Big Seas, Waves Coming to Oregon Coast Early Next Week
(Oregon Coast) – Some big waves and swells are coming to the beaches of Oregon this weekend – the first in a long while, as conditions have been abnormally calm this year. Some forecasters have talked about 20-foot swells along the Oregon coast, while the National Weather Service (NWS) seems to be speaking more in terms of 14 feet combined seas early in the week.
“A series of Pacific fronts will bring increasing seas and winds to the coastal waters into early next week,” the NWS said in its bulletin.
But what does this mean? And what is a sea swell?
When forecasters talk about an “ocean swell,” they will say things like “20-foot swells” or something. This is measured more or less in halves. Half the swell rises up above the normal flat level ocean, while the other half is a base that is lower. So a 20-foot swell means 10 feet above the normal ocean base, with the trailing half of the wave is 10 feet lower. Thus, a 20-foot swell.
Big waves near Cannon Beach.
Swells come from storms way out in the ocean, and they radiate outwards from that storm. These will show up whether or not the weather is nice on the shoreline and can range greatly in height because of whatever is going on out there.
Forecasters will also mention wind waves in their reports, which are larger waves caused by winds. When they predict a 3 to 4-foot wind wave, that happens on top of the regular swell.
Saturday, wind waves are predicted at 5 feet, with westerly swells at five feet.
Sunday, wind waves are around six feet, with swells starting at five feet during the day, then building to 7 feet after midnight.
Then the jump begins. Monday, combined seas are predicted around feet high, and Tuesday around 13 feet.
What all this means for the beaches is plenty of erosion and maybe some fairly large waves to watch.
In either case, it spells lots of caution, according to Seaside Aquarium manager Keith Chandler. He said you'll want to stay off small beaches that don't allow you lots of room between you and the tide, especially those beaches that don't allow a quick exit.
“You'll want to be able to get out quick if you need to,” Chandler said. “Some of the worst storms our the first of the season.”
Keywords: Weather, Oregon coast waves, Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats and Florence.
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