King Tides Coming to Malibu

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Get ready for the highest high tides of the year: King Tides, which are happening in Malibu from Dec. 4-5 and again from Jan. 2-3. King Tides are about one to two feet higher than average tides and can, therefore, flood streets, beaches, wetlands, and low-lying areas.

The California King Tides Project—a partnership of the California Coastal Commission, state and federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations that’s existed since 2010—is an annual winter project where citizen scientists volunteer to take photos of areas impacted by these high tides.

“Snap the shore, see the future,” the California Coastal Commission writes on its California King Tide project website. “Documenting these tides helps us preview the impacts of sea level rise and understand how our shoreline will be affected by higher water.”

Although King Tides themselves aren’t caused by sea-level rise, they demonstrate what scientists believe it will look like and what will be impacted when sea levels actually do rise another one to two feet due to climate change in the coming decades.

King Tide photos taken by volunteers are compiled in an interactive online map and are used by state and local officials and climate change researchers to validate sea level rise models and assess local flood vulnerabilities. The images are also accessible to the public.

To learn how to participate and submit photos, go to: coastal.ca.gov/kingtides/participate.html#tidemap

Santa Monica Pier tide marker

Dec. 4, 2021:

High time: 8:18 a.m. 

Height: 7.16 ft.

Dec. 5, 2021:

High time: 9:01 a.m. 

Height: 7.13 ft. 

Jan. 2, 2023:

High time: 8:06 a.m. 

Height: 7.16 ft.

Jan. 3, 2022:

High time: 8:52 a.m. 

Height: 7.10 ft.