Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It’s “King” Tide Time Again

If you live in Puget Sound, the first “king” tides will be occurring this weekend, beginning December 6. The Strait of Juan de Fuca shorelines have already had their first round of these seasonal extra-high tides this week. The tides will also be high at the end of December and early January in Puget Sound.

These extra-high tides occur several times a year when the moon and sun enter into a special alignment with the Earth increasing their gravitational pull on the earth’s oceans.

Where and when will the tides be the highest? Check out the regional Washington beaches here and select the dates when the highest tides will occur.

Later “king” tide dates in the Strait of Juan de Fuca are Dec. 30-31, 2013 and Jan. 1-2 and Jan. 30-31, 2014. Puget Sound dates at Dec. 30-31, 2013 and Jan. 4-8, 2014.

The Washington Department of Ecology is again asking folks to photograph and share their “king” tide pictures here.

Properly documented, these photos provide good snapshots of what sea level rise due to global warming will bring the Puget Sound region. It’s been pretty mild this first week of December but, coupled with a storm surge, these extra-high tides can be destructive to low-lying properties and facilities.

California’s King Tides Initiative: Snap the shore, see the future has a nice, robust web site worth checking out.

BTW, readers seem to love the subject. The Salish Sea News and Weather’s blog posting that featured EarthFix reporter Katie Campbell’s story on “king” tides in December 2011 is the blog post with the all-time highest number of ‘hits.’

Of course, that’s dwarfed by visitors who are interested in Watching the Grass Grow. That’s far and away the all-time ‘hit’ leader.

--Mike Sato

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