Hawaii’s May 2017 king tide was HUGE. These are my Hawaii king tide observations.
King tides aren’t an unusual phenomena. But, with rising sea levels combined with a king tide and a south swell, Hawaii experienced some unusual ocean action over the past Memorial Day Weekend. Now, I didn’t actually go looking for differences. Mrs. Island Miler and I were staying in Waikiki, so I just made observations where and when it was convenient.
Hawaii had two king tides so far this year. According to the Honolulu Magazine, April’s king tide was the highest in 112 years at 9 inches above normal sea level. News reports were saying the tides were so high that the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki was nearly overflowing. Parts of Waikiki Beach even disappeared!
My Hawaii King Tide Observations
We were staying in central Waikiki near the International Market Place (review coming soon), so we stuck to the beach near that area.
The stairs over there? They lead up onto the Sheraton Waikiki’s property. Normally you can safely transit this area, but with the king tide and south swell, the area became pretty risky. There was nearly no chance of getting through without getting at least a little wet. And to minimize your chance of getting swept away, you really had to time your run for the stairs. Sheraton did have employees posted there to help you out, but there’s only so much they could do. Especially since some waves would go all the way up to the pink or the Royal Hawaiian Hotel too.
Up on the walk way fronting the Sheraton Waikiki, this is the type of action we saw. The waves were constantly splashing up onto the walkway, so you really had to time your transit here too or you’d get SOAKED. Some waves were even splashing their way onto the cabanas around the Sheraton Waikiki’s pool. It was pretty crazy!
Here’s some video I grabbed with my iPhone too.
Hawaii King Tide Observations Final Thoughts
The king tides we witnessed were the second occurrence of 2017. There will be at least two more king tide events over the next couple of months, though whether or no there will be a swell at that same time remains to be seen. If you’re planning on traveling to Hawaii, during June 23-24 or July 21-22, be sure to pay attention to local news sits like the Honolulu Star-Advertiser or Hawaii News Now. These outlets will be your best sources of what to expect. And if high tides with high waves are being forecasted for the area you’ll be visiting, it might be a good idea to adjust your schedules to accommodate the conditions.
For some professional pictures that better portray some of the effects of the king tides, check out the Honolulu Magazine’s article. You may also check out the University of Hawaii’s page for even more pictures, king tide predictions, and related information.