King Tides and Big Waves This Weekend On Oregon Beaches

Jan 10, 2020

The combination of a winter storm and king tides this weekend may make for dangerous conditions on the coast.  Waves could reach 30 feet on central coast beaches Saturday. 


A beach in Lincoln City.
Credit Rachael McDonald

King tides are naturally occurring in winter. Peter Ruggiero, Oregon State University professor of Geology and Geophysics, says the tides will be about a foot to a foot and a half higher than usual. But, Ruggiero says it’s relatively rare to have a big winter storm during king tides.

“What that means is that the coincidence of the big waves and the already high water levels due to the king tides that we’re going to have really increase the possibility of beach erosion and or coastal flooding and provides potentially dangerous situations for, whether you’re a home or business owner along the coast, but also beach-goers.”  Ruggiero said.

Ruggiero advises people to stay off beaches this weekend. He says the heavy rain combined with higher tides may also lead to flooding of inland rivers and estuaries. 

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