Astounding Record Rains on Oregon Coast; Wild Waves and Winds
(Oregon Coast) – Record rainfall was the new normal all across Oregon this weekend, but the Oregon coast especially saw some wild weather. High winds up to around 70 mph in some places, a few power outages, some striking lightning storms and a high surf advisory were typical along the beaches.
The month of September saw a record 10.51 inches of rain in Astoria, as of Sunday. The all time highest for September in the north Oregon coast town was 8.66 inches over 100 years ago in 1906. This was, keep in mind, the area Lewis & Clark camped out in 100 years before that, reporting that it rained all but a few days of the three months they were there.
Over the weekend, one of the highest rainfall amounts was recorded at Tillamook with 6.84 inches over the period starting at 10 a.m. September 27 through 8 a.m. this morning. Heceta Beach, between Florence and Yachats, received 3.44 inches of rain. Newport came in at 3.36 inches in that same period. (Above: Lincoln City in a storm).
Marys Peak near Corvallis, in the coast range, had an 87 mph gust. Mt. Hebo's highest gust was 75 mph (near Pacific City). Those elevations were well above 1,000 feet, however.
Closer to the ground on the central Oregon coast, Florence saw a peak gust at 63 mph and Yachats had 62 mph. Newport's Yaquina Bay Bridge had 65 mph.
The big news for the region was SOLVE's Beach Clean Up getting canceled at nearly the last minute because of dangerous tide and wind conditions. This was the first time this had happened in the 30 years of the twice-yearly volunteer event. SOLVE said it will be reschedule the event soon.
Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium, said this was a wise choice, having seen some fairly hazardous conditions on the beaches. He said a lot of debris was coming in off the ocean and someone could've easily been hurt.
In Manzanita, San Dune Inn owner Brian Hines said this storm had surprisingly not dented business too badly over the weekend – and for a surprising reason.
“Weekend business was good, although not completely full, and as always the fair weather campers gave up and sought the home comforts of motel life,” Hines said. “As for the storm watchers, who knows. Think that is part myth, part reality. More people stay away because of the lack of sun than come here because of the rain.” (Above: Cannon Beach area in a storm).
Chandler, who lives in Astoria and commutes to Seaside every day, was witness to quite the storm sight early on Sunday – something that seemed right out of J.R Tolkien.
“There was this huge lightning storm and dark clouds as I was going to Seaside on Sunday,” Chandler said. “I thought I was heading into Mordor. I expected to see a giant eye.”
Chandler said wild surf conditions still exist today – Monday – describing the ocean as a “boiling cauldron of death.”
These kinds of storms are highly unusual for Oregon and the coast at this time of year. Normally, late September is typified by what is called the “Second Summer” on the beaches, as this is the warmest and least windy time of year in that region. Weather is expected to greatly improve this week with some bouts of sun and calm conditions. See more Oregon Coast here. More Oregon coast weather.
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