Environment
Divers with the Divers Institute of Technology working toward certification walk into the water for their first day of open water diving on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, during a King Tide at Alki Beach Park in Seattle. 
    Slideshow Icon 2 slides
Enlarge Icon
Divers with the Divers Institute of Technology working toward certification walk into the water for their first day of open water diving on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, during a King Tide at Alki Beach Park in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Extreme high tides in Seattle this week

Every morning this week, Seattle will experience especially high tides. They’re called "king tides." They happen once or twice a year, when the moon comes closest to the earth.

Scientists say king tides help us identify places vulnerable to rising sea levels, so we went to talk to people who live and work close to the water.

Joshua Menashe grew up in a house right on Puget Sound in West Seattle. He’s back there helping his parents put up Christmas lights now.

He remembers one time, a really high tide washed some sea lions into their backyard. “Right over here to the left – sitting right by the firepit!" he said. "They started barking and then hopped back into the water and were gone.”

Monday’s king tide one was only twelve and a half feet.

Hesper Guerra had a front row seat to a nearly 15 foot king tide one year. She waits tables at the Alki Café.

Hesper Guerra, who works at the Alki Cafe, points to the road out front where several years ago, salt spray from crashing waves sailed over parked cars.
Enlarge Icon
Hesper Guerra, who works at the Alki Cafe, points to the road out front where several years ago, salt spray from crashing waves sailed over parked cars.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols
Sponsor

“People were pulling over taking pictures,” she recalled. Waves were splashing over the cars parked on the road out in front of the restaurant. She ran outside to bask in the salty spray.

“And there was a fella, by the bathhouse, that went swimming!" she said, "and we all thought he was crazy because there’s no way you could swim in that.”

Scientists say king tides are worth paying attention to, because sea levels are rising. Today’s king tides could one day be just a normal high tide.

Tell Us What You Think

We'd love to hear your thoughts