County of Marin - News Releases - High Tides Predicted

For Immediate Release
December 10, 2015

High Tides Predicted Through Holiday Season

Travel plans could be affected, so consider weather and alternate routes

San Rafael, CA – High-tide flooding is expected in Marin County starting next week, and the County of Marin’s Department of Public Works and the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District are teaming with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to urge residents and visitors to stay informed of changing conditions and research how high tides might affect travel plans.

An archive photo of a flooded Manzanita Park and Ride lot in the Tam Junction area.An archive photo of flooding at the Manzanita Park and Ride Lot in the Tam Junction area just off Highway 101 in southern Marin (Provided by Caltrans).

Caltrans said it expects flooded roadways due to high tides between December 18 and December 28. Drivers are encouraged to consider using alternative routes, avoid driving through ponded water, and allow extra time for trips, especially during peak times of holiday and commuter travel. Check for latest traffic and transit information; the California Highway Patrol's traffic webpage and CHP Marin's Twitter feed are also excellent resources for drivers. Note: Caltrans closed the lower half of the Manzanita Park and Ride Lot and all nearby Shoreline Highway street parking in the Tam Junction area starting Monday, December 7.

The accompanying chart includes predicted high tides at or above 6.5 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) through December 31 at the San Francisco gauge, as provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. (KT = king tide)

Monday, December 21, 7:38 AM (KT)

6.5 ft.

Tuesday, December 22, 8:25 AM (KT)

6.7 ft.

Wednesday, December 23, 9:11 AM (KT)

6.9 ft.

Thursday, December 24, 9:56 AM

6.9 ft.

Friday, December 25, 10:41 AM

6.8 ft.

Saturday, December 26, 11:24 AM

6.6 ft.

King tides occur when the earth is closest to the sun and when the moon’s orbit is closest to the earth, thereby causing a strong gravitational pull on surface water. Normal tides can still be significant even when king tide conditions are not present.

Marin has a number of known tidal flood-prone locations where tidal water impacts roadways.

Mill Valley

  • Shoreline Highway at Highway 101, including Manzanita lot
  • Miller Avenue at Richardson Bay
  • Camino Alto at Miller Avenue
  • Redwood Highway Frontage Road (West)

During extreme high tide events, tidal flooding is also known to occur at the following locations:

  • Greenbrae – Lucky Drive East at Corte Madera Trailer Park; Lucky Drive West at High Canal approximately 700 feet west of Fifer Avenue
  • Marin City – West of Highway 101 and east of the ramp, approximately 850 feet north of Donahue Street
  • Novato - Binford Road between Atherton Avenue and Airport Road;  Harbor Drive in the Black Point area between Grandview Avenue and the Highway 37 entrance ramp
  • Santa Venetia/San Rafael – Meadow Way approximately 200 feet north of Vendola Drive
  • San Rafael – North San Pedro Road, 500 feet east of Park Entrance Road
  • Stinson Beach – Calle del Arroyo, 200 feet west of Shoreline Highway
  • Point Reyes Station – South of the intersection of Shoreline Highway and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard; Whitehouse Pool, approximately 400 feet  east of Bear Valley Road

The National Weather Service has advised that El Niño conditions are already present and are likely to continue through this winter. The latest precipitation outlook for December through March indicates that Marin has a greater than 40 percent chance of receiving above normal precipitation. El Niño may increase the frequency of nuisance flooding.

Flood control zone-specific updates regarding maintenance, storm preparedness and responses are provided at Learn about how you can prepare for flooding on the Flood Control District’s flood preparedness webpage.


Hannah Lee
Senior Civil Engineer
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-2671
Email: Hannah Lee
Public Works website