California King Tides — exceptionally high tides caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun during a new or full moon — are expected to hit San Diego’s shorelines this Saturday and Sunday. Let’s dive into our region’s exact tide times and how you can learn more, locally, about the phenomenon.
⏰ Tide Times
According to predictions for Scripps Pier in La Jolla, the highest tides expected this weekend are:
- 6.96 ft | Saturday, Jan. 21, at 8:03 a.m.
- 6.93 ft | Sunday, Jan. 22, at 8:50 a.m.
- 7.39 ft | San Diego (Broadway) | Saturday, Jan. 21, at 8:09 a.m.
- 7.38 ft | San Diego (Broadway) | Sunday, Jan. 22, at 8:55 a.m.
- 7.45 ft | National City (San Diego Bay) | Saturday, Jan. 21, at 8:13 a.m.
- 7.43 ft | National City (San Diego Bay) | Sunday, Jan. 22, at 8:59 a.m.
- 7.02 ft | Quivira Basin (Mission Bay) | Saturday, Jan. 21, at 8:14 a.m.
- 7.01 ft | Quivira Basin (Mission Bay) | Sunday, Jan. 22, at 9 a.m.
King Tides also bring extremely low tides, which NOAA is charting in its predictions, too.
🌊 What is happening here?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, King Tides typically occur once or twice a year in coastal areas “when the orbits and alignment of the Earth, moon, and sun combine to produce the greatest tidal effects of the year.”
King Tides can cause local flooding and paint a picture of how sea level rise will affect coastal areas over time.
✏️ Learning from the King Tides
King Tides-related events happening locally this weekend include:
- King Tides at the Mission Bay Marsh | Saturday, Jan. 21 | 7:30-10 a.m. | Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve, 2055 Pacific Beach Dr.
- King Tides at the Tijuana Estuary | Saturday, Jan. 21 | 9-11 a.m. | Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center, 301 Caspian Way
- King Tides at South Ponto Beach | Sunday, Jan. 22 | 8:30 a.m. | South Ponto Beach, Carlsbad
- King Tides at Rose Creek Salt Marsh | Sunday, Jan. 22 | 8:30-9:45 a.m. | Bayview Terrace Elementary School parking lot, 2445 Fogg St.
Birch Aquarium will host guided tide pooling adventures in La Jolla this weekend, though Saturday and Sunday are sold out. A rep for the aquarium tells SDtoday additional tide pooling opportunities with Birch experts are available later this winter, just check the facility’s schedule.
🏝️ Beach Hazard Statement
In anticipation of the King Tides, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Beach Hazards Statement, in effect Friday night through the morning of Monday, Jan. 23, for San Diego County beaches.
The NWS said morning high tides could lead to minor tidal overflow, especially in parking lots or low-lying beaches including Oceanside, Cardiff, La Jolla Shores, and Imperial Beach. It’s best to stay out of the water and observe from afar.