180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.
Weather Shockers for Oregon Coast: Mini Summer of February
|Seaside on a balmy, sunny day in February of 2004
(Oregon Coast) –
Winter on the Oregon coast isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
in February. The truth about this part of late winter is that there are
a surprising amount of really nice, even warm days on the coastal region,
with its temperate climate generally making it even warmer than the valley.
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This is all statistically
speaking, and each year is different, of course. But there’s often
more than a sprinkling of blue skies and nice vibes in the winter than
you’re probably aware of. By February, there’s even a kind
of secret miniature summer tucked away near the end of winter.
These runs of winter
goopy slorp either chase valley visitors away or draw them in to watch
the tidal drama. But if you’re looking for a break from the rains
and cold, the coast is often the place to look to during this. There are,
on average, about ten or more days with no precipitation, little or no
clouds, and almost no winds.
|Newport from above
It’s in February
where the real shockers begin. There’s what is nicknamed the “mini-summer”
scattered around the month, with something close to 10 days – on
average – of exceptionally warm, sun-filled weather that mimics
nice summer days.
Lorna Davis, Tourism
for the Newport Chamber of Commerce, said that “mini-summer”
of February is really spectacular. “It’s always really weird,”
she said. “It’s so warm. There’s always about six days
of really banner, balmy weather in February. Then you can turn around
and have a half a foot of snow in early March.”
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than a little science behind it, too. KATU-TV meteorologist Rod Hill said
this is not all that unusual, except that on the coast, the moderate climate
element can heighten the glorious weather factor.
“In fact, a
lot of areas of the country have that,” Hill said. “By this
time, you’ve gone through the early sunsets, dark days and the wettest
three months of the year. February is over that hump.
“The days are
have been getting longer for five weeks and you’ve added enough
daylight hours so that the weather is warmer. You get that much daylight
increase and you start to get a climate shift.”
When those clear days of late happen – and it’s
not all the time, that’s for certain – they’re colder
in the valley because of the east winds bringing colder air. Basically,
cold air settles in the valley. But on the coast, weather is automatically
more moderate because it’s next to the ocean, which is about 50
degrees, keeping things from straying too far away from that temperature.
Because of this you get a lot of days on the coast more around 50 in the
winter, while the valley regions are much colder and more winter-like.
In the summer, this same dynamic keeps the temperature down.
Rockaway Beach. All rooms at the Tradewinds Motel are immaculate
and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones with data ports.
The oceanfronts all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen,
cozy firelog fireplace and a private deck. Some oceanfront units
come with all those amenities but the kitchens. Both types sleep
up to four people. Others are appointed with a queen bed, small
fridge, and coffee maker – sizable for a two-person romantic
getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. There is an elaborate
oceanfront Jacuzzi suite that has two bedrooms, coming with a kitchen,
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N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
The coast range also
blocks the cold air dynamics from the east, helping to keep the moderate
temps trapped by the seashore.
|Heceta Head Lighthouse, near Florence
Statistics also back
this up – just look at an almanac that displays weather averages
for the coast and the valley. These indicate a trend throughout the whole
winter that shows the Oregon coast often getting less rain than the valley
– a myth that is overdue to be busted.
One statistic you’ll
find says that the average percentage of cloudy days in Astoria in the
month of January is 66 percent – meaning 66 percent of days in January
were cloudy and not so nice in Astoria. Yet in Portland, the average is
68 percent of days in January were cloudy.
The average for Portland in December was 70 percent cloudy
conditions through the month, while the north coast experience only 64
percent of those kinds of days. February was a dead tie at 63 percent.
While that’s no surprise to any amateur or professional weatherman,
other statistics show the coastal region as being much warmer in February.
|Intriguing weather floating above Arch Cape
Weather data collected
over the years by the Hatfield Marine Science Center also backs this up.
It fortifies another bit of local wisdom about weather trends as well:
things tend to get a little drier and nicer in winter until you get a
host of really nice days in February.
According to the Hatfield's
web site, http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/weather/summaries/index.html,
you can see an increase of pleasant days over the three months.
Cape Property Services.
Dozens of homes in that dreamy,
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Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with
a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces,
decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials
that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com
If you look at December
2001, there were five days where there was zero precipitation, and a total
of five days where there was only about a tenth of an inch of rain. Temperatures
were usually in the low 40's and winds were around 28 mph. While none
of the data indicated anything about whether it was sunny or not, it’s
a safe assumption that there was at least some sun among those dry days.
