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King tide recap Winter 2020-2021

February 19, 2021

[Posted by Chuck Almdale, all photos by Larry Loeher except where otherwise noted]
It seems like a good time to recap our winter king tides.

Not much dry beach during the 16 November 2020 king tide

Even less during the 15 December 2020 king tide

Still shrinking as of 13 January 2021 king tide

Some beach still showing as of 11 February 2021 high tide (demoted from king tide),
in addition to the ever-so-slightly higher sand island

This 11 February 2021 photo shows almost crater-like curvature of opposing shores.
Riffling in the water suggests eddying of the current is taking place.

An inundated tidal clock sidewalk measured 6′ 9.6″ lagoon water
level a week after the king tide. (L. Johnson 11-23-20)

A pair of Redheads visited during the November king tide (Grace Murayama 11-16-20)

These Brown Pelicans “were bothered at each little wash-up of washover-surf”
according to photographer Larry Loeher during the 11-16-20 king tide.

You never know what might show up. Here’s a beautiful male Hooded Merganser
during the December king tide (Grace Murayama 12-15-20)

This nicely-plumaged male American Wigeon (aka Baldpate)
graced the lagoon during the 1-13-21 king tide.

As did this wing-drying or sun-warming Double-crested Cormorant.

While this distant Cassin’s Kingbird (distinct white chin) waited for a flying fly to fly by.

Two Canada Geese a-honking (Grace Murayama 2-11-21)

Two first-winter Heermann’s Gulls during February high tide (Grace Murayama 2-11-21)

The next really high tides will be May 25-27 with the high of 6.67 ft. @ 9:24pm, May 26.

Why were there different king tide dates for northern and southern California?
Southern California experienced King Tides in November and December. There was an additional January King Tide in northern California, north of Point Conception/Vandenberg AFB, due to a combination of astronomical influences such as the relative tilt of the Earth’s rotation with respect to the Sun and seasonal influences on water level such as temperature and wind that differ in southern California as compared to northern California over the course of the year.

  1. Lynn Bossone permalink
    February 19, 2021 3:15 pm

    Again, thank you,Chuck, for your engaging blogs. We feel so fortunate to be able to read about such interesting subjects.


    • Chukar permalink*
      February 19, 2021 3:46 pm

      Hi Lynn:
      If you ever run across items like this (i.e. birds + interesting), feel free to write it up & send it in. As you can see from this article, most of the content was…ahem…borrowed…from elsewhere.


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