Oct. 2, 2020
Help the City of Pensacola Track Perigean Spring Tide (King Tide) Flooding
The City of Pensacola is asking citizens to help monitor and track "King Tides," which are defined as especially high tide flooding caused by the coincidence of a new or full moon and when the moon is in perigee (closer to the Earth). To help track where the King Tide impacts are occurring, the city is asking citizens to send their photos of King Tides to email@example.com. Please identify the location and time of day where the photograph was taken to help understand where future saltwater flooding may occur.
The City of Pensacola has launched a vulnerability assessment that will analyze the impacts of future sea level rise from climate change. The impacts will be modeled based on future sea level rise conditions and identifying where property, infrastructure and habitat is at risk from impacts.
Information on King Tides:
What are King Tides? A non-scientific term describing an especially high tide caused by alignment of the gravitational pull from a new or full moon and a closer proximity of the moon to Earth (perigee). Many times, people commonly call them “Sunny Day Flooding.” Please remember that this flooding is not due to rain events; it is due to tidal impacts where typically saltwater or brackish is pushed back onto the land.
When do they occur? A King Tide usually occurs three to four times a year. The graphic below shows when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts the tides will be the highest in October, which is usually the highest month.
Where will they be visible? In yards, streets where saltwater is pushed back up into stormwater pipes and outfalls and drainage is compromised, docks or seawalls that are overtopped, and other low areas that are adjacent or proximate to tidally influenced water bodies.
Why do they matter? King Tides give a preview to what areas will be inundated by saltwater when sea level rise impacts occur in the future. While the King Tides are seasonal and may come and go over the course of the day, they provide an indication as to where city assets, infrastructure, habitat and properties may be vulnerable to the future impacts we will see from climate change.