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Colorful, Secret Marvels of One Season on Oregon Coast And Why (Video)

Published 12/17/22 at 5:35 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Colorful, Secret Marvels of One Season on Oregon Coast And Why (Video)

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(Oregon Coast) – There's a curious dichotomy about spring on the Oregon coast. The season itself is a bit of a secret, in many ways ignored and left behind. This time of year, some things happen you can't normally find any other set of months, all of which contain some intriguing beach and weather science people are still largely unaware of. Sure, spring break brings out the the throngs, but in April and much of May those same crowds have lost interest. (All photos and video copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection except when noted otherwise)

That is when things start to get really interesting. In fact, it may sound heretical to many adept photogs of the Oregon coast: that time of year is actually the most photogenic.

More importantly, it's what spring creates along the coastline that's still a secret. What should be the buzz is glossed over or simply unknown. There's about half a dozen wowing factoids and aspects of the place that create sights you can't see any other time of year.

In fact, April is likely the most photogenic month on the Oregon coast – and few seem to know that.

Those sights comprise this photo essay and one video.

Among them is this moody moment snapped at Cannon Beach one April (at top). There's not simply one storm bringing but more than two. There's dark, foreboding clouds looming between the camera and the Terrilble Tilly lighthouse, and yet you can see incoming squalls behind it, along with a splash of sunset jutting through.

This isn't something you see in winter much – at least with these rich pastels. And winter doesn't usually see storms cycle through as quickly, interspersed with glowing places in the sky.

Onto Depoe Bay in early summer, in June. These unique conditions can cause the entire atmosphere to become painted with magnificently wild colors.

Monstrous, rolly-polly clouds have made quite the scene in Astoria in this photo.


At Lincoln City, the clouds bent and pinched out astounding columns of light during the last moments of the day. It's a trippy trick of light and particles called crepuscular rays.

At Manzanita, the sun mixes with brooding springtime conditions to create these mind-bending sights. The wet sand seems like a glass encasing and it almost feels like you're about to walk into the sky.

Just up the road, at Cape Falcon (between Manzanita and Cannon Beach), such awe-inspiring sunset shots are not unusual for this time of year because of the meteorological aspects that join together in spring.

Nearby, this video shows more of these unique colors heading down this route.

In Oceanside, in this shot taken one June, the thick clouds and even thicker, humid air can cause memorable sights like these. Notice how the sunset has painted the waves some intriguing colors as well.

Spring weather means a lot of vacillating back and forth between stormy and sunny conditions. Sometimes these weather fronts don't get along and they create some ear-shattering lightning.

Here, above, is a shot from around Pacific City in 2003, where the lightning-filled clouds were painted by the sunset in a kind of angry shade of pink. Meanwhile, thanks to the meek appearance of the sun in between these massive squalls, a rainbow struggles for its existence among these dominant colors.

In Rockaway Beach, as seen during one particularly stunning spring day in May, the fluffy but slightly angry clouds have caused the scene to be painted a soothing pastel. This kind of look is found more often in spring as well.


More pastels and brooding clouds have taken over the north Oregon coast hotspot of Seaside here.

Down on the southern Oregon coast, at Coos Bay's Shore Acres State Park, the spring attraction isn't necessarily the colors as much. Even through May, the unruly hotspot can create these gargantuan breakers. Photo courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

Are you guaranteed to find this all the time in spring on the Oregon coast? No. But your chances are much greater, thanks to the way weather systems operate from March through at least June. See here for the science of spring.

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