Skip to content (press enter)


King Tides: A snapshot of future sea level rise

The highest high tides of the year (king tides) are expected along the shorelines of Washington over this weekend (January 10-12th). With a Saturday forecast calling for NW wind 30 to 40 kt and combined seas 23 to 26 ft with a dominant period of 16 seconds, things are definitely going to be rocking' and rollin' especially on the outer coast!

King Tides naturally occur a few times a year when the moon, sun, and earth gravitationally align to cause higher and more dramatic tides than normal. Learn more about some of the work that Surfrider Foundation is doing nationally to raise awareness about king tides and future sea level rise. Go here to find the exact day and time of king tides along your stretch of coastline. Check out Surfrider's climate change activist toolkit.

Sea level rise is a real and growing fear for Washington’s coastal homeowners, tribes and communities. In many places, today’s king tides will be “normal” high tides due to sea level rise. Thanks to constantly improving sea level rise projections, leaders, planners and decision-makers now have access to better information critical to plan for, and adapt to, Washington’s future.

Strait of Juan De Fuca, King tide 2017. Photo credit: Gus Gates, flight provided by LightHawk.

Get Involved in the Community Science!!

If you happen to be out and about in your community during an upcoming king tide, please snap a few photos and/or videos (especially if you have a drone!), and send them (along with the location) to Surfrider Foundation Coastal Preservation Manager Stefanie Sekich Quinn at: with the subject “King Tides.”

Another great way to be a part of the community science happening around this is to share your king tide photos by downloading the iPhone/Android MyCoast app. This app stamps photos with local atmospheric and tidal information, so it helps people communicate local flooding issues to agencies, planners and more. 

Washington Sea Grant has a king tides viewing party coming up on Saturday, January 11th at the Westport Marina's viewing tower, 12pm-1:30pm. High tide is around 12:30pm, so this is a great opportunity to get outside and see some of the year's highest water levels. King tide viewing parties invite the public down to the waterfront to learn about king tides, sea level rise projections and extreme water levels. It is also an opportunity for us to learn about local flooding issues and priorities. Also, coffee, hot chocolate and snacks will be available! We would love to have you, rain or shine -- please see the attached event flyer.

Where's the beach?! Olympic Coast National Park & Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary during the 2017 king tide. Photo credit: Gus Gates, flight provided by LightHawk.