Upcoming High Tides
Living near the ocean we get to enjoy the many things that it has to offer, but we also have to deal with the issues it can bring. One of these issues are the occasionally higher than normal tides, sometimes referred to as “King” Tides. However, as opposed to other natural issues, we know when these high tides will occur far in advance.Check out these expected high tides in the coming month that may impact traffic and parking in flood-prone areas, especially during winter weather. Take note so you don’t end up getting wet by surprise.
What causes sea level rise, and what do King Tides have to do with it?
The sea level rise we're experiencing now and will experience in the future is caused by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere acts like a blanket, trapping in heat that would otherwise escape. When we burn fossil fuels, we're adding more carbon dioxide, "thickening the blanket" and warming the planet and ocean. Sea level is rising because land-based glaciers and ice sheets are melting into the ocean and also because water expands in volume when it warms. The amount of sea level rise we will ultimately experience will depend on how quickly we stop burning fossil fuels.
King Tides themselves are not caused by sea level rise, but allow us to experience what higher sea level will be like. King Tides are the highest high tides of the year, about a foot or two higher than average tides, which corresponds to the one to two foot rise in sea level expected during the next few decades. When you observe the King Tides, imagine seeing these tides (and the flooded streets, beaches, and wetlands) every day. Understanding what a King Tide looks like today will help us plan for sea level rise in the future.
Southern Marin Fire District strongly encourages residents in low-lying areas to prepare for all upcoming high tide events.
Please click here for more information on flooding and storm preparedness.
Do You Live in a Flood Zone?
Do you live in a FEMA designated flood zone? Check out the FEMA Flood Map to find out. Or go to the City's Floodplain Management page for more information.