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First Storm of Season for Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) - It's been glorious weather most of the month on Oregon’s beaches, and early October now aims to spill a good dose of rain and knock some stuff around with marine winds on Friday.
The first "storm" of the season is set to hit the Oregon coast on Friday and Saturday, bringing gusts up to 50 mph hour on the beaches and maybe up to 70 mph on the headlands. Lots of rain is expected, and sea swells may reach up to around 21 feet.
KATU-TV (Portland’s channel 2) meteorologist Rod Hill said things will indeed get a bit stormy. "There’s a likelihood there will be wind warnings issued for the coast on Friday and Saturday," Hill said. "From about 5 p.m. on Friday to about 5 p.m. on Saturday, there’s a good chance for gusts up to 50 mph almost every hour."
Hill said the best chances for the 60 to 70 mph gusts on the headlands will come early Saturday morning through approximately 1 p.m. that day. Some sizable gusts are expected for the Portland area as well.
The National Weather Service and WeatherChannel.com both call for highs around 58 on Friday, with occasional rain. Winds will increase to between 34 and 37 mph, and the chance for rain is 90 percent. Saturday may clear up a little eventually, with mostly cloudy skies and a slightly lesser chance of rain.
Combined seas will build to 15-foot swells on Friday, increasing to 20 feet or so later that night and on Saturday.
Hill said the winds are the cause of the big seas and high tides won’t be much of a factor.
“It’s going to be mostly wind,” Hill said of the storm. “But there will be some pretty good rains. That’s something coastal residents are pretty used to. The good news about this storm system is that the extreme rains will be heading down south along the jet streams towards California. So there won’t be any flooding.”
Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium, is among those coastal residents who aren’t batting an eye at the news.
“So we’ll get a few days of rain,” he said, laughing. “So we won’t have to water our lawns this week.”
Chandler was a bit surprised about the storm, however. “I haven’t seen any signs in the surf,” he said. “Usually the surf gets pretty big just before a big storm.”
The storm means good things for tourists who want to catch a bit of oceanic drama. But it also calls for caution, as 21-foot waves may spell the need for a high surf warning from officials.
Chandler wasn’t sure if those kinds of swells would be dangerous or not, or if a high surf warning would be issued under those conditions.
“You should always use caution on the beach,” Chandler said. “A good rule of thumb I use is that if you can count seven rows of incoming waves, don’t go on the beach. Those waves can pile up and make big, dangerous sneaker waves.”
The storm doesn’t mean the end of the glorious “second summer” that the coast has been having, as that kind of weather typically lingers until mid-October. But Hill said the first week of October usually makes for a change.
Weather patterns often linger in two-week increments in the northwest.
“This wet pattern we’re seeing now will probably be around for a week or two,” Hill said. “Then a dry weather pattern will be around for another week or two after that. It doesn’t mean the end of nice weather for the coast, but statistically the records show a drop-off after the first week in October.”
Chandler said that in most years, the coast’s second summer weather sticks around well into October, even if there are wet, cool phases the area goes through. So don’t give up hope on more of the gorgeous conditions that have typified coastal weather recently.
"Often the coast’s good weather happens in places many people don’t expect it, either," Chandler said. “It sticks around in October. Remember July and August? Summer sucked here. And June was downright blustery. Then we had September’s weather.
“I’ve been golfing on Christmas Day quite
a few years. We have some great weather during the wine walks here in
November almost every year.”