Frozen Oregon Coast? Surprises Could Lurk on Beaches This Week
(Oregon Coast) – The coming days are calling for seriously chilly temperatures around the state, including the Oregon coast. But since the days will be clear, you should find some incredible sunset colors along the beaches the serious surprise of sand that will be, well, a bit different. (Above: icy patches on Jump-Off Joe, Newport).
If there is a bit of rain or enough moisture, as predicted, those below 30-degree temps on the coast will yield frozen sand. If that happens, and conditions look pretty good for it to do so, you're in for a slightly surreal experience on the beaches you haven't had before. Even your dog will be startled.
Have you ever walked on the beach and it started crunching beneath your feet? Well now is your chance, if not. It doesn't act like regular sand when it's frozen with water covering it. It's stiffer than normal sand, it feels packed a little harder, and your footsteps form ice prints on the strand. You'll find eye-catching, angular patterns as the ice is broken in the sand, too.
Aside from the experience, it can have an unusual shimmering, even glittery look to it. After dark, with a flashlight, the beaches definitely glitter in a particularly dreamlike way if frozen over. (Above: frozen spots near the tide in Manzanita at night).
Keep in mind, it's not snow on the ground – and that is not predicted for the beaches.
Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium, said it's definitely a unique experience.
“It doesn't act like regular sand,” Chandler said. “If there's moisture on the ground, or if it's rained on the beaches, and then it freezes, it's really weird.”
Your dog may be the most fun to watch, he said, especially if the pup already knows what sand usually feels like.
“It freaks them out,” Chandler said. “They kind'a don't know what to do or what to make of it. They're used to sand flying up when they hit the beach.”
Temps are predicted to get low enough to freeze the sand, even during the day. It's more likely that will happen later at night and still be that way in the early morning, however. It won't take rain, necessarily. A good frost covering the beaches or just a lot of ocean moisture will do the same thing.
Another fun aspect of the cold weather week: vibrant and intense sunsets. These have already happened plenty of times this week along the Oregon coast, with social media getting filled with powerful blasts of color, partially thanks to the crisp qualities of the air. The forecasts are calling for mostly sunny conditions in these coming freezing days as well.
Winter sunsets often have a weaker quality, but given the clearer air you'll find some immensely striking colors there.
Above: Lincoln City on a frozen night. Below: a seriously surprising winter sunset in Lincoln City..
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