The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is warning about the likelihood for above average high tide cycles from May 15th through the 18th. This includes the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, or Southeast coasts, or the entire US East Coast. According to NOAA, higher than normal high tides and lower than average low tides are expected this week due to a perigean spring tide: “This is when the moon is either new or full and closest to earth.”
No significant impacts are expected with these anomalous tide cycles this week, but some nuisance coastal flooding is still possible. In the Northeast, a typical flood location from a perigean tide is at Kings Point, NY. To the south in Cape May, NJ is the location with the best chance for flooding in the Mid-Atlantic while Fort Pulaski, GA, Wilmington, NC, and Charleston, SC have the greatest risk of seeing high tide flooding in the Southeast.
The forecast tides for Cape May, NJ from May 15th through May 25th highlight the more wide-ranging tide levels the next few days compared to the following days toward the end of the month.
These kinds of tides will likely become more common and severe in the future due to the warming oceans, according to NOAA: “Higher than normal high tides alone do not necessarily cause coastal flooding. However, higher-than-normal high tides are becoming increasingly impactful due to continued sea level rise. High tide flooding that causes a nuisance along the coast (such as flooded streets, washed out beaches) is more likely to occur during these periods depending on your location along the coast. More severe flooding may result if adverse weather—heavy rains, strong wind, or big waves—conditions are present.”