Highest Predicted King Tides – Coming This Fall

By Dan Burger (Coastal Services Division Director) and Liz Hartje (Coastal Projects Manager)


The highest predicted King Tides of 2015 are quickly approaching! At Charleston Harbor, water levels are expected to reach 7 feet and higher above Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) at the end of September and October. These extreme high tides are predicted to occur during the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. NOAA’s tide predictions are based on the astronomical tide calendar, which takes into account the gravitational pull of the moon and sun on Earth’s oceans. Keep in mind that water levels can exceed predicted heights under various meteorological conditions like onshore winds, low atmospheric pressure, and precipitation. In 2014, observed King Tide water levels often surpassed astronomical predictions at Charleston Harbor. For instance, there were over 3.5 times more King Tide days than predicted. Cumulatively, water levels were 6.6 feet MLLW or higher for tCaptureotal of 201 hours, over 5 times longer than predicted. On average, observed King Tides were 0.6 feet higher than astronomical predictions, with a maximum observed difference of nearly 2 feet above predicted levels. King Tides peaked just below 7 feet, on average, and the highest observed water level reached 7.6 feet (August 9).


MyCoast: South Carolina 

SCKTThe MyCoast: South Carolina King Tides Reporting Tool is revealing what King Tides look like on the South Carolina coast and how these events affect infrastructure, mobility, and our shared natural resources. Over 180 photos were submitted by MyCoast members last year, see photos from select reports below. MyCoast_Icon_CaptureVisit http://mycoast.org/sc or download the MyCoast app and start photo-documenting these extreme tide events using your smartphone!

Here’s a list of dates, times, and predicted tidal heights for this coming September and October:


Date Predicted Height*  (Time)
September 28 7.0 (8:29 a.m.)
September 29 7.1 (9:22 a.m.)
September 30 7.0 (10:16 a.m.)
October 26 7.0 (7:16 a.m.)
October 27 7.2 (8:10 a.m.)
October 28 7.2 (9:03 a.m.)
October 29 7.1 (9:55 a.m.)
* Feet above MLLW at Charleston Harbor Tide Station

2 thoughts on “Highest Predicted King Tides – Coming This Fall

  1. L.E.White

    For those of us who do not have a coastal background, it might be nice if you included a bit more information. Things like the fact that king tides are just the various highest tides. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_tide

    There is also NOAA, which stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A federal agency focused on the condition of the atmosphere and the ocean. http://www.noaa.gov/

    This is an interesting article, but for those of us without the background, it loses a lot by not adding a few short explanations.


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