2017 State of U.S. High Tide Flooding with a 2018 Outlook   [open pdf - 4MB]

"In 2017, the nation‐wide average annual frequency of high tide flooding as measured at 98 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tide gauge locations along U.S. coastlines hit an all‐time record of 6 flood days. More than a quarter (27) of the locations (Alaska sites were not included in this study) tied or broke their individual records for high tide flood days. [...] If high tide flooding in 2018 follows historical patterns, flooding will be most common during the winter (Dec‐Feb) along the West Coast and the northern section of Northeast Atlantic Coast in response to winter storms and more‐predictable monthly highest astronomical tides (predicted tides). Along the Gulf and along much of the Atlantic Coasts, flood patterns are less predictable and occur usually in response to weather effects. Flooding is, however, most common during the fall (Sep‐Nov) when the mean sea level cycle peaks, and more often during monthly highest predicted tides in some Southeast Atlantic locations. Breaking of annual flood records is to be expected next year and for decades to come as sea levels rise, and likely at an accelerated rate. Already, high tide flooding that occurs from a combination of high astronomical tides, typical winter storms and episodic tropical storms has entered a sustained period of rapidly increasing trends within about 2/3 of the coastal U.S. locations. Though year‐to‐year and regional variability exist, the underlying trend is quite clear: due to sea level rise, the national average frequency of high tide flooding is double what it was 30 years ago."

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