King Tides are the highest predicted high tides of the year. King Tides are technically called “perigean spring tides,” but they occur in both the spring and fall seasons. In fact, the highest tides in southeast Florida occur in the fall, in part because the water is warmer and the seasonal winds drive water levels higher at that time of year.
When and where are the King Tides expected?
King Tides normally occur a few times per year and often cause nuisance flooding in coastal and low-lying areas. More severe flooding may result if King Tides coincide with bad weather conditions such as heavy rains, strong winds, or big waves. However, sea level rise is causing these tides to happen more frequently, to last longer and extend further inland than in the past.
Based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s tide predictions, King Tides will occur on the following dates this fall:
- Aug. 29 – Sept. 3, 2019
- Sept. 26 – Oct. 3, 2019
- Oct. 25 – 31, 2019
- Nov. 24 – 28, 2019
Preparing for the King Tides
Most of the King Tide impacts are felt along the coast and in very low-lying areas near other water bodies. Residents who want to know which areas are impacted by the King Tides are encouraged to use the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Level Rise Viewer. On this map, you can zoom into Miami-Dade County or your neighborhood. When you click on the “flood frequency tab” you will see areas in red that are vulnerable to King Tide flooding.
Flooding can also obstruct access to roadways. If possible, move vehicles to higher ground before the King Tides begin and wash your vehicle down with fresh water after driving through salt water.
Residents can determine if their home lies in an area susceptible to flooding using Miami-Dade County’s interactive map. Residents in flood zones should prepare for flooding by having protection measures such as sandbags on hand, review their flood insurance policy, and make a plan for flood safety.
Additionally, follow these safety precautions:
- Do not walk through flood water if possible. It can be a health hazard.
- If you do need to walk through floodwaters follow good hygiene practices and wash your hands, clothes and pets.
- Do not drive through flooded areas – it is dangerous and can damage your vehicle. Find an alternative route.
- Boaters should be aware that high tides cause lower clearance under bridges – check the tide before leaving the dock.