John Brandi 9 p.m., Sept. 17
The Quadrantid Meteor Shower, Extreme Tides
Extreme High and Low Tides will occur again in early January. On New Year's day, a peak high tide of +6.2 feet occurs at 6:21 a.m. Sunday, January 2, a high tide of +6.3 feet peaks at 7:04 a.m. Monday's high tide of +6.3 feet peaks at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday's high tide of +6.2 feet crests at 8:23 a.m. There are at least two consequences of such high tides. If any strong winter storm happens to arrive from the west during these peak tides, some flooding of low-lying coastal areas around San Diego is likely. On the optimistic side, birdwatchers have an opportunity to spot species of rare shorebirds that get pushed to the edges of local bays and coastal marshes by the high water. Several very low tides will also occur within the same string of early January dates. On New Year's Day, the tide falls to -1.0 feet at 1:44 p.m. On Sunday, the tide drops to -1.2 feet at 2:23 p.m. On Monday, a low tide level of -1.2 feet occurs at 3:00 p.m. On Tuesday, the tide drops to -1.0 foot at 3:34 p.m. Any of these low-tide occasions are perfect for exploring marine life in the tidepool areas along San Diego County's coastline.
The Quadrantid Meteor Shower, delivering a brief and sometimes intense display of "shooting stars," is best seen this year on the night/morning of January 3/4. Only those observers situated far from city lights are likely to see meteors in abundance. There will be no bright moon in the sky this year to hamper observations, so nearly any hour between dusk and dawn will be suitable for viewing this shower.