For the next few days ocean tides will be much higher ( and lower) than they typically are due to a phenomenon called “King Tide”‘. These tides are popular among surfers as they create the best conditions for the sport. Some people use the very low tides to explore areas of the beach that are normally always underwater, a metal detector could turn up something cool.
So where do these King Tides come from? Well how these tides work is actually pretty amazing. Our orbit around the Sun isn’t a perfect circle, it’s actually an elliptical orbit. As the Moon travels around Earth it also travels in an elliptical orbit. This means that at certain points in our orbit around the sun or our moon’s orbit around the Earth, we are closer and farther away. When we are closest to the sun we call this point, the perihelion. When the moon is closest to Earth we call that point the perigee. When we are closer to the moon or the sun this causes us to see a greater influence from these celestial bodies on our tides.
Every once and a while the sun will be at perihelion and the moon will be at perigee at the same time, or very close to the same time. This causes the greatest posible influence on our tides (King Tide). We are closest to the sun in January and usually within the first week, we are farthest from our sun in July.