What is High Tide Flooding?

High Tide Flooding, also known as nuisance flooding or sunny day flooding and is coastal flooding that occurs at high tide and interrupts day to day activities leading to a public inconvenience such as road closures, and overwhelmed storm drains. A combination of sea level rise and land subsidence is leading to more frequent tidal nuisance flood events in our coastal communities. Higher than normal tides typically occur during a new or full moon and when the moon is in a perigee or during specific seasons. We are most likely to experience nuisance flooding during the winter and spring. In 2018 Cambridge, Baltimore and Annapolis tied or broke the record for days recorded of high tide flooding. NOAA issues a seasonal high tide bulletin to report regionally when higher than normal high tides can be expected. Local conditions such as precipitation, wind direction, and other short-term meteorological events may lead to nuisance flood events.

High Tide Flooding

Capturing Tidal Flooding

High-tide floods, also known as nuisance floods, sunny-day floods and recurrent tidal floods, occur “when tides reach anywhere from 1.75 to 2 feet above the daily average high tide and start spilling onto streets or bubbling up from storm drains”

Use local tide predictions to plan your time on the coast. Did you know that…

  • Tracking tide heights and times is essential to planning a perfect day anywhere on the water.
  • The best clamming happens at low tide! Head out when the tide is approaching low to clam through low tide and part way through the incoming tide, depending on the depth of the area.
  • Tidally driven floods—also known as sunny day floods—are becoming more common. Knowing when these tides are predicted will help you stay dry and safe.

How to Check Tides

Check Local Tides

  1. Search for a location or zoom in to select the nearest tide station.
  2. The chart generated under ‘Upcoming Tides’ will display the times and predicted heights for the next month of high and low tides. New to tide charts?
    • Tide height is the height above Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW)—the daily low tide level averaged over a 19-year period. It doesn’t tell you how far up the shoreline the water will reach. In many places, even a small increase in tide height impacts many activities!
    • The accuracy of predicted tides may vary depending on your distance from the tide station and local weather conditions.

Click here to learn more about tides and water levels.

Click on a Station

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All heights shown relative to Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW): the daily low tide level averaged over a 19-year period.

Tides Today
Observed Predicted water level Report time
Upcoming Tides

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Be Tide Smart

Sea levels are rising faster in Maryland than other parts of the world, and tidal flooding is here to stay. Being tide smart can make or break a trip to the water—or your daily commute. Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Check local tides here or by downloading the MyCoast App for tide info on-the-go.
  2. Upload photos. We want to see your pics of high tides, rain-based flooding, storm damage and their impacts.
  3. Sign up for local flood alerts on Nixle to get emergency advisories texted to your phone. For more robust flood alerts by email, sign up for the Stevens Flood Advisory System.
  4. Be prepared before floods happen. Know your evacuation route and leave when told. Do not drive, walk, or swim through floodwaters. Remember: Turn around, don’t Drown!
  5. Know your risk. Maryland tides are getting higher and storms are more intense. Learn more about your future vulnerability to sea level rise with NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer. Remember that most homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, leaving your home or business unprotected. Get flood insurance.
  6. Have an emergency kit and a family plan. A plan and an emergency kit help you to be ready for the unexpected and reduce your stress in a flood—or in any other kind of emergency. Learn more here.