“Wind setdown” occurs when strong winds blow over water for an extended period of time, shifting the water body downward.
As noted in a previous column, this shift causes a low-angle tilt and the upwind, shore water level drops.
“As the sun sank over the Nile Delta, a man stood onshore … raising his rod as a howling wind blew from the east. In the morning the sea was gone, blown to the west; permitting people to walk upon dry ground where the day before fish swam and boats sailed.” The man was not Moses, as described in Exodus 14, but Major-Gen. Sir Alexander B. Tulloch, holding a surveyor’s rod, not a staff, in 1882.
On the western end of Lake Erie, “wind setdown” events have dropped the lake by 2 meters. Fastcast: Warmer.