This week’s supermoon was more than a spectacular sight in the night sky. It nudged up sea levels, leading to areas of coastal flooding along the East Coast.
In New England, the Weather Service office in Boston said the combination of “very high astronomical tides” and a weak coastal storm would result in a water nearly a foot above normally dry land at high tide.
Other coastal areas along the East Coast were also experiencing coastal flooding, including Charleston, S.C.
Variable Boundaries - King Tide Flooding #Charleston https://t.co/Ds0jn5ToyM #chswx #sealevelrise #chs #photography @chswx @NWSCharlestonSC pic.twitter.com/Shu96pTQH7— Jared Bramblett (@JTBramblett) November 15, 2016
Every year from November through February, the highest tides — called “king tides” — press onto the shores during full moons. This is a result of the enhanced gravitational pull from the full moon as well as Earth’s being closest to the sun in its orbit (at perihelion). The tides get even higher during supermoons, because that’s when the moon is closest to Earth (at perigee).
Coastal flooding during such astronomically high tides has been increasing over time because of climate warming, which raises sea levels. “Recent sea level rise ensures that when king tides occur they increasingly cause localized flooding,” the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a blog post.
Since 1960, sea levels have risen about 6 to 8 inches along the East Coast. Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has documented a 300 to 925 percent increase in “nuisance flooding.”
Such flooding inundates areas that previously flooded only during big storms. It makes roads impassable, overwhelms storm drains and seeps into structures.
Such flooding is only expected to worsen and affect more land area in the coming decades as sea levels are projected to rise as much as several feet by the end of the century.
Photos and video
Did ya see this one? Pic from Miami Beach parking garage. Extra #HighTides carrying in more than sea water pic.twitter.com/CZUvtOBSys— Kerrin Jeromin (@KerrinJeromin) November 15, 2016
#KingTides worse today on #pompanobeach A1A and Canal St. @WPLGLocal10 @BenKennedyTV on the scene. @mypompanobeach pic.twitter.com/AzCH9nqdSI— Jeff Martin (@JeffMartinMedia) November 15, 2016
Cool time-lapse video of #kingtide flooding in #FortLauderdale this morning, via @PhotoSSentinel https://t.co/3niLDEUu8y pic.twitter.com/W2egYaO86M— Brett Clarkson (@BrettClarkson_) November 15, 2016
If you dont "believe" in #SeaLevelRise, your head is in the sand. Until recently, water levels this high only assoc w/ hurricanes! #KingTide pic.twitter.com/ryyv0N7AGs— Brian McNoldy (@BMcNoldy) November 14, 2016
On Long Wharf-Boston #KingTide today @GreenovateBos @ImagineBos @BostonHarborNow @EF___ @henkovink @BosGreenRibbon pic.twitter.com/vr0NtLGmVd— Carter Craft (@cartercraft) November 15, 2016
ALERT: Boston is dealing w/#KingTide right now with tides over 2 feet higher than normal leaving parts of Boston underwater... pic.twitter.com/QdBxvA1q4G— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) November 15, 2016
@ericfisher @SurfSkiWxMan @MattNoyesNECN Hampton Harbor #kingtide. pic.twitter.com/vp9KwOrKcw— Joel Albair (@Joelalbair) November 15, 2016
King Tide is Rolling into Boston pic.twitter.com/slEITTPx4G— BostonTweet (@BostonTweet) November 15, 2016
#KingTide flooding at Long Wharf in #Boston. #wbz pic.twitter.com/NlLVhMHslt— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) November 15, 2016
King Tide flooding in Dorchester along the Harbor Walk. #wbz pic.twitter.com/vE5CpBTbAq— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) November 15, 2016
#kingtide at Browns. @EagleTribJill @MattNoyesNECN @mariastephanos pic.twitter.com/DeuhIczn3G— Ed Johnson (@EdwardoGrande86) November 15, 2016
#KingTide flooding by J's Oyster Bar in Portland, area blocked off #NEWCENTERnow pic.twitter.com/L3kTsQtQAH— Jessica Gagne (@JessicaGagneTV) November 15, 2016
Check out this amazing #KingTide shot from Kennebunkport, Maine.— Elle O (@ElleOusfar) November 15, 2016
Thanks for sharing @KennebunkportME #NEWSCENTERnow pic.twitter.com/W9BQg0Gcwg