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Predicting High Tides in Croton-on-Hudson

February 2, 2006


Recent flooding at the Croton Harmon parking lot has all of us wondering about tides. Any high tide height that approaches 3 feet or higher above ‘mean lower low water’ means river water will come up on shore at Senasqua Park, the commuter parking lot, and Croton Landing.

Photo caption: “Senasqua Park, January 4, 2006, on 4th consecutive day of 3+ foot high tides”

The high tide height for January 31, 2006 was predicted at 3.9 feet at 12:27 PM LST (local standard time or 1:27 PM EDT). Hence the village closed the flood prone portion of the commuter lot. In other words, midday flooding was very likely. Fortunately we had only moderate winds that day.

Hudson River Tide Charts is a page run by Historic River Towns of Westchester. To view a day-by-day graph that shows both the time of tides and the predicted height of its rise and fall, click “Haverstraw – graphic form.”

The data for Haverstraw Bay, the best Hudson River location for Crotonites to use, come from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is revamping their massive data site. As of February 6, 2006, they will publish Time Tables (for times) and Tide Prediction Tables (for height of tide), redesigned for “easier navigation and data retrieval.”

So what happened on January 18th? On that day, high tide occurred at 12:48 PM LST with a predicted high of 3.1 feet. Strong winds from a southerly direction will exacerbate any incoming tide by pushing the Atlantic Ocean north up the Hudson River. Southerly winds from nor’easters caused the tides to rise much higher than the 3.1 feet predicted that day.

What about January 3rd? On that sunny day, high tide occurred at 12:45 PM LST and rose 3.9 feet. So, the water crept up pretty high on its little cattail feet without any boost from the wind.

The more we all know about the Hudson, the more we’ll enjoy its power and beauty.

— Village of Croton-on-Hudson Trustees Charlie Kane & Leo Wiegman

PS: We do not expect residents to forecast events at the commuter lot based on the links provided above. Accurate predictions involve many more data points such as barometric pressure, wind velocity and duration, and runoff volume. This report is meant only as a public service on this topic for those interested in the influence of the Hudson River on the village’s low lying areas.


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