Dates Different on Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

Dates Different on Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

Last King Tides This Week: Various Dates on the Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

Posted 01/15/23 at 05:39
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Manzanita, Oregon) – This season’s final round of King Tides will hit the Washington coastline and Oregon coast this weekend, but be aware that the dates are different for each this time around. Normally, the dates mostly coincide with the astronomical highest tides of the year, but this time there are some significant changes. (Above: Westport, Wash. during King Tides, courtesy Shian Klassen/Washington Sea Grant)

Once again, experts in both states hope to get volunteers out there to photograph what happens.

For the entire Oregon coast and Ilwaco in Washington, king tides occur from January 20 to 22. From the South Bend in Washington to where the Pacific Ocean meets the Salish Sea, king tides hit the Washington coast from January 21 to 23. Tides will be at 9.5 feet to 10 feet there. Along the inland seas (like Seattle, Olympia, etc.), these mostly take place from January 22nd to 24th.

Long Beach lies somewhere between that dividing line and has high tides from the 20th to the 25th, with the highest numbers from the 23rd to the 25th.

On the Washington coast, submit photos at On the Oregon coast, submit them to or to the project’s Flickr:

King tides are more of a layman’s term for what are actually known as perigee spring tides, referring to the highest tides of the year. They are created when the moon and sun align just right, and their combined gravitational force is reduced at high tides much more than at any other time of year.

Still, king tides can be strange, so to speak. There are many times when they don’t live up to their dramatic reputation. Others, they create monsters that crash onto the beaches along with the floods, depending on what the winter storms do. The last two sessions, the Oregon coast and the Washington coast were also hit by large offshore swells that resulted in more than 30 foot waves.

There are plenty of internet trolls and anti-science conspiracy nuts who object to such headlines online, but they lack the ability to understand some basics about tides and how they are measured. They are spreading misinformation and if you see such wave height claims that are not correct, you should ignore it. In fact, ignoring them can be dangerous for you. If you go to the beach anyway, you can hide.

“30 foot” waves do not necessarily mean a wall of water of that height coming ashore. This is how offshore swells are measured, but they are separated by beach slopes leading up to the sand. See wave height on the Oregon coast / Washington coast explained.

Whether or not these tides turn out to be Godzilla’s kittens or beach tides depends on all sorts of factors.

Coos Bay, courtesy Robert Moore, Oregon King Tides

Meanwhile, those at the Oregon King Tides Project and Sea Grant in Washington state hope to take pictures there in good numbers to document the rising seas. These additional bursts of tidal action may be predictive of how climate change is affecting the Northwest Coast and what it may be like in the future.

The Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP) and Washington Sea Grant have created tools to assist communities in planning for these impacts and continues to lead a community science effort documenting the region’s king tides.

However, the key to all of this is safety. Stay away from beaches during these events and stay on higher ground – and not on cliff edges. They can give way in such storms or tides. If large swells occur offshore, the National Weather Service (NWS) will likely issue high surf advisories or warnings. Pay attention to them.

Seal Rock, courtesy Alex Derr / Oregon King Tides

On January 20 – 22, the Port Orford area will see tides around 9 feet, at various points from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Florence, these occur between 10 a.m. and noon in over 8 foot. Bandon will also be in that range. On the northern half of the coast, tides will be about 8.5 feet on those days and tides will be 10 feet at high tides.

Westport in La Push in Washington will see tidal action at around 10 – 11 feet on January 22nd to 24th.

Exact offshore conditions are not yet available from the NWS, but so far the days leading up to king tides are showing some pretty heavy seas at about 15 feet. Oregon Coast Hotels for the Event – South Coast Hotels – Where to Eat – Maps – Virtual Tours

Gleneden Beach, courtesy Bob Loewen Oregon King Tides

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