High (King) tides

When the tropic bird (sik) speaks while flying the tide will be coming in. (Kosraean saying)

Flooding of low-lying land on Kosrae most commonly occurs due to high tide levels. Very high tide levels (often known as king tides) and the risk of flooding vary through the year and between year to year.

High tide flooding has caused damage a number of times in the recent past notably:

The highest tides, most significant flooding and any resulting damage are often due to a combination of things influencing sea levels or where larger than normal wave conditions coincide with high tide levels.

The slides below explain more about the high tides that Kosrae experiences (hover over slide to pause).

  • Very high tides are a common cause of coastal flooding on Kosrae. In December 1999 very high tides caused flooding on Lelu Island.

The astronomical tide on Kosrae can now be predicted for any day in the past or in the future. Of course the actual high tide level on each day will also depend on other factors, such as whether we are in an El Nino or La Nina phase (which can only be predicted a few months in advance), or the particular weather conditions, which can only be predicted a few days in advance.

Did you know?

  • The highest astronomical tide between the years 2000 and 2030 occurred on Tuesday 11 January 2005 with a high tide level of 7.27 ft.
  • In 2015 the highest astronomical tide of the year occurred on Wednesday 21 January, with a high tide level of 7.2 ft.
  • The flooding events that happened in December 2013 to February 2014 occurred in part due to the third highest astronomical tide between 2000 and 2030.

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