Severn Bore May Report 2009

Wednesday, Jun 3rd

Small bores in the Horseshoe bend region of the River Severn went by pretty much unridden this month. Pressure remained high throughout. Precipitation from heavy April type showers which seemed to come a month late produced a significant increase in flows for the backend of May. This is the month when the main spring tides move from full to new moons, resulting from the Perigean Tide shifting towards the new moon, which started in early April. It has been six weeks since the main tides in early April until the main tides in late May.
May Severn bore from garden cliff Small bore at the Strand
The 8.9 and 9.0 metre tides of the 8th and 9th of May produced no waves downstream from the Westbury Strand.
May Severn bore upstream of garden cliff Severn bore top end of Garden Cliff
The Garden Cliff stretch had a small rideable wave which built to waist high at the top end of the cliff. The 9.4 metre evening tides of the 25th and 26th of May produced the first rideable wave in the Newnham channel since early March, which on the Monday just made it past the Hart in the middle of the channel, to rebuild at the peak by the sewage pipe. This gave a solid quarter mile ride to waist high. On the Tuesday the same tide produced a small clean couple of hundred yard rideable wave for Donny Wright upstream from the fish hut, which failed to break and then backed off above the ford at the Vostells brook.
The river level in the Newnham channel was similar to that early in the month and in late April, that is it was desperately low. However one of the aberations of this extraordinary river was demonstrated as the flow was significantly and obviously increased and the great exposed sandbank on the east half of the river was raised by several feet. In effect the river bed had dropped through scouring and thereby increased the depth, even though the level at the bank edge was the same.
Conditions are looking pretty sketchy at the moment for summer bores with a rare June heat wave kicking in right now. More than summer storms will be needed to get the river levels up to a height necessary for the predicted tides of August to pack some punch. However I guess we'll all welcome a drier summer to the last couple of years. Tom Wright predicts If the river isn't too dry you could get some half decent tides in June and July with the coincidence of syzygy and perigean tideoccurring around July 21st. Time will tell.

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