All Weather News

When You Can Expect the King Tide This Spring

4 Mar 2017, 3:16 am

The King Tide is well known in coastal regions for its regular coastal flooding. Sometimes it’s just a nuisance, sometimes it’s much more. Weather related factors can exacerbate the problem, but the root cause can be predicted so the impacts can be anticipated.

The rising and falling of the sea is a phenomenon upon which we can always depend. Tides are the regular rise and fall of the sea surface caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun and their position relative to the earth. About three or four times a year (in the spring and the fall), the new or full moon coincides closely in time with the perigee of the moon—the point when the moon is closest to the Earth. These occurrences are often called ‘perigean spring tides.’ There are some factors we can predict that cause the tides to be higher or lower than what is “normally” seen from day to day. This bulletin tells you when you may experience higher than normal high tides for the period of time between March and May 2017.

Northeast Outlook
Includes Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York

When will the tides be higher than normal?
April 27th – 29th, May 25th – 28th
Why will they be higher than normal?
A perigean spring tide will be occurring. In May, mean sea level will be higher due to changing weather patterns and increasing water temperatures.
What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?
Due to the topography of the northeast (less low lying areas), tidal flooding will generally not have a significant impact on the coast unless there is a severe storm

Mid-Atlantic Outlook
Includes New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia

When will the tides be higher than normal?
April 27th – 29th, May 25th – 28th
Why will they be higher than normal?
A perigean spring tide will be occurring. Tides will increase as we approach the June 21 summer solstice, due to the position of the sun relative to the earth’s equator.
In May, mean sea level will be higher due to changing weather patterns and increasing water temperatures
What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?
Minor tidal flooding along the coast, in particular in low-lying areas.
If a storm occurs at this time, increased levels of tidal flooding and coastal erosion may occur.
Lower than normal low tides will also occur.

Southeast Outlook
Includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Eastern Florida coast

When will the tides be higher than normal?
April 28th, May 26th – 27th
Why will they be higher than normal?
A perigean spring tide will be occurring. Tides will increase as we approach the June 21 summer solstice, due to the position of the sun relative to the earth’s equator.
In May, mean sea level will be higher due to changing weather patterns and increasing water temperatures.
What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?
Minor tidal flooding along the coast, in particular in low-lying areas.
If a storm occurs at this time, increased levels of tidal flooding and coastal erosion may occur.
Lower than normal low tides will also occur.

Gulf Coast Outlook
Includes Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Western Florida coast

When will the tides be higher than normal?
The Gulf Coast will not be significantly impacted.
Why not?
In many locations of the Gulf Coast, the tidal range is relatively small compared to other regions of the U.S, so they will not be as significantly impacted by a perigean spring tide.

West Coast Outlook
Includes California, Oregon, Washington State

When will the tides be higher than normal?
May 26th – 27th
Why will they be higher than normal?
A perigean spring tide will be occurring. This is when the moon is either new or full and closest to earth, higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides will occur.
Tides will increase as we approach the June 21 summer solstice, due to the position of the sun relative to the earth’s equator.
What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?
Minor tidal flooding along the coast, especially in low-lying areas.
If a local storm or large swell are present at this time, increased levels of tidal flooding and coastal erosion may occur.
Lower than normal low tides will also occur.

Hawaii and the Pacific Islands Outlook
Includes Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Midway, Kwajalein, and Wake Island

When will the tides be higher than normal?
May 27th
Why will they be higher than normal?
A perigean spring tide will be occurring. This is when the moon is either new or full and closest to earth, higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides will occur.
Tides will increase as we approach the June 21 summer solstice, due to the position of the sun relative to the earth’s equator.
What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?
Minor tidal flooding along the coast, in particular in low-lying areas.
If a local storm or large swell is present at this time, increased levels of tidal flooding and coastal erosion may occur.
Lower than normal low tides will also occur.

Alaska Outlook

When will the tides be higher than normal?
May 26th – 27th
Why will they be higher than normal?
A perigean spring tide will be occurring. This is when the moon is either new or full and closest to earth, higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides will occur.
Tides will increase as we approach the June 21 summer solstice, due to the position of the sun relative to the earth’s equator.
What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?
Due to the topography of Alaska (less low lying areas), tidal flooding will generally not have a significant impact on the coast unless there is a severe storm.

COVER PHOTO: Amy McGovern, Eldersburg, MD (cropped to fit)

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