Islands; Lata Wharf, Solomon Islands; Tarekukure Wharf, Solomon Islands; Nuku’alofa, Tonga; Funafuti, Tuvalu; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Luganville, Vanuatu.
Predictions can also be downloaded from the Bureau website.