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

January 4, 2014 at 6:08 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

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).


  1. 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.

    Comment by Ted — 6:38 pm January 4, 2014 #

  2. 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

    Comment by WSB — 6:52 pm January 4, 2014 #

  3. 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.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 7:36 pm January 4, 2014 #

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

    Comment by G — 7:47 pm January 4, 2014 #

  5. 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.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 1:05 am January 5, 2014 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2005-2015, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^