Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ May 18, 2016 – Seiche

Whether It’s Weather or Seismic It’s a Force of Nature! 

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? It leaves a seiche in the water. Well, sorta.

seiche (sāsh) n. – a natural, standing wave in the water of a lake, bay, etc., caused by changes in atmospheric pressure, seismic disturbances, winds, waves, tides, etc.; it continues after the generating force stops [I know some people like that! (WW #60)]

Actually, according to those in the know, it’s more of a seesaw action … who knew that as children, we formed a seiche as we bounced up and down, hitting our bottoms on the ground?! (Ouch. Maybe that was just me.)

More pertinent to its causes, however, is the shock and awe news at the National Ocean Service site, “Lake Erie is known for seiches, especially when strong winds blow from southwest to northeast. In 1844, a 22-foot seiche breached a 14-foot-high sea wall killing 78 people and damming the ice to the extent that Niagara Falls temporarily stopped flowing. As recently as 2008, strong winds created waves 12 to 16 feet high in Lake Erie, leading to flooding near Buffalo, New York.”

Again – I know some people who are especially strong winds blowing ill will. So whether it’s weather or a seismic blowhard, it can still generate an unstoppable force. Grab your slicks and hang on …

Word of the Week: SEICHE. Can you fit it into your next conversation?



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