Oregon King Tides

It is King Tide season! A beautiful reminder of the strength of the ocean. Learn how to observe it safely.

Did everyone catch November's King Tides? Storm chasers have long hunted this amazing sight during specific times of the year. So we thought, let's let everyone know what this means exactly and how to observe them safely.

tidal waves

Every winter, tides on the Oregon Coast get higher than any normal tide. They occur when the Moon's orbit is closest to the Earth, the Earth's orbit is closest to the sun, and the sun, moon, and Earth are in alignment. This alignment increases their gravitational pull, which as we know, affects the tides. The official term is perigean spring tides.

wave crashing

Lincoln City, and the whole coastline, are aware of these tides and their power. Lincoln City Parks and Rec closes off beach accesses and everyone encourages locals to keep a very safe distance while watching. King Tides often bring strong surges of “sneaker waves." The US Coast Guard warns that sneaker waves are one of the largest weather threats to those on the beach. Typically there is a period of calm that results in people relaxing their awareness, and often times being caught off guard and swept off their feet, sometimes into the ocean. During these dangerous conditions, large pieces of driftwood and other objects are effortlessly rolled and put both individuals and rescue teams in danger.

king tides driftwood
Driftwood that is easily lifted and moved during large tides

This December 13-15, and into the New Year on January 11-13, we will have more King Tide events. We encourage everyone to observe this beautiful sight from a safe distance. Protect yourself, your family, pets, and even your car by avoiding low lying coastal areas. For more information on storm watching, check out our blog or visit the NOAA site.

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