Highest Tides of Year to Hit County Beaches This Week

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The highest tides of the year will wash ashore on Orange County beaches this week, but because of mild surf and weather conditions no serious damage is expected and only minor precautions are being taken, authorities said.

Lifeguards said they will patrol the beaches and monitor the surf but will not set up sandbags or retaining walls to impede the encroaching tide.

Newport Beach has closed storm drains on Balboa Peninsula to prevent backwash from flowing into the bay, authorities said.

Some flooding might occur in Sunset Beach and Balboa Peninsula, but the damage is expected to be minimal. "We're not too worried about these tides," Huntington Beach Lifeguard Mike Bartlett said.

Two forces are coming together to cause the unusually high "spring tides," said meteorologist Coralie Cushny of WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times. First, there is a new moon which naturally draws the water level higher, and second, the moon is nearest to the Earth in its rotation of the Earth--a phenomenon called perigee, she said.

In Newport Beach the predicted high tides are:

Today, 9:31 p.m., 6.8 feet.

Friday, 10:17 p.m., 6.9 feet.

Saturday, 11:09 p.m., 6.2 feet.

In San Clemente the predicted high tides are:

Today, 9:29 p.m., 6.9 feet.

Friday, 10:16 p.m., 6.7 feet.

Saturday, 11:06 p.m., 6.3 feet.

The previous highest tides occurred Jan 10., when the earth was at perihelion, the point nearest the sun in its orbit. Tide was 6.7 feet in Newport Beach and 6.8 in San Clemente. Figures for Huntington Beach were unavailable.

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