Apr 24, 2017

Remember last fall’s king tides? They’re coming back

Boston, MA
Dave Epstein
Boston Globe

Archivist Preface

Sea levels are now 8 inches higher due to sea level rise,[1] an increase that drives flooding much further inland along low-lying areas. NOAA reports that so-called "nuisance flooding," e.g. coastal flooding during king tides, has already increased 300 to 925 percent due to sea level rise to date.[2]

Article excerpt

They’re back. Those big tides we saw for several months last fall are returning this week. Astronomical high tides are nothing new; they have been occurring for millennia. Recently, such tides have been branded as “king tides” because they are some of the biggest tides of the year.

As the moon orbits the Earth, its effect on our tides varies daily, weekly, and monthly. Every month of the year has a maximum tide cycle, but during some months tides rise higher than others.

This week the highest of the high tides occurs Thursday and Friday, but Tuesday and Wednesday’s tides are also very large. This, combined with a nor’easter for the same time period, will bring an increased chance of shore road flooding.