Only two days rained over an inch, and temperatures throughout that month
ranged from 47 to 54 degrees.
The following month, January of 2002, had a total of seven
days that had a tenth of an inch of precipitation or none at all. Two
days were at 60 degrees, but these had winds of around 50 mph and precipitation
of two inches, however.
|Above Manzanita and Nehalem Bay
In February 2002,
a total of eleven days had zero rain, and four had .02 inches or less.
Highest wind gusts on those days ranged from 19 to 30 mph, and temperatures
on these days were generally in the low- to mid-50's. Half the month was
less than .02 inches of rain or less.
Fast forward a year. According to the Hatfield site, six
days in December of 2003 had either zero precipitation or less than .02
inches (nearly nothing). All these happened after the 15th, and were in
the 40 and 50 degree ranges.
In January of 2004, February of that year continued the
legend, with ten days mostly in the low 50's and less than .02 inches
of rain. Winds were 20 mph or less on these days. Two days were about
60 degrees, however. Most of the other days had half an inch or less of
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Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com.
And who can forget
the incredible dry/warm spell of February and March of 2005?
In short, it means most years have the same pattern: by
February, you've often got almost two weeks of no rain and somewhat spring-like
temperatures that beat that stereotype of nasty coastal weather.
Slightly warmer than winter in the valley? You bet. And
the data from these years - and other years - seems to show a general
tendency that corroborates the locals.
“Every month brings really different weather,”
Davis said. “It’s not just storms during winter and fall,
but there are instances of glorious weather.
“It’s full of incredible opportunities. Like
whale watching in winter. It might be crisp and cool, but it will be blue
skies and the coast will be clear. You’ll have unencumbered travel.
If there’s great weather predicted in summer, Newport’s population
of 10,000 jumps to 30,000. But if the weather is nice in winter, you’ll
just get some traffic. Tourists are looking for an authentic experience,
and the coast has it this time of year. Besides, you’ll want to
scoop up the lodging discounts and two-for-one specials.”
as typical as it is not typical, if that makes any sense. These days do
happen. You just don’t know when.”
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Getting a free,
fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the beginning. Every room
is beachfront, and it's all right up against Lincoln City's most
famous stretch of beach, next to the D River. Each room, comes as
a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and balcony or patio. Some
have gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players with movies available
for renting (and movie rentals come with free popcorn). There's
a heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night.
Rooms sleep anywhere from two, four to six - including a deluxe
fireplace suite. Gift certificates are available, and they offer
special occasion packages as well. To make a reservation and see
a virtual tour of the rooms, visit our website at www.dsandsmotel.com.
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
City Vacation Homes
There’s something for everyone
among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with a view
to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are either oceanfront
or just a few steps away from the sand – all with a low
bank access and fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area;
one is close to the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies,
depending on the home: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers,
Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s
a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments.
Pets are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes with
complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away from home.
Most have the seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85
to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. It's Lincoln City’s only
resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms
- nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach.
Enjoy dining in the penthouse restaurant and bar - whether you’re
in the mood for a casual meal or a candlelight dinner. They offer
an array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest
favorites, including a decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from
bedrooms to studios to one-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators
to full kitchens. Hotel amenities include wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise
room and a year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game
room and easy beach access. Full-service conference and meeting
rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive, gorgeous wedding
possibilities. Near the south end of Lincoln City at 4009 SW Highway
101. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com
Oregon Coast Tourism Stories of 2006 Strange fish,
big storms, paranormal articles and plenty of natural fun topped the
Storm Watch Spots on Oregon's Coast Tips for some
stunning viewing of the wild waves of the season
Float Giveaway Begins on Central Oregon Coast Newport
starts its glass float extravaganza, with numerous other wonders
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Wines and Wine Bars on the Oregon Coast Wine shops
and wine bars are a growing part of coastal tourism
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
Coast Lodging Specials
BeachConection.net's 800 pages
Coast Real Estate
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Where the Columbia
meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of
atmosphere & history
Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries
& an art mecca
beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside,
Netarts and Pacific City
A spouting horn
downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling
bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix
of the rugged & upscale
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles
and miles of fluffy dunes
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weekly updated info on lodgings and accomodation reviews, see
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