'Best Summer Ever' on Oregon Coast Likely to Continue Two Months
(Oregon Coast) – The statistics are backing it up. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Even the National Weather Service has some substantial facts to back it up (above: it's been bikini and cabana weather in Cannon Beach as well as the rest of the coast).
This is not only the sunniest summer in recent memory on the Oregon coast, it’s likely to continue through into the middle of October.
“Basically, people seem to agree this is the best summer weather in Neskowin ever,” said John Forsythe, owner of Proposal Rock Inn in Neskowin. “Since the weather in the valley has not gotten into the upper 80's it has translated into low wind, low fog and clear skies down here. Just ideal. Maybe two or three semi-cloudy days since about July 8.”
Forsythe is onto something. Those kind of mellow conditions in the valley do help keep the coast warmer, and they form the basis of a distinctly attractive phenomenon called the “Second Summer” on these beaches – one where September and October have the most inviting weather of the entire year along the coast.
The National Weather Service (NWS) and plenty of other weather reporting agencies are predicting similar conditions to last through Labor Day, which means the coast will likely stay bright, sunny and warm through that time.
Then, as September comes around, you can count on runs of really exceptional weather via this Second Summer. This likely means the Oregon coast will experience mostly beautiful weather straight through into the middle of the October.
At the National Weather Service office in Portland, senior meteorologist Treena Hartley acknowledged the forecast calls for similar conditions on the coast through Labor Day.
“Doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon, so I think it's safe to say,” Hartley said.
Second Summer usually lasts until the middle of October, sometimes longer. While Hartley couldn’t predict the coast would remain in that pattern throughout the early fall, past years have shown that time of year does have more low winds and sunny skies than any other time of year.
A good example is last year, in 2010, when the coast had just a handful of sunny days during July and August, a dismal, cloudy period that snagged the nickname “the bummer summer.” But when September and October rolled around, the Second Summer fun kicked in.
All this could translate into primarily sunny, dry and warm conditions for the next two months. Rain and clouds will likely appear sometime in September and October, but usually those two months remain mostly lovely.
Susan Burr, general manager of Lincoln City hotel Inn at Spanish Head, said they have been keeping logs of the weather all summer. Indeed, since August 1, every day has been logged as sunny.
“Every day, with the exception of August 4th, which was described as ‘cloudy, moderate’ - which indicates clear,” Burr said. “I'm betting there was some sunshine that day, too.”
Conditions now are quite similar to those that create that coveted weather in early fall: the temperature differences between the coast and inland Oregon are less, thus allowing winds from the east to permeate.
However, Hartley said the difference between now and the patterns of early fall is that this area has been receiving a series of weather systems that allow warmer east winds to linger at the coast.
The small difference in temperatures between inland and the beaches has been one factor, but not the largest.
“A bigger factor has been the upper level troughs we’ve come through,” Hartley said. “It’s all tied in, because that’s kept inland temperatures kind’a cool. Because when the inland temperature warms up a lot, the temperature differences between the two get more onshore winds and that creates lower cloud cover that stays there forever. We haven’t been getting that.”
Hartley said the upper level troughs and other systems keep coming, letting the prime conditions remain.
The north coast, from Manzanita and Cannon Beach northward into the Washington coast, has been experiencing more clouds than the central or south coast. But almost uniformly these cloudy moments have been earlier in the day and the clouds burn off in the afternoon.
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