Olympia area residents will be able to witness extra-high tides known as a “king tides” this week on Budd Inlet.
The tides are expected to reach 17.03 feet at 7:55 a.m. Friday (Jan. 23) and reach 17.04 feet at 8:35 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 24), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The high tide for Sunday is expected to peak at 16.83 feet at 9:17 a.m., the NOAA reports.
Previous king tides have sometimes resulted in flooding along Percival Landing in downtown Olympia. The city reports that the highest recorded tide in Olympia was 18.2 feet on Dec. 15, 1977.
King tides typically occur in December and January because of an increased gravitational pull on the Earth’s oceans when the sun and moon align, according to the state Department of Ecology.
Exceptionally high king tides have raised concerns about rising sea levels at the local level. The issue has been on Olympia’s radar since the early 1990s. The city’s public works department reports that sea level could rise 3 to 9 inches in Olympia by 2030.