High tide occurred just after 11am, which heightened the risk for inundation when combined with the big waves. Low tide will occur just after 5pm.NIWA’s monitoring buoy at Baring Head has recorded a maximum wave height of 5.5 m so far today with waves in the open ocean to the east of New Zealand are modelled to be over 12 m in some areas.
Waves at Lyall Bay, Wellington. [Photos: Lana Young, NIWA] “When large waves break, there is an increase in wave set-up. The water level becomes elevated, allowing waves to come further inland. This is in addition to having slightly elevated tides on the back of King Tides a few days ago,” Mr Noll said.
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When combined with a deep low pressure system and strong winds, this increases the risk for coastal erosion and flooding along exposed coastlines.
Other contributing factors include a peak in wave period at high tide, waves arriving from a southerly direction in-line with the coast, and the shape of Owhiro Bay likely helped to further funnel water.Waves at Lyall Bay, Wellington. [Photos: Lana Young, NIWA]