Four rule-of-thumb formulas have been derived for use in conjunction with existing tidal current tables. For near-surface tidal currents, these formulas yield 1) the percent of time current speed is above a critical value, 2) the percent of time current speed is below a critical value, 3) the time interval when current speed is above a critical value, and 4) the time interval when current speed is below a critical value. The formulas presented require as inputs the near-surface tidal current speed predictions found in standard tidal current tables. Intended for making rough approximations, these formulas may be useful in planning operations for which information on near-surface tidal currents is important. They are not scientific results or predictive models on which anyone’s life should depend. They should be used only with generous safety margins and if possible, with in situ current measurements, since local conditions may vary considerably.
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