High Tide Bulletin: Spring 2019

When you may experience higher than normal tides between March and May 2019.

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 March and May 2019. We also publish annual high tide flooding reports that present a broad outlook of what to expect for a given year in terms of high tide flooding, as well as a summary of high tide flooding events for the previous calendar year.

A weak El Nino formed this past winter. This will bring a slightly higher chance of flooding along the U.S. East and West Coasts this spring.

Regional outlook map

Select a region below to see when you may experience higher than normal tides from March to May 2019. Depending on non-tidal conditions (wind, storms, etc.) regions may experience impacts before or after the dates mentioned here.

NOTE: Higher than normal high tides alone do not necessarily cause coastal flooding. However, higher-than-normal high tides are becoming increasingly impactful due to continued sea level rise. High tide flooding that causes a nuisance along the coast (such as flooded streets, washed out beaches) is more likely to occur during these periods depending on your location along the coast. More severe flooding may result if adverse weather—heavy rains, strong wind or big waves - conditions are present.

Northeast Outlook

Includes Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • March 20 - 23
  • April 18 - 21
  • May 17 - 20

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.
  • Tides will increase leading up to and after the June 21 summer solstice, due to the position of the sun relative to the earth's equator.
  • Mean sea level is typically higher in the late spring due to changing weather patterns and increasing water temperatures.

What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?

  • Due to the topography of the northeast (less low lying areas), high tides alone will not likely cause a significant impact on the coast unless accompanied by storm or strong winds.

Where might I expect high tide flooding?

  • Portland, ME; Bar Harbor, ME; Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Kings Point, NY

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

Regional outlook Text Only

Northeast outlook

Includes Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • March 20 - 23
  • April 18 - 21
  • May 17 - 20

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.
  • Tides will increase leading up to and after the June 21 summer solstice, due to the position of the sun relative to the earth's equator.
  • Mean sea level is typically higher in the late spring due to changing weather patterns and increasing water temperatures.

What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?

  • Due to the topography of the northeast (less low lying areas), high tides alone will not likely cause a significant impact on the coast unless accompanied by storm or strong winds.

Where might I expect high tide flooding?

  • Portland, ME; Bar Harbor, ME; Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Kings Point, NY

Mid-Atlantic outlook

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

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • March 20 - 23
  • April 18 - 21
  • May 17 - 20

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.
  • Tides will increase leading up to and after the June 21 summer solstice, due to the position of the sun relative to the earth's equator.
  • Mean sea level is typically higher in the late spring due to changing weather patterns and increasing water temperatures

What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?

  • Minor tidal flooding along the coast, in particular 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.

Where might I expect high tide flooding?

  • Bergen Point, NY; Sandy Hook, NJ

Southeast outlook

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

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • April 18 -21
  • May 17-19

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.
  • Tides will increase leading up to and after the June 21 summer solstice, due to the position of the sun relative to the earth's equator.
  • Mean sea level is typically higher in the late spring due to changing weather patterns and increasing water temperatures

What kind of impact might I expect along the coast?

  • Minor tidal flooding along the coast, in particular 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

Where might I expect high tide flooding?

  • Fort Pulaski, GA; Fernandina Beach, FL

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 won’t they be impacted?

  • 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.

West Coast outlook

Includes California, Oregon, Washington State

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • The West Coast will not be significantly impacted by high tide flooding this spring.

Why won’t this region be impacted?

  • Tides alone will not be enough to cause significant flooding

Hawaii and the Pacific Islands outlook

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

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • March 19 - 23

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, in particular 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.

Where might I expect High Tide Flooding.

  • Kwajalein, Marshall Islands

ALASKA outlook

When will the tides be higher than normal?

  • March 20-23

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, in particular for southeast Alaska (less low lying areas), tidal flooding will generally not have a significant impact on the coast unless there is a severe storm.
flooded street in Alexandria, VA

This year’s report summarizing the high tide flooding events in 2017 and our high tide flooding outlook for 2018 is now available. The latest report is based on new, national flooding thresholds. It focuses on more impactful, deeper floods at some locations and expands the outlook to about 100 coastal locations.

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Last updated:
03/06/19

Author: NOAA

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