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Spectacular Stormy Seas This Weekend on Oregon Coast; Surf Advisory

Published 01/20/2017 at 5:29 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Spectacular Stormy Seas This Weekend on Oregon Coast; Surf Advisory

(Oregon Coast) – A lively and probably spectacular set of stormy seas are coming to the Oregon coast this weekend, with the National Weather Service (NWS) issuing a high surf advisory along half of the western U.S. coastline. This, in turn, will bring some great finds along the beaches and safer conditions to look for them as the skies clear a little this coming week.

The high surf advisory is in effect from 4 a.m. Saturday to 7 p.m. that night, for the entire length of the Washington coast and the Oregon coast. Waves up to 23 feet with a dominant period of 18 seconds are expected. But the big waves will go all weekend.

A “dominant period” in wave height for marine forecasts refers to the time between the largest waves. If the time is short, this generally means rougher conditions while at sea. But if it is a long period like the 18 seconds in this forecast, it means these waves are bigger when they hit the beach, and there will be more of the larger waves.

The NWS said to avoid walking on many features along the Oregon coast.

“Avoid walking on jetties, rocks, coastal cliffs and along the water's edge,” the NWS said. “Waves may rise unexpectedly and sweep you into the turbulent and frigid waters. A high surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.”

Late on Saturday, wave height will diminish slightly to around 16 feet and 16 seconds, but rising again to combined seas of over 20 feet on Sunday and more long dominant wave periods. This again means not just large waves but a higher frequency of them on the beaches.

Monday, seas drop slowly to around 19 feet, then dropping down to ten feet on Tuesday.

Winds along the beaches and headlands are expected to be sizable as well. Lots of rain and winds around 20 mph will be common on Saturday, but peak gusts will be up around 30 mph on Sunday and maybe Monday.

Meanwhile, some clearing will be happening along the Oregon coast for the rest of the week, which is looking at mostly cloudy to partly sunny through Friday. This will bring calmer conditions and seas, which will in turn will make it a prime opportunity for beachcombing. Stormy seas like this will likely bring plenty of odd and fun finds, both alive and inanimate.

A fair amount of erosion should take place, which will most likely lead to good agate hunting along many sandy spots. See here for more beach safety – see here for beachcombing possibilities.

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