Tag Archives: MyCoast

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

Going Coastal

By Cassandra Harris

Summer is finally here, and for many of us it means heading to the coast to spend some much needed fun in the sun and surf. DHEC wants to help you stay prepared and informed this summer.

Before you take off for the shores, check out some of our latest coastal apps:

  • Beach AccessConnecting S.C. beachgoers to over 620 public access points along our coast, the Beach Access app provides visitors with key information about a location’s amenities, including parking, restrooms, handicap accessibility, showers and more.
  • MarinaMateIn addition to listing marina locations statewide, the MarinaMate app provides mariners with information on available services, including where you can access shore power hookups and dispose of on-board sewage.
  • MyCoast: South CarolinaUsed to visualize the impact of coastal hazards and to enhance awareness among decision-makers and stakeholders, MyCoast is a portal citizens can use to assist DHEC in the collection and analysis of pictures and data relating to coastal events, including King Tides and coastal storms.
  • South Carolina Beachfront Jurisdiction And Adopted Erosion RatesProviding easily accessible information to current and prospective property owners, the S.C. Beachfront Jurisdiction app offers an overview of beachfront jurisdictional lines, beach zones and adopted erosion rates on a variety of base maps. It also provides users with access to survey packets by specific beach area, which contain specific line coordinates, survey monument locations and additional background information.

Syzygy and South Carolina

By Jim Beasley

Some people believe the planets have to “align” in order to have good fortune. But the actual alignment of the sun, Earth and moon can result in dangerously high tides, too.

In South Carolina, the impact of extreme high tides, also known as “King Tides,” is often evident in the Lowcountry around Charleston, Beaufort and Hilton Head. For example, in Charleston, the typical high tide is about 5.5 feet; during a King Tide event the high tide might reach 7 feet or greater. That’s why our Division of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management has become involved in monitoring these higher-than-normal high tides to document their effects on our coast.

What are King Tides?

King Tides is a term that describes the highest seasonal tides that occur each year. These tides occur naturally and are typically caused when the moon is closest to us during its 28-day cycle and aligns with the sun and the Earth. In some cases, King Tides might not be noticed. In other cases, they can cause coastal erosion, flooding of low-lying areas and disruption to normal daily routines. King Tides can also expose critical infrastructure to corrosive saltwater. Over time, the frequency, duration and effect of King Tide events might increase due to a gradual rise in the sea level.

Help us Track the Tides!

high-tide-gtown-3-1-14In 2014, we launched our King Tides Initiative to encourage people to snap and submit their photographs as these seasonal high tides exceed their normal levels and produce flooding along low-lying areas.

To get involved in this initiative, you can upload your photos and submit a King Tides report to the MyCoast website, or by downloading the MyCoast App (now available in the App Store and Google Play).  Your photos and reports will help us with our long-term analysis of coastal vulnerability and in planning initiatives with coastal communities.

The next King tides event is scheduled for this coming Friday through Monday (April 17-20​). So keep your smartphone handy and take a moment to snap and submit a photo to help us better understand the potential threats King Tides pose to our state’s beautiful coastal areas.