Those of you on the island have noticed very high tides this week. Why does this happen? Tides can be influenced by multiple factors such as the moon phase, the sun, wind direction and pressure systems. This week we have witnessed beach erosion, road flooding on Capers Inlet Drive, higher than normal tides as well as several inches of rainfall. These events occurred as a result of a king tide, spring tide, a strong east wind and rainfall from hurricane Sally in the golf. We have also witnessed road flooding on the north end of Pelican Flight from the intrusion of salt water from the beach breach into our roadway drainage ditches.
The moon phase, sun, wind direction, and pressure systems do not typically align each month so when large tides do happen it may seem out of the ordinary; but can be anticipated depending on the moon phase and time of the year. For example, during spring tide events we have higher high tides due to the angle of the earth, moon and the sun. The elliptical orbit of the moon can also influence tides. When east winds blow during spring and/or king high tides the water is pushed onto the land magnifying the high tide water levels.
King tides are predicted September – December of this year and are indicated by a crown on the SCDHEC tide chart. Spring tides happen each month of the year. If there is a strong east wind during a spring or king high tide you may experience higher than normal tides and road flooding. If you witness these high-water events, please email or text me your photos to document your sightings. Photographs can be useful when applying for future Coastal Resiliency grants. If you have any question please feel free to contact Lori or check out the links below.
Click to view predicted and actual tides for the area.