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King tide returns this weekend, with some flooding. Here is what you need to know

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Daniel A. Varela
/
Miami Herald

The Harvest Moon makes a return this weekend and that means South Florida will see higher than normal tides — also known as king tides. The high water levels can lead to flooding, even when it’s not raining.

The annual king tide causes flooding in areas near waterways and the coast, and it usually lasts for about three hours. Even areas not by the coast can experience flooding.

The season occurs every year from September through November and it peaks in early October. But a recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that high tide flooding will become more frequent for coastal communities across the U.S.

“From May 2021 to April 2022, 3 locations monitored by NOAA tied or broke their records for the number of HTF [high tide flooding] days along the U.S. Southeast Atlantic and Gulf coastlines,” the report says.

In NOAA’s 2022 outlook for high tide flooding, forecasters say coastal communities aren’t predicted to experience a record number of floods when compared to last year. That’s because of “climatological effects from La Niña and Earth’s location in the perigean cycle.”

Experts stress that it’s still an over 150% increase compared to the year 2000.

If your neighborhood floods because of king tides, remember, never walk in or drive through flooded roadways. Try not to park your car in low lying areas. King Tides can also cause lower clearance levels than normal under bridges for boaters.

Here’s king tide information from each South Florida county:

The Harvest Moon is the full moon that happens closest to the autumnal equinox, which marks the start of fall.

Sherrilyn Cabrera is WLRN's PM newscast and digital producer.