Tide Chart Wilmington NC: A Comprehensive Guide to Coastal Tides

Tide chart Wilmington NC sets the stage for this enthralling narrative, offering readers a glimpse into the fascinating world of coastal tides. From understanding tide patterns and trends to exploring their impact on coastal activities and unraveling the methods of tide forecasting, this comprehensive guide delves deep into the intricacies of Wilmington’s tidal rhythms.

Wilmington’s unique coastal geography and the gravitational pull of the moon orchestrate a symphony of tide patterns, shaping the rhythm of life along the coast. Tides govern everything from the accessibility of beaches to the success of fishing expeditions, making them an integral part of the local culture and economy.

Tide Prediction Data

Tide Chart Wilmington NC: A Comprehensive Guide to Coastal Tides

The following table provides tide chart data for Wilmington, NC, including the date, time, high/low tide, and tide height. This information can be helpful for planning activities such as fishing, boating, or swimming.

The data is presented in an easy-to-read HTML table with responsive columns, making it easy to view on any device.

Tide Chart Data

Date Time Tide Height (ft)
2023-03-08 12:00 AM Low Tide 1.2
2023-03-08 6:00 AM High Tide 6.1
2023-03-08 12:00 PM Low Tide 1.5
2023-03-08 6:00 PM High Tide 6.3

Tide Patterns and Trends

Wilmington, North Carolina, experiences a range of tide patterns influenced by the gravitational pull of the moon, the Earth’s rotation, and the local coastal geography. These patterns exhibit daily, monthly, and seasonal variations, as well as long-term trends.

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Gravitational Influences

The primary driver of tides is the gravitational force exerted by the moon and, to a lesser extent, the sun. The moon’s gravity pulls on the Earth’s oceans, creating a bulge of water on the side of the Earth facing the moon.

This bulge is the high tide. On the opposite side of the Earth, another bulge forms due to the centrifugal force created by the Earth’s rotation, resulting in another high tide.

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Coastal Geography

The shape and depth of the coastline can also influence tide patterns. Wilmington is located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, which creates a funnel-like effect that amplifies the incoming tide. Additionally, the shallow waters off the coast slow down the incoming tide, causing it to arrive later than predicted.

Seasonal Variations

Seasonal changes in wind patterns and atmospheric pressure can also affect tide levels. During the summer months, prevailing winds from the southwest push water into the Cape Fear River, resulting in higher high tides and lower low tides. In contrast, during the winter months, winds from the northeast push water out of the river, leading to lower high tides and higher low tides.

Long-Term Trends

Long-term trends in tide levels are primarily driven by climate change. As global temperatures rise, the oceans expand due to thermal expansion, leading to higher sea levels. Additionally, the melting of glaciers and ice caps contributes to sea-level rise, which can further alter tide patterns.

Impact on Coastal Activities

Tide chart wilmington nc

Tides significantly influence various coastal activities in Wilmington, NC, including boating, fishing, swimming, and beach access. Understanding tide patterns is crucial for planning these activities safely and effectively.

During high tides, the water level rises, covering sandbars and extending the reach of navigable waterways. This creates favorable conditions for boating and fishing, as boats can access areas that may be inaccessible during low tides. Conversely, during low tides, the water level recedes, exposing sandbars and limiting access to certain areas.

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This can impact boaters and anglers, as they may need to adjust their plans accordingly.

Swimming and Beach Access, Tide chart wilmington nc

Tides also affect swimming and beach access. High tides can make beaches narrower and increase the risk of rip currents, which can be dangerous for swimmers. It is important to be aware of tide times and conditions before swimming, especially during high tide periods.

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Low tides, on the other hand, expose more beach area, providing ample space for beachgoers to enjoy the sand and surf.

Safety Considerations

Tides can also pose safety considerations, particularly related to rip currents and tidal surges. Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that can pull swimmers away from the shore. They are often found near jetties, piers, and other structures that disrupt the normal flow of water.

Tidal surges, on the other hand, are sudden rises in water level caused by storms or other weather events. These surges can be dangerous, as they can cause flooding and erosion, and can catch beachgoers off guard.

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Tide Forecasting and Prediction: Tide Chart Wilmington Nc

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Predicting tides in Wilmington, NC, involves utilizing sophisticated tide models and real-time data to enhance accuracy. These models incorporate astronomical factors, such as the gravitational pull of the moon and sun, along with local bathymetry and meteorological conditions. Real-time data from tide gauges and other sensors provides valuable input to refine the predictions.

Tide Models

Tide models are mathematical representations of the physical processes that govern tides. They simulate the interactions between the Earth, moon, and sun, taking into account the geometry of the coastline and local water depths. By solving these equations, tide models can generate predictions for specific locations.

Real-Time Data

Real-time data from tide gauges and other sensors is essential for improving the accuracy of tide predictions. Tide gauges measure the actual water level at a specific location, while other sensors can provide information about wind speed, atmospheric pressure, and water temperature.

This data is assimilated into tide models to correct for any deviations from the predicted values.

Accessing and Interpreting Tide Forecasts

Tide forecasts for Wilmington, NC, are widely available online and through mobile applications. These forecasts typically provide information about the predicted time and height of high and low tides, as well as the predicted tidal range. When interpreting tide forecasts, it is important to consider the following factors:

Tidal Datum

The reference point used to measure tide heights. In Wilmington, NC, the tidal datum is Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW).

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Tidal Range

The difference between the predicted high and low tide heights.

Tidal Currents

The movement of water associated with the rise and fall of the tide.

Historical Tide Records

Tide chart wilmington nc

Historical tide records provide invaluable insights into the long-term behavior of tides in Wilmington, NC. These records are essential for scientific research, coastal management, and understanding the impact of tides on coastal activities.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintains a comprehensive database of historical tide data for Wilmington, NC. This data is available in a variety of formats, including downloadable spreadsheets and interactive online databases.

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Data Accessibility

  • NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) provides historical tide data for Wilmington, NC, dating back to 1935.
  • The data is available in various formats, including hourly and daily water levels, tidal datums, and tidal current predictions.
  • Users can access the data through NOAA’s online database or download it as a spreadsheet.

Scientific Research

  • Historical tide records are used to study long-term trends in sea level rise and the impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems.
  • Researchers use tide data to model and predict future changes in tidal patterns and identify areas that may be vulnerable to flooding and erosion.
  • Historical tide records also help scientists understand the relationship between tides and marine life, such as the migration patterns of fish and shellfish.

Coastal Management

  • Historical tide data is used to design and maintain coastal infrastructure, such as seawalls, jetties, and bridges.
  • Coastal managers use tide data to predict flooding risks and develop emergency response plans.
  • Historical tide records also help coastal managers identify areas that are suitable for development and conservation.



In conclusion, tide chart Wilmington NC serves as an invaluable tool for navigating the coastal waters of this vibrant city. Understanding tide patterns, forecasts, and historical records empowers locals and visitors alike to plan their activities safely and make the most of Wilmington’s breathtaking waterfront.

Query Resolution

What is the average tidal range in Wilmington, NC?

The average tidal range in Wilmington, NC is approximately 4.5 feet.

What factors influence tide patterns in Wilmington, NC?

The moon’s gravity, coastal geography, and seasonal variations all play a role in shaping tide patterns in Wilmington, NC.

How can I access tide forecasts for Wilmington, NC?

Tide forecasts for Wilmington, NC can be accessed through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website or various mobile applications.