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King Tide overview

King tides occur when the Earth, Moon and Sun are aligned at perigee (Moon closet to earth) and perihelion (Sun closet to earth), resulting in the largest tidal range seen over the course of a lunar month or year. Local severe weather events with low air pressure and strong winds can also enhance the high tide height causing coastal inundation, erosion and transport disruption around the gulf, harbours and inlets.

King Tide monthly peak report
King Tide historical events

Next red alert King high tides
23rd to 25th July 2024

Jan 5th 2018 Storm  Narrow Neck
Monthly peak

King Tide Monthly Peak    updated 1st June 2024

Sea level data produced by LINZ for Waitemata harbour, Auckland and Korotiti Bay, Great Barrier Island dates back to the installation in June 2014. The yellow line in the graph are high tide peaks of each month, with the yellow dotted line displaying the time period's linear trend. The tide height is the raw mean sea level measured by relative sea height rise. in metres using a pressure sensor.

 

Waitemata Harbour's highest tide for May 2024 was a mean level of 1.56m at 9:17pm on 9th May. Currently there is a downward trend of peak high tide levels for Waitemata harbour for the last 11 years.

May 2024 Waitemata.jpg

Great Barrier Island's highest tide for May 2024 was a mean level of 1.10m at 7:07pm on 8th May. Currently there is a slightly upward trend of peak high tide levels for Great Barrier Island for the last 11 years.

May 2024 GB.jpg
Kide tide history

King Tide Historical Events

These are the top 10 historical raw mean sea level peaks dating back to 1903 in the Waitemata harbour, Auckland

(Historical data source : NIWA / Auckland City Council / LINZ)

Height

2.38 m

2.27 m

2.15 m

2.14 m

2.13 m

2.13 m

2.12 m

2.11 m

2.11 m

2.09 m

Date

23rd Jan 2011

26th Mar 1936

14th Jul 1995

4th Feb 1904

7th Mar 1954

14th Jul 1956

5th Jan 2018

14th Feb 1918

20th Jun 1947

11th Jul 1926

1936 storm

1936 Saw 2 major ex-tropical cyclones pound the shores around the Hauraki Gulf. The first storm was on hit the Hauraki Gulf on the morning 2nd February 1936, causing extensive damage. A 2nd storm arrived 26th March 1936 which conincided with a King Tide and the highest recorded sea level of the 20th century.

Photo:Milford beach, 26th March 1936

(archive takapuna lib T 0356)

Milford beach 26 March 1936

1938 Hauraki Plains Floods

Noted as the the worst flood in the history of the Hauraki Plains with the sea level peak measured at 3.0m on the Thames vcoast . Heavy rain and northerly winds combined on 4 May 1938 coinciding with a king tide around 10pm breaking the stop-banks at Pipiroa and Hopai. In Thames, the water inundated the Grahamstown end of town, the Park Hotel had four feet of water and debris, with a car parked outside was submerged to the roof.

Photo:The Pipiroa Store,5th May 1938  

(Sir George Grey Special Collections, Ak Libraries)

The Pipiroa Store,5th May 1938   (Sir George Grey Special Collections, Ak Libraries)

2011 Deep low

On 23 January 2011, Coastal sea inundation affected several parts of Auckland including Queen Street, Tamaki Drive, the northwest motorway, Herald Island, Maraetai and Miranda. The Port of Auckland measured their highest ever mean sea level of 2.38m. A low-pressure system coincided with a very high king tide which caused considerable damage.

Photo: SH16 Auckland NW motorway city-bound buslane, Sun 23 Jan 2011.

(Photo courtesy of Peter Mitchell) 

SH16 Auckland NW motorway city-bound buslane, Sun 23 Jan 2011. (Photo courtesy of Peter Mitchell) 

2018 Subtropical storm

On 5 January 2018, a subtropical storm coincided with a king tide causing extensive damage to low lying areas and roads around the Firth of Thames with storm tide inundation around Auckland. Barometric pressure dropped to 987 hPa, with the recorded the sea level at Thames of 2.8 m, which is the 2nd highest ever level recorded behind the 1938 storm event of 3.0 m.

 

Photo: Thames Coast rd Highway 25,

Sun 5 Jan 2018.

(Photo courtesy of Jason Thomsen) 

hames Coast rd Highway 25, Sun 5 Jan 2018. (Photo courtesy of Jason Thomsen) 
King Tide Centre
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