High Tide Bulletin: Winter 2016

When you may experience higher than normal tides from December 2016 through February 2017.

The rising and falling of the sea is a phenomenon upon which we can always depend. Tides are the regular rise and fall of the sea surface caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun and their position relative to the earth.There are some factors that cause the tides to be higher than what is "normally" seen from day to day. This bulletin tells you when you may experience higher than normal high tides for the period of time between December 2016 and February 2017. Note: Depending on non-tidal conditions (wind, storms) regions may experience impacts before or after the dates mentioned here.

Higher than normal high tides alone do not necessarily cause coastal flooding. Be aware that nuisance flooding is more likely to occur during these periods depending on your location along the coast. More severe flooding may also result if adverse weather conditions are present, such as heavy rains, strong wind, or big waves.

Regional outlook map

Select a region below to see when you may experience higher than normal tides this Fall.

West Coast Outlook

Includes California, Oregon, Washington State

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • December 11-16; January 10-13

Why will they be higher than normal?

  • A perigean spring tide will be occurring. This is when the moon is either new or full and closest to earth, higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides will occur.
  • The increased angle of the sun relative to the Earth, which reaches a maximum during the Winter Solstice (December 21).

What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?

  • Minor tidal flooding along the coast, especially in low-lying areas. If a local storm or large swell are present at this time, increased levels of tidal flooding and coastal erosion may occur.
  • Lower than normal low tides will also occur.

Have a photo that shows coastal flooding in your region? Send it to us!

shadow for text box

Regional outlook (Text only)

Northeast outlook

Includes Maine, New Hampshire, Massachussets, Connecticut, New York

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • December 13 - 15

Why will they be higher than normal?

  • A perigean spring tide will be occurring. This is when the moon is either new or full and closest to earth. Higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides will occur.

What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?

  • Due to the topography of the northeast (less low lying areas), tidal flooding will generally not have a significant impact on the coast unless there is a severe storm.

Have a photo that shows coastal flooding in your region? Send it to us!

Mid-Atlantic outlook

Includes New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • During this time of the year, tides will not be significantly higher than normal.

Why not?

  • Mean sea level is generally lower in the winter months in the mid Atlantic due to colder, ocean water and changes in weather patterns.

Have a photo that shows coastal flooding in your region? Send it to us!

Southeast outlook

Includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Eastern Florida coast

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • December 13 - 15

Why will they be higher than normal?

  • A perigean spring tide will be occurring. This is when the moon is either new or full and closest to earth. Higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides will occur.

What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?

  • Minor tidal flooding along the coast, especially in low-lying areas. If a storm occurs at this time, increased levels of tidal flooding and coastal erosion may occur. Lower than normal low tides will also occur.

Have a photo that shows coastal flooding in your region? Send it to us!

Gulf Coast outlook

Includes Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Western Florida coast

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • The Gulf Coast will not be significantly impacted.

Why not?

  • In many locations of the Gulf Coast, the tidal range is relatively small compared to other regions of the U.S, so they will not be as significantly impacted by a perigean spring tide.

Have a photo that shows coastal flooding in your region? Send it to us!

West Coast outlook

Includes California, Oregon, Washington State

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • December 11-16; January 10-13

Why will they be higher than normal?

  • A perigean spring tide will be occurring. This is when the moon is either new or full and closest to earth, higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides will occur.
  • The increased angle of the sun relative to the Earth, which reaches a maximum during the Winter Solstice (December 21).

What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?

  • Minor tidal flooding along the coast, especially in low-lying areas. If a local storm or large swell are present at this time, increased levels of tidal flooding and coastal erosion may occur.
  • Lower than normal low tides will also occur.

Have a photo that shows coastal flooding in your region? Send it to us!

Hawaii and the Pacific Islands outlook

Includes Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Midway, Kwajalein, and Wake Island

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • December 11-16, January 10-13

Why will they be higher than normal?

  • A perigean spring tide will be occurring. This is when the moon is either new or full and closest to earth, higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides will occur.
  • The increased angle of the sun relative to the Earth, which reaches a maximum during the Winter Solstice (December 21).

What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?

  • Minor tidal flooding along the coast, especially in low-lying areas. If a local storm or large swell are present at this time, increased levels of tidal flooding and coastal erosion may occur.
  • Lower than normal low tides will also occur.

Have a photo that shows coastal flooding in your region? Send it to us!

ALASKA outlook

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • December 11-16; January 10-13

Why will they be higher than normal?

  • A perigean spring tide will be occurring. This is when the moon is either new or full and closest to earth, higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides will occur.
  • The increased angle of the sun relative to the Earth, which reaches a maximum during the Winter Solstice (December 21).

What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?

  • Due to the topography of Alaska (less low lying areas), tidal flooding will generally not have a significant impact on the coast unless there is a severe storm.

Have a photo that shows coastal flooding in your region? Send it to us!

Error processing SSI file