More ‘king tides’ ahead, and the state hopes you’ll share photos

(12/17/12 photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
As reported here last month, the December “king tides” included a day (December 17th) with the highest water level ever recorded in Seattle. Now, another round of “king tides” are on the way in mid-January (see the Seattle tide chart here – the highest high tide is expected January 14th), and the state is hoping you can help document them – read on for the announcement:

In December 2012, winter’s naturally occurring higher-than-usual tides coincided with a winter storm, pushing marine waters into streets, parking lots and even some homes in Washington’s coastal areas.

The next round of winter king tides starts in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Tuesday Jan. 8, 2013. The state Department of Ecology (Ecology) is inviting the public to share their photos when these higher-than-usual winter tides occur again in January.

King tides give us a glimpse about how potential rising sea levels from global climate change could affect Washington’s marine shoreline areas by intensifying coastal flooding, shifting marine beaches inland, increasing coastal bluff erosion and endangering houses and other structures built near the shore.

The dates for January’s king tides vary slightly depending on location:

· In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, king tides will occur Jan. 8-13.

· Along Washington’s outer coast, they occur Jan. 10-12.

· The Puget Sound dates for king tides are Jan. 14-17.

Follow these steps to participate:

· Use Ecology’s king tide map and schedule to find when and where the highest tides will occur. Go to

· Locate a public beach by checking out Ecology’s Coastal Atlas at

· Take photos during a king tide, preferably where the high water levels can be gauged against familiar landmarks such as sea walls, jetties, bridge supports or buildings.

· Note the date, time and location of your photo – then upload your images on the Washington King Tide Photo Initiative Flickr Group at

· Play it safe! While the winter king tides occur during daylight hours, don’t venture out during severe weather and keep a close eye on rising water levels.

Ecology has collected nearly 600 king tide photos from the public.

We appreciate everyone who shared photos and video with this community via WSB, too – thanks in advance for anything you might share when this next round arrives in a week and a half.

3 Replies to "More 'king tides' ahead, and the state hopes you'll share photos"

  • Lura Ercolano January 4, 2013 (7:45 pm)

    Suppose folks send in pictures of waves washing over a bulkhead.
    Do you think the state will use the pictures to establish that there should be a simple, streamlined, inexpensive process for property owners needing to rebuild, repair, or strengthen their bulkheads? Or do you think that the state will use the pictures to make it harder and more expensive to fix your bulkhead?

  • Deborah Machon January 6, 2013 (2:36 pm)

    If I owned property on the water, I would sell now while people still want it because these tides are going to overtake all these coastal areas eventually…can’t stop nature…just a thought.

  • Norm Curtis January 8, 2013 (10:17 am)

    When I installed my pier and boatlift (Hood Canal)
    7 years ago it was designed for the highest local tides (13′) Since then, once in 2007 again in December of 2012 and already once this year it has been underwater.

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