Bolstered by a low-pressure weather system, yesterday’s “King
Tide” was felt throughout Puget Sound. At its extreme, the high
tide came within 0.01 feet of breaking the all-time tidal record
set for Seattle on Jan. 27, 1983.
I especially liked Jim Groh’s photos of the Poulsbo waterfront.
Take a close look at the picture taken yesterday (below) and
compare it to the one in
Sunday’s Water Ways entry, which shows last year’s King Tide.
If the word “Poulsbo” doesn’t look right in the picture below, it’s
because the bottom half of the letters are under water.
This week’s King Tides are declining, but they are expected to
be high again starting Jan. 14.
Some of the highest tides of the year, combined with a strong
low-pressure system, could provide “King Tide” observers with ideal
conditions tomorrow (Monday) for taking pictures of near-flood
conditions or even flooding in some places.
This is the third year the Washington Department of Ecology has
put out a call for photos of high-tide conditions.
“Documenting how very high tides affect the natural environment
and our coastal infrastructure will help us visualize what sea
level rise might look like in the future,” states Ecology’s
“Climate Change” blog.
The King Tide photo initiative began in Australia in January
2009. Washington and British Columbia joined in 2010, followed by
Oregon and California in 2011.
Tide tables predict that tides in Bremerton and Port Orchard
will reach 13.4 feet at 8:28 a.m. tomorrow. Check on other
locations and other days in Washington state at Saltwater
The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood advisory
for Western Washington because of low-pressure conditions, which
could add 1.5 feet to the tide table prediction. That would put the
Bremerton area at 14.9 feet. Check out the
Weather Service advisory and the
Kitsap Sun story.
While it looks like we’ll have a very high tide, it probably
won’t be a record. I was unable to find historical data for
Bremerton, but the record high tide for Seattle is 22.4
feet on Jan. 27, 1983. The tide tables predict that Seattle
will reach 12.5 feet tomorrow, or 14 feet with the added 1.5 feet
because of the low pressure.
Shortly after I posted
this, Jeff Adams of Washington Sea Grant sent me an email to point
out that NOAA’s numbers need to be corrected by subtracting 7.94,
because NOAA uses a different baseline than we commonly use in this
area. That would place the record in Seattle at 14.5 feet, much
closer to what we may see tomorrow. I should have known that
something was amiss with that data. For more on this point, check
out Jeff’s blog,
King Tides will continue through this week, declining slightly
each day, then will return on Jan. 14.