2018 to begin with rare New Year’s king tide

Hawaii will ring in 2018 with a rare New Year's king tide

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Just a few hours after Hawaii rings in the new year, the state will see a rare New Year's Day king tide.

And it's forecast to be a remarkably high tide, since it's happening when the moon is closest to the earth.

A north swell is also expected to further exacerbate the effects of the tide, which could worsen erosion along the North Shore.

"It's going to be a high, high tide," said Gail Grabowsky, an associate professor of environmental studies at Chaminade University.

The tide is set to peak at 3:54 a.m. on Jan. 1.

The New Year's Day king tide comes after a year of the exceptionally high tides, which have heightened awareness statewide about rising sea levels.

King tide is not a scientific term, but popularly used to describe the highest tides of the year.

And the high tides come as communities statewide are grappling with worsening erosion that's eating away at beaches and threatening homes.

Ocean experts and policy makers have been studying the tides and erosion as they try to plan for a 2 to 3 foot sea level rise within this century due to climate change.

Just this month, a state team estimated government and private property owners will have to spend $19 billion to protect coastal homes, highways, facilities and businesses.

"People who live in low-lying areas or near oceans, we're all starting to notice," Grabowsky said. "Hawaii is on the forefront of this."

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