Will the moon cause more flooding?

THE moon's influence on the tides has been long documented but what people may not know is its influence on floods.

Gympie's Tony Jakeman told yesterday of a connection between how close the moon is to the earth and when flooding occurred.

And it's just too much of a coincidence not to take any notice.

Mr Jakeman said the region's residents should prepare for another flood around March 19.

“People should be careful a week either side of March 19 because there is the chance of another flood,” he said.

The moon had a cycle, Mr Jakeman said, and every 18.6 years it came the closest to earth – called an extreme super moon.

He said an extreme super moon was when the moon while either new or full, was closest.

And this is set to occur again this year on March 19.

Mr Jakeman has done some research and on November 10, 1954 there was an extreme super full moon.

Back then Gympie experienced flooding in the period from October 1954 to February 23, 1955.

Then in 1974, around 18 years later, there was another extreme super full moon on January 8.

Around the same time three weeks of rain leading up until January 29 resulted in more major flooding.

In 1992, 18 years later, there was a similar occurrence.

According to Mr Jakeman an extreme super full moon on January 19, led to major flooding from March to early May.

This year will be 18 years since the last extreme super full moon.

There will also be some super moons this year.

A super moon is when the moon is at 90 per cent of its closest average distance from the earth.

The next super moon is today, then there is one on April 18.

Well-known Astronomer Dave Reneke said the idea of the super moon had more basis in astrology than in astronomy.

Mr Reneke said he hadn't heard of the super moon or extreme super moon or its ability to influence flooding, however, almost any natural disaster could be aligned with a series of chronologically related positions of heavenly bodies.

“One I remember was the infamous recent alignment of the planets where similar dated lists were produced foretelling diasters, floods, drought,” he said.

Mr Reneke said the moon was “responsible for our tidal activity” while “floods have more earth based, direct causes”. He wasn't convinced the moon's position to the earth could cause flooding.

But with more wild weather predicted this year and another six cyclones expected, maybe we could look to the stars for answers.

Gympie Times


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