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Surging King Tide Returns To Bay Area Just Before Christmas

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - On the middle of one of the wettest Decembers on record, the Bay Area is about to get hit with another round of uncommonly high seas known as the "King Tides."

The extreme tides occur when the gravity of the moon and the sun align to create the highest tides of the year, potentially flooding low-lying roadways, and leading to unusual sights around docks, piers, and beaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. This year the first round of king tides will hit December 21st - 23rd with surges as high as 9 feet expected around the noon hour in Redwood City each of those days. Six to seven foot high tides are forecast for Richmond, Pillar Point and Santa Cruz.

The California King Tides Project sent out a warning about the phenomena Wednesday. The group is hoping people will add to a photo collection on Flickr to help illustrate what the Bay Area would normally look like if sea levels were to rise.

"The extremes that Californians have experienced this year with the drought and storm events show just how vulnerable we are to changes in our climate and weather. The king tides events similarly illustrate how sea level rise and shoreline change will impact our communities and ecosystems," says Sara Aminzadeh, Executive Director at the California Coastkeeper Alliance, a Project organizer.

Organizers released this map of where the best viewing locations for the rising tides are expected:

After this initial round, king tides will return on January 19th and again on February 17th. Get the complete timing on the California King Tides website.

Last year the king tide surrounded some buildings along the Mill Valley shore, closing on and off-ramps between Highway 1 and Highway 101.

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