We receive information on a potential surge tide from weather satellites, oil rigs, weather ships and coastal stations. We can forecast dangerous conditions up to 36 hours in advance, and we will close the Barrier just after low tide, or about four hours before the peak of the incoming surge tide reaches the Barrier.
We operate the Barrier every month for maintenance and test purposes. Once a year we test the Barrier at a high spring tide (normally September or October). We may begin closing and reopening the gates up to an hour before the times listed below. Very occasionally, we may need to vary a closure, or cancel it at short notice. Please telephone the day before to check (020 8305 4188).
- Monday 9 September 2013 - 09.45 to 12.15
- Sunday 6 October 2013 - 08.15 to 18.15*
- Thursday 7 November 2013 - 08.55 to 11.25
- Thursday 5 December 2013 - 08.10 to 10.40
- Monday 6 January 2014 - 10.20 to 12.50
- Monday 3 February 2014 - 09.25 to 11.55
- Wednesday 5 March 2014 - 09.30 to 12.00
* Annual full tidal test closure of the Barrier.
Find out how we forecast when the barrier should be closed
How the Thames Barrier works
Look inside the Thames Barrier
Thames aerial view
Other tidal defences