King Tide

Folly Field Beach-Hilton Head Island South Carolina

The term “King Tide” is a non-scientific term used to describe the highest seasonal tides that occur each year. For example, in Charleston, the average high tide range is about 5.5 ft., whereas during a King Tide event the high tide range may reach 7 ft. or higher. These tides occur naturally and are typically caused when a spring tide (when the sun, moon, and earth align during a new and full moon, increasing tide ranges) takes place when the moon is closest to Earth during the 28-day elliptical orbit (known as perigee).

The effect of individual King Tides may vary considerably. In some cases, they may barely even be noticed. In other cases, a King Tide may cause coastal erosion, flooding of low-lying areas and disruption to normal daily routines. This is particularly true when a King Tide event coincides with significant precipitation because water drainage and runoff is impeded

The information above is provided by the South Carolina King Tides Initiative click here to visit their website for more information.

Photos of the beach today at low tide 12:30 PM:

As the tide comes in at 7:30 PM:

As Hurricane Dorian is approaching the east coast with an uncertain path, the popular beach and resort area was not as busy as usual.  Visitors seemed to be enjoying the rough surf in the evening with boogie boards.  The caution flags are flying to alert everyone of the strong rip currents now happening.

Yellow flag at lifeguard station


Thanks for visiting 🙂



2 thoughts

  1. I found you article interesting. In our area (Puget Sound) king tides usually happen in winter. They are often aggravated by winds out of the north.

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