How Often Do Neap Tides Occur?

How Often Do Neap Tides Occur?

Neap tides, moderate tides resulting from the gravitational forces of the sun and moon partly canceling out, happen twice every lunar month. A neap tide happens exactly half-way between a full moon and a new moon.

At the full moon and the new moon, the moon, sun and Earth align, an occurrence referred to as a syzygy. This causes a "spring tide," during which the high and low tides have a large tidal range, the difference between high and low tide.

During a neap tide, the sun and moon are at right angles to the Earth, and instead of amplifying one another as with a spring tide, the actions of lunar and solar tides interfere with one another. This results in a small tidal range.