Strange Days Indeed: More Wind for Oregon Coast, Snow for Passes
(Oregon Coast) – More big winds are in store for the Oregon coast tonight and Wednesday morning, and as that front passes through the area it will bring lowering snow levels to the coast range. The end result is a high wind warning for the Oregon coast and a winter weather advisory for the highways to the coast – both for Wednesday from 3 a.m. until the afternoon hours (above: snow this morning at Tillicum Campground near Yachats, courtesy PamperingCampers).
The National Weather Service (NWS) said the northern half of the Oregon coast is under the high wind warning, in effect for towns such as Astoria, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport and Yachats. Wind gusts reaching as high as 60 to 70 mph on the headlands and beaches are possible, while general winds of 30 to 40 mph are in store for the communities themselves.
That wind warning is in effect from 3 a.m. on Wednesday through 5 p.m.
Stormy Cape Kiwanda
This is not as a large of a storm that hit the Oregon coast and coast range Monday, which brought 80 mph gusts in some places and then resulted in a strange and sudden snowstorm for the coast.
“The next in a series of storms is expected to impact the Oregon coast late tonight through Wednesday,” the NWS said in a bulletin.
The NWS also issued a winter weather advisory for travel along the coast range – primarily Highway 26 and Highway 6 – from 3 a.m. on Wednesday until noon. Snow will kick in some more overnight, possibly as much as two to four inches. The roads will become icy and somewhat hazardous in the early morning hours. You may be best advised to avoid travel on the coast range highways through those hours.
No snow is expected for the Oregon coast, however.
Snow levels will go from 1,000 feet overnight back up to around 2500 feet by noon.
Tillicum Campground snow - courtesy PamperingCampers
This is not entirely welcome news for coastal residents and travelers who have already had to deal with six to eight inches of snow, power outages and chaotic road conditions throughout all of the late afternoon and evening hours on Monday, especially after getting hit with 70 to 80 mph gusts along chunks of the coast in the morning. Many on the central coast lost power, numerous trees were brought down, the top of Cape Foulweather became a skating rink full of downed trees and wrecked cars, and some businesses were damaged by the snow.
Steve Pierce, president of the Oregon chapter of the American Meteorological Society, said this one-two punch was quite unusual for March.
“This storm will likely go down in the record books as one of the largest coastal snowstorms in the month of March ever recorded at some locations,” Pierce said. “Records date back to the late 1800's along the Oregon coast. The last coastal snowstorm of this size in the month of March was in 1951 when between 4" and 8" inches of snow fell. What is even more rare about this storm is the fact that within 12 hours bewildered coastal residents went from 50 degrees with hurricane force wind gusts to 32 degrees and 6" of snow. All of this taking place just a week before the official start of spring."
Keep an eye on Oregon Coast and coast range conditions here.
Crazed waves at Arch Cape, near Cannon Beach
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