The moon lit up the sky on Sunday and Monday night in a phenomenon called “supermoon”, meaning the moon looks much bigger and brighter. It happens when the moon becomes full on the same day when its orbit is closest to Earth. Supermoons only come around once every 13 months, but what makes it special this time is the fact that the moon looks bigger than at any point in the past 68 years.
As the full moon gets as close to the Earth as it possibly can, that means a stronger gravitational pull, impacting the tides.
Storm Team 2 Chief Meteorologist, Rob Fowler, says, “In the morning tide tomorrow morning the tide is expected to be about 7.2 feet, Charleston typically floods around 7 feet, so we are probably looking at a high tide of about 8 feet and that’s why you’ve got many streets that were closed today and probably will be closed tomorrow morning.”
Even though we’ve hardly seen any rain in the Lowcountry lately, flooding is expected downtown.
Fowler says, “A lot of people call this sunny flooding because it can be completely sunny where you are but you still have this shallow coastal flooding. The rain will compound the problem if it was raining in addition to the higher than normal tides that we have. But you can put a sunny day out there and still have flooding due to the gravitational pull of the full moon and new moon.”
And remaining damage from Hurricane Matthew could mean more flooding along the coast.
Ron Morales Jr. with the National Weather Service says, “A lot of the dune structures have been compromised or damaged heavily. So we are concerned that tide levels that normally wouldn’t cause any problems may cause a little more than you might think because of lack of dune structure or compromised coastline that might locally flood some areas that may not have flooded before.”
If you catch a photo of the supermoon, send it to email@example.com and you could see in on our air/online.