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Winter Storm Warnings Along Oregon Coast Range, Beaches, S. Washington Coast - Travel Issues

Published 02/28/23 at 5:32 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Winter Storm Warnings Along Oregon Coast Range, Beaches, S. Washington Coast - Travel Issues

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(Oregon Coast) – A variety of winter storm warnings and advisories are in effect for the entire Oregon Coast Range and Washington coast Willapa Hills, along with parts of the southern Oregon coast. (Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

See where the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center in Maryland said the Northwest may be in for a long cold spell into March.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued winter storm warnings through later today, but for higher elevations of the Coast Range the travel impacts won't be over for awhile.

Winter storm warnings and one freeze warning were issued by the NWS for the southern Oregon coast from Reedsport southward, as well as the entirety of the Oregon Coast Range. 2 to 10 inches of snow are set to fall Tuesday, depending on the area.

The Coast Range, Willapa Hills (as well the Columbia Gorge and areas east of I-5) are set to receive 2 to 5 inches in some lower elevations, while above 1500 feet it could be as much as 10 inches. This leaves the highways to the beaches rather sticky going in places, especially for Highway 26 and Highway 18. The latter could see more like 12 inches up top.

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“Travel could be very difficult,” the NWS said. “Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Snow levels will vary between 500 and 1500 feet due to the showery nature of the precipitation.”

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Portland, Vancouver and much of the I-5 Corridor are under similar winter advisories, but major snow events are not very likely.

However, the NWS said much of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington will see an extended run of cold snaps for the next week, with daytime highs often rising enough above freezing to keep larger towns out of trouble.

Still, the NWS said there is “higher than normal confidence that temperatures will continue to reside below normal for much of the long term, with periodic chances for low elevation snow.”

The north and central Oregon coast, along with the south Washington coast, remain in winter storm advisories along with many inland areas. That's in effect through late Tuesday, and includes Long Beach, Seaside, Oceanside, Lincoln City, Florence and everything in between.

“Snow levels will vary between sea level and 1000 feet due to the showery nature of the precipitation,” the NWS said.

For the south Oregon coast there are two layers of alerts for Reedsport, Coos Bay, Port Orford and Bandon. One is a winter weather advisory through later today, indicating 1 to 3 inches of snow perhaps much closer to sea level. The other is a winter storm warning for the same area for higher elevations over 1500 feet, with much larger inundations of snow.

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On top of all that there is a freeze warning for Reedsport down through Coos Bay, in effect until Wednesday. Sub-freezing temps 28 degrees or maybe lower are expected.

“Morning temperatures will take a hit Wednesday with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees below normal,” the NWS said. “With a 70-80% probability for coastal spots (North Bend, Coos Bay) to have freezing temperatures Wednesday morning, a Freeze Watch has been issued. After, quiet conditions return Wednesday, active weather will return.”

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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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