Low water levels on tidal waterways today

    Low water in the Raritan Bay this morning. (Photo: JSHN contributor Erin Burkhardt)

    Low water in the Raritan Bay this morning. (Photo: JSHN contributor Erin Burkhardt)

    The continuing strong offshore flow is creating low level waters on tidal waterways today, forecasters say.

    Water levels might drop a foot or two below the mean lower low water mark, according to the National Weather Service. 

    JSHN contributor Erin Burkhardt‎ snapped the above photo along the Raritan Bay. 

    “The wind is so strong it’s pushing low tide further than it normally is in the Raritan Bay,” she reported. 

    Winds have been gusting up to 60 miles per hour today. Typically, water levels begin returning to normal levels once winds diminish and high tide arrives. 

    The National Weather Service has not said if the water level departures meet “blowout tide” criteria. 

    A blowout tide occurs when west-northwest winds blow water out of a waterway, producing unusually low tides.

    While not regular, they do occur on occasion. 

    In January 2015, JSHN contributor Roman Isaryk witnessed a blowout tide in Mystic Island.

    He was at the Great Bay to capture the sunset when he noticed something very amiss. 

    “It looked like someone pulled the drain plug,” the Mystic Island resident said. “Best way I can describe it.”

    Clams were visible, and seagulls were feasting, Isaryk said. 

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.