Coastal Areas Will Face Record ‘Sunny Day’ Flooding in 2024 — NOAA

Eight locations along the nation’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts experienced a record surge in high-tide flooding days last year, a trend intensified by rising sea levels and weather patterns that El Niño is expected to escalate in 2024, NOAA said Tuesday.

Coastal communities are expected to face three times as many high-tide, or “sunny day,” flooding instances through next April, compared to two decades ago, agency officials said in a press call.

How Will La Jolla Fare in the Next El Niño? Infrastructure, Sea Lions and More May Be Impacted by Storms

With the sun finally emerging recently after a cool, wet winter and early spring, the storms that may lie ahead next winter aren’t what most people want to think about. But meteorologists are forecasting that an El Niño year is probably coming, bringing more storms, and La Jolla and other coastal communities may need to brace for impact.

Coastal Cities Plan For Sea Level Rise

In Pacifica, beachfront properties and houses on worn-down cliffs are devalued and could ultimately be destroyed by flooding and erosion. In Half Moon Bay, properties sit farther away from the ocean due to zoning that largely designates bluffs as open space. One thing the two cities have in common: As sea levels rise in San Mateo County, Highway 1, beaches, trails and important infrastructure are threatened. 

Both municipalities are in the process of revising their local coastal programs in response to sea level rise. Pacifica approved a draft to send to the California Coastal Commission on Monday.