Keys residents were surprised to find saltwater on the streets Tuesday morning, well before the weekend's king tides.
Jon Rizzo is the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Key West office. He said tropical systems Humberto and Jerry, along with strong northeast winds, have combined to raise the level of the western Atlantic along Florida's coast.
"The waters are above normal, mainly across Central and South Florida – including the Keys – to the tune of about a foot to maybe even 14 inches above where they normally should be," he said.
The office issued a coastal flood statement, the lowest level of warning, to make people aware of the high water.
The good news is that the wind-driven anomaly is dipping just as the king tides are projected to be highest.
"What you saw is what we're probably going to get," he said. "The water levels are probably going to get up to about the same level, and this is going to cause the traditional areas that you see the puddles to keep coming back."
Rizzo says the forecast is for little to no rain at least through Saturday.
"What that means is, if you see that water on the road and you don't know where it came from, assume it is saltwater," he said.
Rizzo said the public is invited to share sunny-day flooding photos with the office at its social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Local governments in the Keys are also seeking photos to document the flooding. Photos can be emailed to FloridaKeysKingTides@gmail.com.