A morning walk on the Coronado beaches this past weekend proved challenging due to the exceptionally high water level known as the King Tides. The San Diego County tide charts indicate Coronado’s high tides peaked at 8:36 am on Sunday, November 15 and will remain relatively high through Wednesday’s 10:41 am high tide. High tide water levels will gradually decrease as the week progresses.
— Coronado Times News (@CoronadoIsland) November 18, 2020
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), king tides are a non-scientific term used to describe exceptionally high tides that are one to two feet higher than average. King tides are created when the moon reaches its closest point to Earth at the same time as the sun, moon and Earth are nearly in line. King tides are naturally occurring and predictable. The recent king tide rose to a high of 7.51 feet on Sunday, November 15 and 7.48 feet on Monday, November 16 while next weekend’s high tide is expected between 4 and 5 feet.
No damage was recorded from the recent king tides, but if king tides occur during floods or storms, they can damage the coast, roads, and property. Another concern with king tides is the receding waters create a strong rip current which can be dangerous for swimmers and surfers.
While king tides are not caused by climate change, they provide some insight into how coastal communities will need to deal with the expected rise in sea levels associated with climate change.
King tides typically occur once or twice a year and Coronado can expect another round of 7.5 feet king tides from December 13 through 15, 2020.