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Sneaker Wave Warning Extended for Oregon Coast Beyond Weekend - But More Sun

Published 03/31/2017 at 6:03 PM PDT - Updated 04/01/2017 at 5:03 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Sneaker Wave Warning for Oregon Coast This Weekend - But More Sun

(Oregon Coast) – UPDATED: Warning Extended. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a warning for increased dangers of sneaker waves on the Oregon coast, but has extended the warning beyond the weekend to expiring on April 5. This comes just as the shoreline is flooded with the largest influx of people for spring break, falling on the weekend where Washington and Oregon students have their vacations overlap.

Meanwhile, sunny conditions are picking up along the beaches as the weather holds better things in store into the weekdays.

“A west swell building in the deeper waters offshore of the Washington and Oregon coast this weekend will bring an enhanced threat for sneaker waves to the local beaches,” the NWS said. “A sneaker wave is the first wave of a set of larger waves that follows a period of relatively calm ocean conditions. The hazard caused by a sneaker wave is not necessarily related to the size of the surf, but the relative size of the water running up the beach.”

Such a period of calm before a sneaker wave can be misleading to beachgoers and cause them to incorrectly assess what the tide line is actually doing. The NWS said this puts visitors in harms way, making them believe they can get closer to the surf.

Sneaker waves can pull the victim into the cold ocean, leaving them susceptible to not only hypothermia and then cold paralysis, but also putting them at risk of being pulled into rip currents. Drowning and hypothermia are not the only danger, however: the ocean can easily move logs onto a person without warning.

In fact, these warnings come just after a Eugene teen was killed by a log moved by the ocean on the southern Oregon coast last week.

However, if you witness someone being caught by a sneaker wave, the NWS warns you should not put yourself in danger as well.

“Do not become another victim by attempting a rescue,” the NWS said. “Stay calm and call 911. If you are pulled into the ocean by a sneaker wave, try to remain calm, control your breathing, and remove yourself from the water as soon as you can.”

The warning is now in effect until Wednesday and is for the entire length of the Oregon coast.

Weather will pick up considerably at some points this week, although the beach cleanup may be a tad wet.

Saturday will be cloudy to mostly cloudy along the Oregon coast, with rain in the morning and a chance of more sprinkles later in the day. Highs are still a chilly 50 to 55. This probably doesn't bode well for those participating in the SOLVE Spring Cleanup.

The NWS said Sunday will be partly sunny with a 20 percent chance of showers and highs again in the low 50's.

Monday moves to very sunny, and Tuesday sees an increase in clouds, but highs inching up closer to 60. Wednesday and Thursday bring more clouds and some chances of rain, and Friday closes out the spring break week for Washington students with cloudy and a 60 percent chance of rain.

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