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Dangerous High Waves / Warnings on Oregon and Washington Coast Tue to Thurs

Published 11/23/20 at 4:55 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Dangerous High Waves on Oregon and Washington Coast Tue, Wed

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(Portland, Oregon) – Another intense session of wild waves is coming to the Oregon and Washington coastline Tuesday and Wednesday, with the National Weather Service (NWS) in both states predicting enormous offshore swells from the southern parts of Oregon’s beaches up through the middle of Washington.

Surf advisories are in effect for Tuesday through Thursday from Florence up to Warrenton - the entire upper half. Suf warnings are in effect for the entire southern coast. Surf advisories are in effect for the southern Washington coast but not the northern half.

The NWS offices in Portland and Seattle are talking about seas in the 25 to 30-foot range and long period swells of 16 seconds or more, which translates into major sneaker wave action at the very least. It all means dangerous conditions on beaches from Brookings up through Wesport, Washington.

For the south coast, the NWS office in Medford said “steep seas will be the primary concern through the week.” Wednesday looks to continue the trend, and the NWS said hazardous bar conditions are in store Wednesday and Thursday.

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The NWS office in Portland told Oregon Coast Beach Connection these kinds of waves could mean damage to property onshore. It is also possible that structures such as hotels just above the beach could get with a wave or two.

Surf advisories were being considered on Sunday night and now they are a reality.

“Models continue to suggest a large and powerful westerly swell of 20 to 25 ft with a dominant period of 16 to 18 seconds will spread onto our coastline Tuesday night into Wednesday,” the NWS office in Portland said Sunday night. “This currently places it on the border of our High Surf Advisory and High Surf Warning criteria. Given it’s still beyond 48 hours will hold off any headlines, but this looks to be a significant surf event that will result in waves running much higher up beaches than normal and will bring a significant sneaker wave threat on Wednesday.”

Those predictions have since changed to 25 to 30 feet for wave height.

Along the Washington coast conditions will be as severe, certainly offshore.

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

“A much deeper low transiting across the Gulf of Alaska will generate a large swell that could build seas into the 30-ft range across the coastal waters late Tuesday into Wednesday,” the NWS in Seattle said. “Winds with this system are expected to increase to at least high-end advisory speeds, with some potential for gales.”

Areas such as Long Beach up to Westport now also have beach advisories, but not the northern half.

The weather along the Oregon coast clears up on Thanksgiving Day and through part of the weekend, with the northern half fairly sunny and the southern half with very sunny conditions. The Washington coast becomes mostly cloudy but with some sun.

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