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Travel Over Oregon Coast Range / Washington's Willapa Hills Improves, Ice Clears Saturday

Published 12/23/22 at 6:35 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Travel Over Oregon Coast Range / Washington's Willapa Hills Improves, Ice Clears Saturday

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Just for a little while longer, travel to and from the Oregon coast and south Washington coast will remain a problem and then clear up fairly quickly in the morning. As Oregon and Washington's arctic freeze issues dissipate, Mother Nature is looking to lob some major rainstorms at us – including flood issues and huge high tides on the coastlines. (Photo of Hwy 26 Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

As of 6 p.m. on Friday, black ice is still a problem on various parts of the Oregon Coast Range, including Highway 26 to Seaside, Highway 6 to Tillamook and Highway 18 towards Lincoln City. After a small bout of ice and snow, the north Oregon coast and south Washington coast towns of Long Beach, Seaside, Manzanita and Tillamook have warmed right back up and have been clear today (Friday).

However, Thursday night saw various areas along the Oregon coast shut down due to accidents or heavy ice – such as at Neskowin, near Cannon Beach and parts of Highway 26 close to the 101 junction.

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

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The Columbia River Gorge is essentially still closed for awhile as of Friday night, and will likely be among the last to thaw out.

The National Weather Service (NWS) is saying just about all of that is behind the coastal regions, with the Coast Range passes and Willapa Hills near the Washington coast warming up quite a bit overnight. By morning it will be in the 40s, rainy and no longer throwing ice pellets on the road.

A NWS meteorologist told Oregon Coast Beach Connection they can't speak to road conditions themselves, but that which has been causing the ice and other issues will be gone. There may still be some iffy spots in the higher elevations for awhile on Saturday.

Snow in Astoria, photo courtesy Angi D Wildt Gallery

The NWS has a freezing rain advisory in effect for the Coast Range until 2 p.m. Saturday, but it's likely that will be gone early in the day.

“Slow down and use caution while traveling,” the NWS urged.

Thawing out of the whole northwest region will take place at a decent rate, with temps warming overnight from south to north. Portland will get above freezing in the morning on Saturday.

Saturday is the last day of King Tides on the Oregon coast and most of the Pacific Ocean part of the Washington coast. Offshore waves themselves will be fairly mellow, so not much will be added to those high tides.

However, from the Washington coast down into the southern Oregon coast, seas will be building to dangerous levels from Sunday through Wednesday. Most areas from Raymond all the way down to Brookings will be seeing combined seas at around 15 feet or higher on Sunday, building even more for the next few days, sometimes seeing over 30 feet in some areas.

This all happens after the King Tides events.

Coastal flooding will be an issue for both coastlines at times, as tidal action will be compounded by enormous amounts of rain.

Full story on these new developments soon.

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