Look for Warm Weather Wonders of Second Summer on Oregon Coast This Month
(Oregon Coast) – Summer may be over in the minds of many people in Oregon, but the warm season has really just begun on the Oregon coast. September and October are known as the “Second Summer” along the shoreline because this is when things are at their most sky-blue, their warmest and the calmest. (Above: Oceanside)
Thanks to an interesting intersection of weather patterns and what's called the “shoulder season” in terms of tourism, the beaches are at their most inviting right now. Temperatures are warmer than in summer, there's less wind, and lodging prices begin to drop.
This famed Second Summer phenomenon is also becoming more and more well known, so not all the beaches and lodgings are bereft of people as they once were. All this isn't lost on locals, who say it's the best time of year. Among them is Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium.
“This time of year is why many of us live here,” Chandler said. “The crowds have gone and we’ve got these warm beaches mostly to ourselves. It kind of makes me want to ask you to not say anything about it.”
It happens almost like clockwork, though not every day is guaranteed to be balmy and sunny. But the science behind it is very real, and so are the stats. It usually sticks around through the middle of October, and then things start to turn towards the wetter weather patterns of fall. (Above: Cannon Beach)
Because the valley has cooled off a bit and the Pacific Ocean has been warmed by summer's heat, this evens out the temperature differences between the two areas. In turn, this allows warmer air flows from the east and from California to help warm things up even more. This leveling out of temperatures also decreases upwelling, which in turn decreases wind.
Meanwhile, less differences in temperature kill out that phenomena that sucks in unevaporated air off the ocean, which is the mechanism that gets the beaches so foggy during the summer.
Ironically, this is when kids have to be back in school. But many families have caught onto this phenomenon and weekends in September can be almost as packed as summer weekends. Prices for Seaside lodgings really don't go down until late in September because of this, and other hotspots like Cannon Beach and Lincoln City are starting to catch on. Smaller towns like Depoe Bay, Manzanita, Yachats, Rockaway Beach and even Pacific City still can drop considerably. (Above: Yachats area)
A good rule of thumb is that the more expensive the place, the more it will drop in price. Less expensive hotels or motels will drop less.
Weekdays, however, mean very sparse crowds but very inviting temperatures. In fact, close to the tide line, along the actual beaches, is where it can be the warmest. Because the ocean is so reflective it sends more heat your way when you're on the sands. Couple that with less winds and you've got a recipe for balmy conditions on the beaches – and a serious need for suntan lotion.
See more about the Oregon coast here, including some of the other interesting pleasures this time of year, like what sand levels are doing.
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