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Large, Stormy Seas on Oregon Coast This Week, Heavy Winds Friday

Published 04/05/2017 at 6:15 PM PDT - Updated 04/05/2017 at 6:45 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Large, Stormy Seas on Oregon Coast This Week, Heavy Winds Friday

(Oregon Coast) - UPDATE: please use this story as of Thursday afternoon: Storm Warnings Now in Effect for Oregon Coast - High Surf on Friday It's going to be blustery and full of big breakers along the Oregon coast on Friday, enough so that the National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a special weather statement for the region. Wind gusts up to 50 mph are possible, but really large breakers will be the standard over the weekend, creating a show in all sorts of ways.

“A developing storm over the eastern Pacific will swing toward the Pacific Northwest late Thursday night and track from south to north off the Oregon and Washington coast Friday,” the NWS said. “As the storm nears it will likely bring gusty winds. The coast and coastal mountains areas may have gusts of 40 to 50 mph Friday morning through afternoon.”

Also in the sights of this storm: the interior valley, including Portland and Vancouver, which could see gusts up to 40 mph. Snow levels in the Cascades will also lower considerably.

Rainfall amounts of up to a tenth of an inch will be hitting the north and central Oregon coast Thursday, with highs around 55 to 60. Wind gusts will start getting higher into the 30-mile-per-hour range later that night.

On Friday, as the storm kicks in, it will be windy in the morning and afternoon, holding steady around 25 to 35 mph but with gusts up to 50 mph. Those will decrease later in the evening, but rain will be steady, creating quite a spring storm for the Oregon coast.

Saturday and Sunday are again very much full of rain, but on Monday things start to dry out a little bit. The NWS is predicting “mostly cloudy” on Monday and Tuesday, but still with a fair amount of rain. As of now, the NWS' predictions seem to point to those two days as having a good chance of the big, fat puffy clouds and sun breaks that make spring the photographically interesting time it is for the beaches.

While Friday's storm is the headline, really the bigger story is going to be the bonkers breakers through the weekend. Combined wave height will be reaching near 20 feet on some days. This will likely create some amazing sights along rocky shelved places like just south of Cannon Beach, Depoe Bay or Yachats – but the beaches may be somewhat hazardous at times.

This all starts gearing up Thursday as combined seas hit around 13 feet, but with timing around 13 seconds (which means bigger problems for ocean-faring vessels than on the beaches). After midnight, combined seas start climbing to around 21 feet, sticking around that range through Friday's windy storm. 20-foot seas with a timing between waves at around 12 seconds will likely translate to large crashes on rocky areas, and some safety issues on flat, sandy beaches. Caution is urged.

On Saturday, seas subside to a still-sizable 15 feet or so, and those winds will make for a somewhat big show along the beaches and rocky shores. On Sunday, things get crazy again with combined height up around 19 feet.

Given the slightly calmer conditions, Sunday will be a great time to photograph the large waves – but stick to safe and distant vantage points.

On the north Oregon coast, rocky areas to scope out will be Cape Kiwanda, Oceanside, Cape Meares, and the lookouts just south of Cannon Beach – especially Silver Point. On the central coast, the best rocky vantage points will be Yachats, much of the Lane County border beaches near there, Newport's Yaquina Head and most of the Depoe Bay area. A safety note about Yachats: while the Devil's Churn and Thor's Well areas are spectacular, they are considered as dangerous as any jetty. Stay far back from the water at all these spots. Where to stay for this - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours - Oregon Coast Weather

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