PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The highest tides of the year, commonly known as king tides, are forecast to swamp the Oregon coast four times between November 2023 and February 2024.

King tides occur when the alignment of the sun and moon combine to add extra pull on the Earth, causing its oceans to swell. During a king tide, water levels can be half-a-foot or more above the highest daily tide average. These exceptionally high tides can flood coastlines — especially if they coincide with stormy weather.

Regions on the West Coast with the greatest risk of coastal flooding include Friday Harbor, Wash., Port Angeles, Wash., Toke Point, Wash., South Beach, Ore. and Humboldt Bay, Calif. Although king tides can cause hazardous beach conditions, scientists like those involved with the Oregon King Tides Project use the heightened sea levels to document the local impacts of rising sea levels caused by climate change.

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“Rising sea levels means increased erosion and more frequent and expanded flooding in the future,” the Oregon King Tides Project’s website states. “An infrequent event today could become normal in the future. Understanding and documenting the extent and impacts of especially high tide events is one way to highlight the need to prepare for the effects of future climate conditions.”

Oregon’s 2023-2024 forecasted king tide dates:

  • November 25 – 27, 2023
  • December 13 – 15, 2023
  • January 11 – 13, 2024
  • February 8-10, 2024