Gallery: Low sea levels off Estonian coast caused by northeasterly winds

Over the past few days, several readers have noticed unusually low sea levels off the coast of Estonia. According to Rivo Uiboupin, director of the department of marine systems at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), the sea in Estonia recedes this far only a few times a year.

Uiboupin explained, that the water mass has been pushed away from the Estonian coast by the northeasterly, easterly and northerly winds, which have been blowing since September 6. "At the most critical time, a few days ago, sea levels were 40 centimeters below zero in Rohukylä and off the islands. This in itself is nothing extreme. In Estonia, the water reaches such levels a few times a year. It was the same in April and last September," said Uiboupin.

In western Estonia, the critical level for shipping is 75 centimeters below zero, at which point companies need to start thinking more seriously about how many cars and people they can have on board. "Usually, the news threshold is exceeded when it starts to disrupt ferry traffic. At the moment, sea levels have perhaps been low for a little longer than usual. That's how people have started to notice and take pictures," Uiboupin suggested.

According to Uiboupin, water levels should start to rise again in the coming days. "At least the forecast models show that the wind direction is changing, which will, in turn, change the tidal regime and the water level," Uiboupin explained.

Sea levels around Estonia can be viewed online via the Sea Level Information System here.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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