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Storm Update: Monster Waves and Winds for Oregon / Washington Coast; Many Warnings

Published 12/26/22 at 11:05 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Storm Update: Monster Waves and Winds for Oregon / Washington Coast; Many Warnings

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(Astoria, Oregon) – Give it a minute and things just may change with this set of storms hitting the Oregon coast and Washington coast. A whole new set of conditions along with various warnings from the northern tips of Washington down through Brookings have been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). Winds up to 85 mph are likely for some areas, and incredibly high surf at 20 feet to 35 feet is set to clobber much of the Pacific Northwest shoreline. (Graphic above: Oregon Coast Beach Connection. Cape Disappointment shot courtesy Kris Hurrl; Shore Acres courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast)

For the largest chunk of beach towns, from the middle of the Washington coast down into the central Oregon coast, there is a flood watch in effect on December 27, a high wind warning for tonight through Tuesday evening and a high surf warning in effect tonight through Wednesday.

It will be very important to stay off all beaches Tuesday.

“A rapidly strengthening storm will produce storm force winds which will cause extremely large breaking waves peaking at 25 to 30 feet and dangerous conditions along beaches and area shorelines,” the NWS said. “Waves will inundate beaches and surge into normally dry areas. Infrastructure damage and significant beach erosion can be expected.”

The NWS said some of this is happening because high tides are coinciding with large offshore wave height. Northern Washington's coastline, closer to Forks, won't experience conditions that are as dramatic.

Storm Update: Monster Waves and Winds for Oregon / Washington Coast; Many Warnings
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That section of coastline from Raymond down through Florence may well be worse than predicted, the NWS said.

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“Then 30 to 40 feet expected later tonight through Tuesday night,” the agency said. “The highest waves will occur during the day Tuesday. For the Coastal Flood Watch, coastal flooding possible late tonight through early Tuesday evening.”

On the southern Oregon coast, the high surf warning is in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday, affecting the beaches of Coos Bay, Bandon, Gold Beach and Brookings. Waves up to 32 feet are expected there, with southern-facing areas like Port Orford getting hit harder.

High Wind Warning Northern Half of Oregon Coast, Southern Washington Coast: this is in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday, with gusts 65 mph to 80 mph possible. This includes Seaside, Manzanita, Pacific City, Newport and Florence; in Washington it stretches from Long Beach through Westport.

“Strongest winds will be on exposed beaches and headlands, with timing of strongest winds from 8 am to 2 pm Tuesday,” the NWS said.

These warnings also include the Willapa Hills of Washington, the Oregon Coast Range and coastal routes over them.

High Wind Warning for South Oregon Coast: this is in effect until Tuesday morning, bringing gusts up to 75 mph. An Oregon Coast Beach Connection reader already said the Gold Beach area is getting seriously smacked around Monday night. Astoria had a high wind gust at 70 mph earlier.

Beaches in Washington and Oregon calm down considerably after Wednesday, making for an excellent time to head out and look for local erosion, interesting debris and maybe agate beds.

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