West Seattle scene: ‘King tide,’ tied for highest of the year

Thanks to Russ Walker for the photo from Alki this morning, a 13.3-foot high tide, tied with 8:04 am tomorrow for highest predicted Seattle tide of the year. While the lack of stormy weather meant it was a rather placid scene, it’s still important for those – like the state Ecology Department – who are tracking these tides, called “king tides,” to document “how very high tides affect the natural environment and our coastal infrastructure (to) help us visualize what sea-level rise might look like in the future.” If you took (or take) photos, share them with the Ecology Department’s Flickr group (as Russ and other West Seattle photographers did).

5 Replies to "West Seattle scene: 'King tide,' tied for highest of the year"

  • Ted January 4, 2014 (6:38 pm)

    A more accurate description would be the highest “predicted” tides of the year. Often when there’s a storm at sea and low barometric pressure we can have “actual” tides that can be 2′ higher than “predicted” tides.

    • WSB January 4, 2014 (6:52 pm)

      Thank you! Adding that key word. And yes, that is of course what happened in December 2012, with the storm surge adding greatly to the PREDICTED tide – TR

  • Lura Ercolano January 4, 2014 (7:36 pm)

    If anyone is interested in historical data about Seattle’s high tides, there are some fascinating graphs here:
    and here:

    NOAA’s data makes the point that higher mean tides lead to more frequent extreme events – it’s not so much a concern that the regular water level will be higher, but that events such as last December will occur more frequently. A tide level that might have been reached every ten years could become an annual event.

  • G January 4, 2014 (7:47 pm)

    The average tides and water level look unchanged since I was a kid many decades ago. Count me as skeptical.

  • Lura Ercolano January 5, 2014 (1:05 am)

    G – the NOAA site shows a change of 2mm per year. That is really tiny compared to 13 foot high tides or -3 foot low tides. I wouldn’t expect it to look different.

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