Dec 13, 2012 8:22 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

High tides hit the Central Coast

Extremely high tides caused flooding in some low-lying areas along the California coast today.

In Newport Beach the water covered streets and parking lots and reached dozens of homes and businesses.

The CHP closed a portion of the Pacific Coast Highway in Sunset Beach because of the high water.

High tides and low tides are both caused by the moon's gravitational pull on the earth.
Scientists say today's high tide also sometimes referred to as a king tide is a sight to see.

"They're huge and they're one right after another," said one Grover Beach resident.

"It's a predictable event; it has to do with the tug and pull of the gravitational forces between the sun, moon and earth," says Cal Poly professor, Tom Moylan.

The first thing to understand is what you are looking at when you see the ocean. The swell is the break over the open water caused by wind. Surf is how high the break is when the swell interacts with land. Finally, the tide is the bulge on the water caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and when the pull is strong, the water makes it farther inland.

"I've been watching people just pull up and watch the waves they're ominous but really mystical today," says another wave watcher.

"As the moon moves around the earth it will affect different areas," says Moylan.

That means the place on earth that has a high tide now, will have low tide in about six hours.

If you're looking for the best time to catch the view, according to scientists the tides are always highest during new moons and full moons.



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