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New Tide Forecaster

Media release: 11 December 2002

New Tide Forecaster

Going on a summer holiday to an out-of-the-way place and want to know the tides? Or are you planning a fishing trip, or a beach wedding perhaps?

Maybe you are interested in historic events, such as floods, and want to know what the tides were on a certain day, the Great Cyclone of 2nd February 1936 for example?

Either way, NIWA’s new Tide Forecaster service on the Web can help you.

It is now available as a free service on the NIWA web site at:

Just select the areas and dates you are interested in and the service will give you a table with tide information and a graph like the one below.

This new tide forecasting service is a quantum step ahead of existing methods because it will produce tide times and heights anywhere in the ocean or open coastlines around New Zealand. This innovative approach has been achieved by using an ocean tide model developed by NIWA scientists Derek Goring and Roy Walters, with funding from the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology. Forecasts for up to 28-days can be downloaded for the area you are interested in.

At this stage, the model doesn’t include harbours, ports, and estuaries, but you can get this information from the LINZ site for standard ports ( or use the tide tables.

NIWA also provides a list of red-alert days during the year when tides will be very high. This can be used as a rudimentary warning system for coastal flooding and wave overtopping in low-lying areas by keeping a watchful eye on weather systems (e.g. low-pressure systems or high winds and waves) during these periods. The tide forecaster includes a link to the current red-alert dates.


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