Warm Weather Draws Masses to Oregon Coast and Green Flash
(Oregon Coast) – It may not be packed, nor filled with “no vacancy” signs, but the fine weather on the Oregon coast did draw bunches to the beaches, especially Wednesday as it felt like spring. Some this week got to witness enormous waves turn into exceptionally calm seas and even sunny skies, along with the pleasant surprise of the mysterious “green flash at sunset.”
The coast was actually generally warmer than inland during much of the week – not unusual for winter in Oregon. At 9 p.m. Wednesday, Cannon Beach registered three degrees warmer than Portland: 49 degrees to Portland’s 46.
This resulted in a small exodus of visitors to the beaches early Wednesday, as sunny skies typified much of the day around the Cannon Beach area. The Tolovana area was packed with beachcombers, many with dogs, as was Manzanita’s beach about 20 miles to the south. Oswald West State Park’s parking lots were visibly busy with beachgoers, hikers and surfers.
The Inn at Cannon Beach reported eight people staying on Monday night, seven the next night, and Wednesday saw a bump up to ten people staying there. This tiny rise in room nights has led some to believe most were day trippers to the coast.
Brian Hines, owner of San Dune Inn in Manzanita, received no guests on Wednesday, adding to that likelihood.
“There were definitely more tourists than locals,” said Shawn Lamunyon, who works at Warren House in Cannon Beach. Lamunyon said the dinner rush wasn’t as busy Wednesday night as Tuesday, but there was a difference in where the clientele was from.
Meanwhile, Tuesday revealed one of those wild wonders only the coast can create. The famed “green flash at sunset” made an appearance as the sun went down in Seaside.
The phenomenon usually appears as a tiny tip of the sun appearing green just a few seconds or a split second before it’s gone, but it can also show up on one part of the sun’s sliver, or as a kind of halo around it at times. Each one is very different. There are other types of flashes that appear in slightly longer periods or other colors such as red, violet or blue.
This effect is the result of refraction in the atmosphere. In very simplified terms, longer bandwidths of light get knocked out by atmospheric conditions until you’re left with just green – or whatever color is the result of this situation. Basically, the path between your eye and this portion of the sun are filled with just the right conditions to cut out these colors coming from the sun.
Weather is supposed remain nice on the coast for most of the next few days, giving Hines hope for the weekend. He’s already received numerous reservations.
“We’ve about half full right now for the weekend, which isn’t bad at all,” Hines said.
Thursday’s forecast calls for overcast conditions but temperatures around 54. Some sprinkles are possible.Friday calls for rain and highs in the 50’s, and Saturday will slow down to periods of rain and similar temperatures. Sunday will be as warm but with some sun amidst the clouds.
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