King tides will be hitting the coastline for the second time this winter starting Sunday, bringing water up to extremely high levels in the early morning hours.
But by the afternoon, an extreme low tide will expose areas of the coastline usually underwater, a great opportunity to explore tide pools.
This latest king tide event will run through Tuesday.
Sunday’s peak tide will reach a near 7 feet high at 7:30 a.m., and a negative 1.4 feet by about 2:30 p.m. on the lowest tide. Monday’s highest tide will be closer to 8 a.m., with the lowest tide reaching a negative 1.7 feet by about 3:20 p.m.
Surf early next week will be picking up to about 3- to 5- feet, potentially causing trouble for low-lying areas of the coast prone to flooding such as Seal Beach, Sunset Beach near where Huntington Harbour has flooded over onto Pacific Coast Highway, Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach and Capistrano Beach in Dana Point, where officials have been grappling with a battered beach that continues to erode.
If you do visit tide pools, use caution because rocks can be slippery and never turn your back on the ocean. Don’t take or disturb creatures and tread lightly on their habitat.
King tides describe very high tides caused when there is an alignment of the gravitational pull between the sun, the moon and the Earth, and when the moon is in its closest position to the Earth.
While king tides are not caused by sea level rise and are predictable, the phenomenon is used to by environmental groups to illustrate what the coastline may look like as sea levels continue to rise, making these extreme levels the norm in future years.
Volunteer citizen scientists can take part in documenting the tides at various areas of the coast for the California King Tides Project, which asks people to take photos to show the impacts on beaches, roads, harbors, homes and wetlands.
Source: Orange County Register