A king tide will be running Wednesday and Thursday because gravitational forces of the sun, the moon and the earth will be lined up in a cue shot of fleeting geometry and rare power. It will raise the water level between one and two feet above normal high tides for many areas on the Atlantic coast. It’s an entirely natural phenomenon. This year, a network of scientists is asking members of the public to take pictures of the tides at their peak, and then again in a week, at their ordinary heights.
An extreme tide can give a telescopic view of a future with rising seas, when tides might routinely reach levels that they now get to only twice a year, said Kate Boicourt, an ecologist with the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program.
“What we’re seeing Wednesday and Thursday is probably what we normally will be seeing by 2080,” Ms. Boicourt said.
Looks like the highest tides will be occurring Thursday morning, so get out there with your camera and document the event. It’s one thing to use computer rendering to visualize sea level rise and its effects on the coastline, but actual photographs of expected high water levels are much more powerful communication tools.
Check the tides for your area. Take a photo of the king tide. Take another photo from the same spot a week later at high tide to see the difference.
We are currently aware of the following organizations involved in regional king tide photo initiatives:
- New York – New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Peconic Estuary Organization
- Long Island Sound Study
- Barnegat Bay Partnership
- Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
In our region, Heather Goldstone of Climatide is collecting king tide photos.
Woods Hole Group will also collect any and all king tide photo sets and deliver them to the appropriate king tide photo initiative organizations. Send your photos to email@example.com and remember to note the location and time of each photograph.