Oct 18, 2016 8:11 PM

JOE KNOWS: King tides

NH1 Chief Meteorologist

King tides are simply the very highest tides. They are naturally occurring, predictable events. When the sun, moon, and Earth align, solar gravity combines with lunar gravity, creating very high and very low tides. "King Tides" is a common term used to describe the highest tides of the year.

Tides are actually the movement of water across Earth's surface caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon, Sun, and the rotation of Earth which manifest in the local rise and fall of sea levels.

Tides are driven by the relative positions of the Earth, Sun, Moon, land formations, and relative location on Earth.
When the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun are in alignment. These highest tides in the lunar cycle are also called spring tides.

The gravitational force is greatest when the Moon is at perigee — closest to Earth, which it currently is. This helped to give us that beautiful Super moon this past weekend.King tide - WikipediaThe Moon has a more direct effect on the tides than the Sun, but the Sun’s position also has an influence on the tides. Earth moves around the Sun in an elliptic orbit that takes a little over 365 days to complete

Its gravitational force is greatest when the Earth is at perihelion — closest to the Sun in early January. So everything is has been pretty close and lined up for some coastal flooding and splashover with these tides which will likely continue Wednesday. Thankfully, there is no big storm. If a major storm arrived during a King High tide...it could be a major flood event.


These are a few great shots from NH1 meteorologist Ryan Breton who went down to the Seacoast to capture Tuesday's King Tide in numerous communities during the high tide around 1:22 p.m. with a tide up to 10 to 11 feet...some of the highest of the year.

Riverview Terrace, Hampton, NH


Many shore roads flooded as the King Tide flooded surrounding marshes. A warning sign of what we can expect in a warming world and the advance of sea level rise


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