King tides expected this weekend

King tides are expected leading up to Christmas.

The Washington King Tides Program through Washington Sea Grant is warning residents that king tides, or extremely high tides, are coming this weekend and extending to the holiday.

Ordinary tides are caused by the gravitational pull between the Earth and the moon, and king tides occur when astronomical events amplify that pull.

King tides are expected at areas around Washington, but they will occur at various times, with Westport seeing these high tides starting December 22 and leading into Christmas Eve.

These higher than normal tides happen at various times of the year. Spring tides take place when the Earth, moon and sun are aligned. According to the state program, while the moon generally has a bigger influence on Earth’s tides, the sun also has gravitational effects. When the moon and sun are aligned, their gravitational effects compound, and the high tides become a little higher.

Spring tides occur twice each lunar cycle (when the moon is either new or full). These already higher-than-average tides are exacerbated when spring tides coincide with the moon in perigee, which means the moon is particularly close to Earth and so has an even greater gravitational pull on the ocean. The perigee happens at the same time as a spring tide three or four times a year in both spring and fall, creating the most common type of king tide known as perigean spring tides.

King tides also happen when the sun is closest to the Earth in its orbit – a position called perihelion. The sun reaches this position in early January each year. Similarly, in early July, the sun is furthest away from Earth – a position called aphelion – and the gravitational pull is weakened, resulting in smaller tides.

Predicted King Tides
Winter 2018-2019

Date Time Predicted

High Tide

(ft)

Date Time Predicted

High Tide

(ft)

Anacortes Olympia
Nov. 26 7:56AM 9.0 Nov. 26 8:25AM 16.0
Nov. 27 8:48AM 9.0 Nov. 27 9:18AM 16.0
Nov. 28 9:41AM 9.0 Nov. 28 10:13AM 15.9
Dec. 25 7:37AM 9.4 Dec. 25 8:11AM 16.7
Dec. 26 8:20AM 9.4 Dec. 26 8:57AM 16.7
Dec. 27 9:03AM 9.3 Dec. 27 9:44AM 16.6
Jan. 23 7:09AM 9.4 Jan. 23 7:50AM 16.9
Jan. 24 7:46AM 9.3 Jan. 24 8:29AM 16.9
Jan. 25 8:23AM 9.3 Jan. 25 9:09AM 16.8
Dungeness Shelton
Nov. 26 6:40AM 8.5 Nov. 26 9:06AM 15.6
Nov. 27 7:32AM 8.5 Nov. 27 9:59AM 15.6
Nov. 28 8.25AM 8.5 Nov. 28 10:54AM 15.5
Dec. 25 6:21AM 8.8 Dec. 25 8:52AM 16.3
Dec. 26 7:04AM 8.8 Dec. 26 9:38AM 16.3
Dec. 27 7:47AM 8.7 Dec. 27 10:25AM 16.3
Jan. 23 5:53AM 8.8 Jan. 23 8:31AM 16.5
Jan. 24 6:30AM 8.7 Jan. 24 9:10AM 16.5
Jan. 25 7:07AM 8.7 Jan. 25 9:50AM 16.4
Port

Townsend

Westport
Nov. 26 7:34AM 9.4 Nov. 23 12:15PM 10.4
Nov. 27 8:26AM 9.4 Nov. 24 12:55PM 10.5
Nov. 28 9:19AM 9.4 Nov. 25 1:37PM 10.4
Dec. 25 7:15AM 9.7 Dec. 22 11:51AM 10.8
Dec. 26 7:58AM 9.7 Dec. 23 12:38PM 10.9
Dec. 27 8:42AM 9.7 Dec. 24 1:25PM 10.8
Jan. 22 6:10AM 9.7 Jan. 20 11:34AM 10.9
Jan. 23 6:47AM 9.7 Jan. 21 12:25PM 11.1
Jan. 24 7.24AM 9.7 Jan. 22 1:16PM 11.0
Seattle La Push
Nov. 26 7:40AM 12.4 Nov. 23 11:47PM 10.1
Nov. 27 8:33AM 12.4 Nov. 24 12:26PM 10.3
Nov. 28 9:28AM 12.3 Nov. 25 1:08PM 10.2
Dec. 25 7:26AM 12.9 Dec. 22 11:23AM 10.6
Dec. 26 8:12AM 13.0 Dec. 23 12:08PM 10.7
Dec. 27 8:59AM 12.9 Dec. 24 12:55PM 10.6
Jan. 23 7:05AM 13.1 Jan. 20 11:07AM 10.6
Jan. 24 7:44AM 13.1 Jan. 21 11:57AM 10.8
Jan. 25 8:24AM 13.0 Jan. 22 12:47PM 10.7
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