COOS BAY — With the full moon on Sunday, Coos Bay is experiencing king tides that, coupled with a recent storm surge, are raising water levels to noticeably different heights than usual.
King tides generally extend tides about 2.5 feet further than normal, and much further if there is a storm or swell.
A bridge connecting a floating dock to shore usually sits at about a 45 degree angle, but the higher tides brought the span nearly level on Monday.
Our current king tide began on Saturday and will last through Tuesday. According to the National Weather Service we will have one more round of king tides this winter, Feb. 18-19.
The other time of year many places experience high tides are in the spring, when the sun and moon pull the tides from opposite sides of the earth. King tides occur similarly, with the sun and moon pulling on opposite sides of the earth, the difference being that the moon is at its closest to the earth during the winter. During these times the moon appears larger in the sky and is appropriately called a super moon.
Storm drains down on Front Street could be seen bubbling out water at high tide Monday afternoon. Bridges connecting floating docks to shore that usually sit at 45 degree angles were practically level.
The new Coos Bay Village was not breached by the bay at high tide, likely because of the work being done to that plot to prepare it for development.
Most affected by king tides are areas along the shore that are eroded areas like the parking lot at Sunset Bay State Park, where asphalt has been washed out by the tides already.
Often king tides are most harmful when people are out on the jetties during high tide. People will sometimes get caught in what’s known as a sneaker waves.