GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) – The tides along the North Carolina coast change every 6 hours or so. There will be one high tide that is slightly higher than the other and the same goes for the 2 low tides each day. My trivia question asks what is the main driver of the tides.
A hint: While precipitation affects river levels more than anything else, its effect on ocean levels is negligible. So cross this one out. Of the other three, each has an effect on the tides, but which is the main force? Make your selection and check below to see how you did.
The Moon has the strongest gravitational pull on Earth because it is much closer than the sun. Of course, the sun is much bigger than the moon, but the distance makes its effect less. The wind can cause storm surges, but is not responsible for the 4 tides we see every day. There is a lag between when the moon is above and when the highest tide occurs. In reality, there is a bulge of ocean water that lines up with the moon on either side of the Earth. As the Earth rotates, we rotate through the ocean bulges, so in essence the high water level is still there, we only go through it about twice a day. – Phillip Williams
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