First King Tides of 2024 will hit San Diego’s coastline this week

High Surf and Coastal Flood advisories are in effect for local beaches where waves could reach up to 11 ft on Thursday, Jan. 11-Friday, Jan. 12.

SD High Surf San Diego King Tides

Last month’s high surf pummeled the OB Pier — and this week’s King Tides could be even higher.

Photo via @kyleohare_

Roll out the shoreline — King Tides are set to return to San Diego’s beaches tomorrow through Friday, Jan. 12.

The phenomenon refers to exceptionally high tides linked to the moon and sun’s gravitational pull. The National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict the tides could soar even higher than last month’s high surf.

So, the agencies have issued two advisories:

  • High Surf — in effect from 8 p.m. tonight to 6 p.m. tomorrow for breaking waves up to 7 ft, with occasional sets up to 11 ft. The highest surf is expected in southern San Diego County.
  • Coastal Flood — in effect 4 a.m.-12 p.m. tomorrow for potential flooding in lots, parks, and roads around SD’s beach communities.

King Tides are predicted to peak at 8:10 a.m. tomorrow, with a high tide of at least 6.7 ft. As always, use caution during King Tides and follow warnings from local lifeguards.

SD Mission Beach High Surf December 2023 San Diego

High surf hit SD’s coastline in late December 2023, including Mission Beach.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

According to the California King Tides Project, the weather event helps researchers visualize future sea level — and you can help by sharing your tide photos.

The California King Tides Project is hosting special events to safely observe the tides this week. Join the local meet-up — Wandering the King Tides presented by the San Diego Audubon Society — this Friday, Jan. 12, 8-10 a.m., at Kendall-Frost Marsh at 2055 Pacific Beach Dr.; register ahead of time.

This week’s tides come on the heels of high surf that pummeled San Diego’s coastline late last month, including the Ocean Beach Pier, which remains closed.

The city temporarily closed Crystal Pier during that event, and it also led to lots of sand build-up on Mission Beach Boardwalk — like, so much it was difficult to bike the path. The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department performed 96 rescues during that stretch, too.

Another round of King Tides is expected in SD in mid-February.

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