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Sneaker Wave, Surf Advisories on Oregon Coast; Caution on Washington Coast

Published 03/06/21 at 5:20 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Sneaker Wave, Surf Advisories on Oregon Coast; Caution on Washington Coast

(Portland, Oregon) – There is good reason to be cautious along the Oregon coast and Washington coast this weekend and early week as a threat of sneaker waves and higher surf will be present, worsening the farther south you go in Oregon.

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While the Washington coast has no warning or advisory issued, there is a high surf advisory for the southern Oregon coast, in effect from Sunday through 7 a.m. Monday morning. The upper half has no official advisory, but National Weather Service (NWS) officials from Portland are urging caution and to look out for sneaker waves on the beaches from Florence up through Raymond, Washington.

“Please be careful if on local beaches this Sunday and Monday, as the threat for sneaker waves will be high,” the NWS said in public service announcement. “Stay off logs and jetties near the surf zone and never turn your back to the ocean.”

Along the Washington coast, the NWS in Seattle said a large swell train will arrive offshore Sunday at 17 to 20 feet. This appears only to amount to some larger wave action onshore but nothing severe.

Along the southern Oregon coast, the NWS said the surf advisory is for Florence, Winchester Bay, Coos Bay, Bandon, Port Orford, Gold Beach and Brookings.

Courtesy Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium

“Hazardous surf conditions are expected as a heavy northwest swell produces breaking waves of 22 to 25 feet,” the NWS said. “Surf will be at a peak during the late evening and overnight into early Monday.”

On the northern half of Oregon – including Waldport, Newport, Lincoln City, Oceanside, Manzanita and Seaside – the NWS is wrestling with higher seas offshore and what they could mean onshore. Predictions for now are sticking to seas 18 feet off the coast. An actual advisory could still be issued.

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“Cannot dismiss more elevated seas around 20 to 22 ft, however more guidance is trending otherwise,” NWS said. “Will continue to evaluate as the event nears. With the elevated seas, there is a slight risk for high surf conditions however they are falling just below thresholds so decided not to issue a high surf advisory. If seas trend more towards the unlikely 20 ft mark, high surf conditions are possible.”

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Photo courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast (Coos Bay)

Cape Disappointment, Washington - courtesy Kris Hurl

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