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Massive Waves for Oregon Coast, S. Washington: Advisories Through Jan. 2

Published 12/31/2019 at 5:55 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Massive Waves for Oregon Coast, S. Washington: Advisories Through Jan. 2

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(Oregon Coast) – A variety of surf advisories have been issued for the Oregon coast and southern Washington coast, spelling dangerous conditions on beaches through New Year’s Day and beyond.

The National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Seattle, Portland and Medford have issued the warnings for southern Washington and all of Oregon beaches, with a high surf advisory in effect from Tuesday through late evening on New Year’s Day. The southern Oregon coast, however, has the advisory in effect through the early hours of January 2.

Some places – especially the southern coast – could see peak breakers of 23 feet or more on Wednesday.

On the Washington coast, the advisory is in place from Ocean City southward, including Westport, Ocean Park and Long Beach. The entire Oregon coast is under the advisory, with the south coast advisory lasting longer.

The NWS said destructive waves will wash over beaches, jetties and other structures unexpectedly. Stay far from jetties and rocky areas (like those at Depoe Bay and Yachats) as you can be swept into the ocean. Expect erosion of beaches and cliffs to take place.

The ramp at Cape Kiwanda / Pacific City was already eaten away by wave runup earlier in December and has not yet been fully repaired.

The NWS had other warnings.

“Stay well back from the water’s edge and be alert for exceptionally high waves,” the NWS said. “Keep away from large logs on the beach. Water running up on the beach can easily lift or roll logs which can injure or kill someone caught in their path. Remain out of the water to avoid hazardous swimming conditions.”

Offshore, wave height will be dropping a bit then scaling back upwards.

“Seas might subside slightly this evening and fall toward 10 to 12 ft, but by Tuesday afternoon expect seas to 13 to 17 ft and continuing that building trend towards 20 feet or higher by Tuesday night,” the NWS said.

On Wednesday, long period swells kick in – meaning the timing between swells. The NWS said the period swell starts off longer than 25 seconds, which can bring very high sneaker waves and dangerous conditions. This slowly shortens only slightly to about 20 seconds for awhile on Wednesday, leading to the sneaker wave advisories.

Offshore wave height remains somewhat high for Thursday and Friday at around 15 feet, which should still spell great wave drama along the Washington and Oregon coasts.

Storm Watch Suggestions: On the southern coast, head to high vantage points with rocky areas below, such as the Boardman Scenic Corridor. Shore Acres State Park, of course, is the big standby for massive wave action. On the northern half, places like Yachats and Depoe Bay (with its spouting horn) will be magnificent – but stay back from the surf. Other areas like Pacific City, Oceanside and Silver Point just south of Cannon Beach will be showing off as well. See Best Lodgings for Storm Watching on Oregon Coast

On the Washington coast, Ilwaco’s Cape Disappointment should produce spectacular results as well. (More storm photos below)

See Washington Coast Weather - Oregon Coast Weather
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