DoE warns of King Tides and calls for info

| 07/01/2020 | 27 Comments
Cayman News Service
National Ocean Service graphic

(CNS): Cayman is expected to experience some ‘King Tides’ from this weekend, according to scientific predictions, and the Department of the Environment is asking people to help them collect information on these higher than usual tides and potential flooding. DoE officials said they need data to better measure the effect such tides can have, coupled with rising sea levels and Cayman’s low lying topography.

Depending on the location of the sun and moon relative to the Earth at the time, these tides, also known as perigean spring tides, can rise just a few inches or as much as a couple of feet above normal and researchers are keen to understand potential impacts resulting from these events. The DoE will continue to collect information but having more eyes out there will help them paint a picture of where the tides pose the highest risk.

“In recent years we are aware of increasing instances of seawater from King Tides washing into some low-lying local streets or groundwater backing up in storm drains,” said Wendy Williams, manager of DoE’s environmental management unit.

“Unfortunately, we don’t currently have any annual, reliable observations of these occurrences. DoE staff members will document the high tide incidents they are aware of, but more eyes watching are always helpful,” she added.

Residents in all three Cayman Islands who notice higher tides during January and February of this year in their communities are asked to document those occurrences by taking photographs and video and sending the images to the DoE.

King Tides happen from time to time all over the world in coastal areas. They are caused by several factors, including the proximity and alignment of the sun and moon to the Earth.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict them and they are not necessarily cause for alarm. But given Cayman’s low-lying position and rising sea levels associated with global climate change, there have been more case of flooding here as a result in specific locations.

In a rare acknowledgement of the challenges facing Cayman regarding sea-level rise, Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour urged people to support the efforts of the DoE’s researchers to help them document the tides.

“Having better annual records of these high tide events can help us to understand what a future sea level rise might look like, and thus aid in making preparations for such an event,” he stated in a press release.

Anyone with photos and information of King Tide events can send the information to or call 949-8469.

NOAA: What is a perigean spring tide?

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Category: Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (27)

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  1. Brian Tomlinson says:

    Are tide gauge records available for Grand Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      What tide gauge? We don’t have what you’d call a reference tide gauge here. Maybe LC has one in their marine research facility?

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s not a problem unless you build too close the the sea.

    • Anonymous says:

      Frank Sound dock. White plastic drainage tube with red spray paint sticking out of the sand beyond the waterline. It will be 6 foot into the sea, also the flagpoles for the man next door. I got photos Dec 2018, Jan and Sept 2019. Only way you can get along beach is to climb over Flagpoles hedge, and pass on his side of it. Will share with DOE and planning.

    • Anonymous says:

      And there are many buildings on these islands that are close to the sea.

  3. Dunce Cap says:

    Ignorance is king here and that great sea wall of ignorance will protect the ignorant just as long as they remain that way.

  4. Anonymous says:

    All more the reason to build the Port! Who the heck wants to tender during a king tide? Not me!

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t like tendering don;t come to our island, plain and simple. Plus a higher tide will make it easier for the obese wales coming off the ships to step off onto shore. That or if its too high we can simply roll them down the gang plank – easy! It’s all about alternatives. NO to the port!

      • Anonymous says:

        Born and raised Bobo. I just want to make it easier for the Tourists to come enjoy our Island. With the Port they will no longer have to wait in a que and spend more time on Island!

    • Anonymous says:

      You went to public school here huh?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Are sea levels REALLY rising? I live alongside a seawall and have noticed absolutely no difference over the past twenty years, so the evidence before my eyes says no. But you state it as fact. Please explain.

    I’m not making a point here. I’m just curious,

      • Anonymous says:

        I read those carefully. All very interesting, but neither answers my simple question: why am I seeing no difference at all in the sea level alongside my sea wall?

        • Anonymous says:

          Sea Level Rise will not be uniform. As the climate warms, the world’s glaciers and ice sheets are melting, but sea level increase will be greater in some places due to the earth’s rotation and gravity.
          Why will sea level rise not be the same everywhere?

        • Anonymous says:

          the sea level rises are greater towards the poles than nearer the equator, and in the last 20 years we are talking maybe an inch rise, hardly noticeable when you see it often.
          Think about a person getting fatter, if you see them everyday you hardly notice, but if you don’t see the person for 6 months then see them, you instantly see how fat they have become.

    • Anonymous says:

      Google is your friend

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s because the seas have not risen 5-6 inches as they claim since 1970. Or 8.5 inches since the 1900’s.

      I have also live on the sea for the last 5 decades and as a fisherman, the tides and sea levels is very important and something we pay very close attention to.

      What the article is mostly referring to are also known as Spring Tides, they occur every year (some more significant than others) and have absolutely nothing to do with rising seas. The part with regard to the rising seas is complete and total horse shit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Says the fisherman scientist man.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just because you don’t see it here doesn’t mean other islands aren’t about to disappear. We just will be one of the next. You you can always bury your head in mount trashmore to keep your ass dry.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes they are spring tides, but king tides are especially big spring tides which occur when the moon’s orbit is closest to the earth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Trust your senses in this age of deception.

    • Anonymous says:

      The answer is yes. Miami and Key West have been dealing with rising sea levels for the past 10 years. In fact, the City of Miami spends millions every year fighting rising sea levels.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since we are looking more and more like Miami every day we should be fixing to do the same. We badly need a few skyscrapers here too, not.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Go to the end of prospect point Road where it’s blocked off near the gas stations by the main road. The sea is right up to the road, in fact the edge of the road is often under water throughout the year.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dates and times these occur locally or a link to a page containing this information would be helpful.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I know that Miami and Ft. Lauderdale beaches have been dealing with this problem for several years.

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