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South Oregon Coast Will See Greater Risk of Sneaker Waves Sunday

Published 11/11/22 at 4:29 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

South Oregon Coast Will See Greater Risk of Sneaker Waves Sunday

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – The southern Oregon coast will have a greater risk of sneaker waves on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The agency sent out a beach hazards statement this week, saying beaches in Coos, Curry and Douglas counties will have increased dangers on sandy beaches. (Shore Acres, Coos Bay, courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

The northern half of the Oregon coast and Washington coast apparently will have no issues this weekend, although there are some long period swells predicted, which could slightly up the chances for sneaker waves.

Sunday from morning through the early evening will have the greatest risk on the south coast.

“Moderate risk of sneaker waves expected,” the NWS said. “These are waves that have an unusually higher run up on beaches when compared to other observed waves.”

Even in calmer conditions, the NWS said, sneaker waves can dart up Oregon coast beaches rather suddenly and possibly knock people over, even pulling them out to sea.

“Shock and hypothermia can occur quickly in the cold Pacific waters,” the NWS said. “In addition, logs and other debris can be lifted and carried by the waves, crushing or entrapping unsuspecting victims underneath.”

You should avoid jetties and climbing on rocks, the NWS said. The agency also added that those visiting should stay away from the ocean and remain far back.

On the north Oregon coast, waves will be quite mellow until about Sunday. Another storm comes in from the west, pushing wave height up.

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

“This will likely push longer a period W-NW swell toward the Pac NW waters, which should arrive with heights in the 10-12 ft range Sunday night or Monday,” the NWS said.

That height is not significant, but it's getting close.

In any case, this will produce some interesting wave action along the entire Oregon coast, but especially south. Look for big waves at Shore Acres near Coos Bay, but other rocky spots may produce some entertaining breakers, such as Depoe Bay, Yachats or Pacific City. Many of the pullouts near rock-laden areas farther south, such as Humbug Mountain, could produce some dramatic wave action as well.

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