San Diego Braces for Stunning King Tides Amid Astronomical Events

San Diego Braces for Stunning King Tides Amid Astronomical EventsSource: King Tides, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Roma Chang
Published on December 10, 2023

Coastal residents and beach-lovers in San Diego should brace for an aquatic spectacle as king tides are set to powerfully sweep the shoreline. According to FOX 5 San Diego, these naturally occurring high tides are expected to peak over 6 feet this week because of a new moon on Tuesday and again during the Christmas week in sync with the full cold moon.

Swimmers and surfers are advised to remain especially vigilant as the tides are projected to rise to 6.8 feet on Tuesday and dramatically drop to a -1 foot low by the afternoon. NBC 7 San Diego meteorologist Sheena Parveen warns that while king tides are not only predictable, they can "give us an idea moving forward in time of what future tide levels could look like as our sea levels are rising," indicating the potential for larger implications such as beach erosion and coastal flooding.

The upcoming high tides coincide with astronomical events: a new moon on December 10 and a full moon on December 26, prompting the gravitational forces of these celestial bodies to draw the tides higher than usual. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography reporting station at Scripps Pier in La Jolla is one of several local stations monitoring the king tides. For specific tide predictions in various locations around San Diego County, residents and visitors can click here to be better informed.

While experiencing the lowest and highest tides may appeal to some beachgoers, authorities emphasize caution. The immersive transformation of the coastlines presents an opportunity to view marine life, which is not usually visible, but these high tides are also capable enough to cause significant flooding. It's not just an impressive natural event; past king tides have led to concrete issues in low-lying areas like Imperial Beach and La Jolla Shores.

The California King Tides Project, organized by the California Coastal Commission, actively seeks citizen volunteers to document these king tides. By uploading photos and videos of the tides, San Diego community members can contribute to a catalog of the changing coastline. This collective effort aims to assist the state in tracking these changes, and anyone interested in participating can get involved here.