Everyone who has lived in South Florida for a considerable amount of time is familiar with King Tides. At certain times of the year, high tide will grow to very very high tide.
While the term ‘king tide’ isn’t a scientific term, it is used to describe an especially high tide event when there is alignment of the gravitational pull between the sun and moon.
With seven miles of shoreline; 300 miles of waterway coastline; a flat topography; and shallow, porous aquifer, Fort Lauderdale is vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea level rise. Flooding in low-lying areas is more likely when the close proximity of the moon, higher than average tides called king tides, rising sea levels, and inclement weather conditions combine to exacerbate flooding risks.
Rainfall, wind strength, and wind direction can significantly impact the height of the tides, causing them to come in higher or lower than predicted. Also, high water tables (groundwater level) due to rain events can raise the probability of localized flooding.
The city has invested in a number of mitigation strategies to help manage higher-than-usual tides. These include maintaining tidal valves, storm drains, and catch basins; investing in pump stations to remove flood water from streets; and implementing more rigid rules for sea walls on waterfront property.
Be Prepared for King Tides
Neighbors are advised to be vigilant during high tides and king tides. Please take the time to be aware of the anticipated king tide dates, review important safety tips, evaluate your property’s readiness, and review your flood insurance policy.
During high tides, residents should closely monitor trash bins, and remove them from the street as quickly as possible after they are emptied. If your street floods, you may want to store your sanitation carts in a safe and secure location until your next regularly scheduled collection day. View the sanitation service tips page for more information.
Tide predictions are generated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and can differ from the observed sea level that occurs. Predicted tidal heights are those expected during average weather and oceanic conditions. When weather conditions differ from what is considered average, water levels can be significantly altered. Generally, prolonged onshore winds (wind towards the land) or low barometric pressure can produce higher sea levels than predicted, while offshore winds (wind away from the land) and high barometric pressure can result in lower sea levels than predicted.
Fort Lauderdale maintains a number of useful resources on tides and flooding risk. Residents may contact the City’s 24-Neighbor Service Center at 954-828-8000 with questions or concerns or to report incidents of flooding. Customer Service may also be reached via LauderServ, the City’s mobile application. Visit https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/waterlevels.html?id=8722956 for NOAA Tide Forecast.
Anticipated King Tides
- 10/6 – 10/12
- 10/24 – 10/30
- 11/6 – 11/9
- 11/23 – 11/27