Weekend weather: King tides peak – and a wet post-Christmas is on the way

King tides at the Hook
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

King tides are unusually low and high tides that occur when the gravitational pull of the sun and moon are in alignment. Those forces came together this week when the king tides rolled in on Thursday. They peaked today across the Santa Cruz area, but will continue through Christmas Day.

The holiday weekend will bring mild weather and your last chance to experience the king tides in 2022.

King tides are unusually low and high tides that occur when the gravitational pull of the sun and moon are in alignment. Those forces came together this week when the king tides rolled in on Thursday.

The king tides peaked Friday morning in Santa Cruz County, when high tide hit 6.56 feet at 9:17 a.m. Low tide occurred at 4:50 p.m. when the waters recede -1.53 feet, a difference of more than eight feet.

On Saturday, the high tide will hit 6.52 feet at 10:05 a.m. Those hoping to explore tide pools can time their visit for 5:38 p.m., when tides will reach their lowest point as the waters recede -1.57 feet. The king tides and will slowly lessen through Sunday, when high tide hits 6.28 feet at 10:55 a.m. and low tide comes in at -1.42 feet at 6:27 p.m.

The National Weather Services warned that the extreme tides would bring a chance of localized coastal flooding and block access to coves, along with some beaches, sloughs and coastal trails. Boaters should be on guard for particularly shallow waters at low tide.

“Folks that explore the tide pools at low tide should be aware that there could be occasional waves running farther up the beach than normal,” the weather agency warned. “Do not turn your back on the ocean.”

Temperatures are forecasted to be in the low 60s over the weekend, but that dry, balmy weather will give way to rain starting on Tuesday and continuing throughout the week.

The weather service forecasts moderate to heavy rain after Christmas, with the brunt of the storm moving into the region on Dec. 27. That wet weather is set to continue through the rest of the year, with but rain will lighten up after Tuesday evening.

And if you miss the king tides in 2022, you can catch them again early next year, on January 21 and 22.

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