NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- This Sunday, researchers and volunteers across Hampton Roads are gathering to record the highest tide level of the year, which is known as the King Tide.
Some believe tracking this tidal event will help predict the impact of flooding in the future.
Jeff Orrock with the National Weather Service says with global warming, sea level rise is happening faster now than in years before.
"We are issuing more flood warnings and things now since 2010 than we were back in the 1980's."
Orrock says higher sea levels are already causing destructive storm surges and frequent tidal flooding.
"So much so that what is seen as the highest tide on record now may not be in years to come," he explains. "Eventually it's going to get to the point where waters are going to really start creeping in and making certain areas impassable and inaccessible at times during tidal flooding."
On November 5, the Earth, moon and the will sun line up and create the highest tide of the year: the King Tide.
For a region surrounded by water and prone to tidal flooding, experts say this event will help give them important information regarding the rising sea level.
See Also: Help catch The King!
Researchers like Doctor Derek Loftis with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, are using the King Tide as a teachable moment.
"[We want to] collect data to not only map the King Tide, but better understand what the tidal extent will be on the 5th," he says.
The data will be collected with a smartphone app called Sea Level Rise. The app, which was created by a company in Norfolk, will record GPS coordinates as they trace flooding on land.
Both Orrock and Loftis say that by itself, the King Tide won’t do much damage.
"It may not produce a massive amount of flooding without added rainfall or winds," says Loftis.
But it will give scientists and emergency planners an idea of what the highest tide looks like now, as the sea continues to creep ashore.
13News Now is partnering with the Virginian-Pilot, the Daily Press and WHRO Public Media for the King Tide.
Check out these interactive flood maps for projected flood heights and exact times the tide will hit your community.
First, download the Sea Level Rise app so you can map the flooding and take photos!
Android: Sea Level Rise
Second, sign up to volunteer! We need all the help we can get.
Join our open Facebook group where you can engage with others in the area interested in taking part in the event and where you can more information from us and our media partners
Facebook group: Help Catch the King Tide!
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