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Sneaker Wave Dangers Mon - Tues for Oregon / Washington Coast, Alerts Issued

- Updated 09/18/23 at 8:27 a.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

 Sneaker Wave Dangers Monday for Oregon / Washington Coast, Alerts Issued

(Manzanita, Oregon) – All of Oregon's coastline and the southern half of Washington's coast are under beach hazards statements for Monday into Tuesday, with the National Weather Service (NWS) saying there are good chances of sneaker waves along Pacific Northwest beaches. (Photo / graphic Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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The beach hazards statement is in effect from early Monday morning to Tuesday afternoon, from Brookings on the south Oregon coast up through the middle of the Washington coastline at around Ocean Shores. This includes the towns of Ocean City, Westport, Long Beach, Astoria, Seaside, Manzanita, Pacific City, Newport, Yachats, Coos Bay and Gold Beach – and everything in between.

It's the first sizable ocean storm for the season, with up to 13-foot seas coming onshore.

Look for some decent wave-watching out on the rocky cliff areas, although they won't be mammoth waves. Spots to check out will be Cape Disappointment, Ecola State Park at Cannon Beach, Pacific City, Depoe Bay, Yachats, Shore Acres near Coos Bay, Otter Point, Port Orford, and the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor, among others.

Sandy beaches may present dangers, however, hence the NWS' alerts. With sneaker waves possible, you could be caught off-guard and injured.

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“Waves can run up significantly farther on a beach than normal, including over rocks and jetties,” the NWS said. “These sneaker waves can suddenly knock people off of their feet and quickly pull them into the cold ocean waters, resulting in serious injury or death.”

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Stay off jetties, rocky ledges and away from driftwood logs. These can get lifted and hurt someone in an instant.

The NWS said swell-driven seas may be up to 10 to 13 feet with long period swells of 14 to 16 seconds. The latter is the determinator for sneaker waves, as the longer the timing between swells the more chances they can bundle together and come in as one big, gnarly wave.

Another weather front moves in on Tuesday and elongates the dangers.

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Above: Shore Acres State Park, Coos Bay area; photo courtesy Manuela Durson Fine Arts

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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