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Washington Coast / Oregon Coast by Satellites, and Some So-So News About Snow

Published 02/27/23 at 4:22 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Washington Coast / Oregon Coast by Satellites, and Some So-So News About Snow

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(Oregon Coast) - Things do indeed get a long more interesting the farther up you go. (Above: courtesy Seaside Aquarium).

Oregon Coast Beach Connection sampled a few satellite images from both NASA and the National Weather Service (NWS , / National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and each are showing some wondrous new views of the coastlines as well as the inland areas, especially during this period of stubbornly-lingering snow storms. The data goes even deeper the

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more you delve, and there's a bit of surprising news in all of this, regarding just how long this record-breaking mess may stick around.

Currently, the forecast for metro areas like Portland, Eugene and Seattle indicates roads should remain clear for the next week or so, going into March. However, the Oregon Coast Range will continue to be a handful with snow hitting those higher elevations for awhile, well beyond Wednesday, with an inch to six or more inches per day for a good week.


The coastlines will remain largely untouched by futher powdery stuff.

The NWS Climate Prediction Center in Maryland is showing some disappointing news for the west coast, with the 6 to 10-day temperature outlook showing below normal temps through perhaps even March 6 or so. As per the Center's graphic, you see this region – minus the bulk of the Washington coast – have an 80 to 90% chance of staying below normal for March.

Digging into NASA satellite imagery from the NASA Worldview satellite, you encounter the stunning image from February 24 of all the snow that had dumped along the Oregon coast, Washington coast and areas just east of there such as Seattle, Portland, Eugene and Ashland. It's a fascinating look at all that hit the ground.

Image: NASA WorldView (Washington)

Here, the satellites' captures were divided into two images: one of the Washington coast and one of the Oregon coast on February 24. This is still when cloud cover was yet not present, and you could see the vast expanses of Oregon and Washington covered in the fluffy stuff.

At the bottom of the Washington coast image you see the line of the Columbia River. At top the Olympic Peninsula is fairly covered in white, though more so the farther away you get from the coastline. Around the Long Beach Peninsula it returns (skipping the Grays Harbor area), and gets thicker along the western Columbia River.

Image: NASA WorldView (Oregon)

The Oregon image from February 24 shows a much, much thicker blanketing through the entire Coast Range, as well as along the coastline. There are heavy amounts on the northern and southern coast – but with a break about where the Oregon National Dunes Rec Area is.

All the way down the south coast you see the outward curve of Cape Blanco and again at Gold Beach. At the very bottom, there's the extending land of the Crescent City, California area – the final “outward bump” in the photo.

Daytime images take some time to get loaded onto the NASA site, so the next available snap was of February 25, as Oregon Coast Beach Connection cruised the interface in the early minutes of February 27.

Take a look at the same satellite images from the following day, February 25. The Washington coast and most of the nearby inland have lost the majority of snow. It's gone altogether from Long Beach.

In the Oregon snap, there's considerably more than to the north, but it's thinned quite a bit. The hole at the top – just east of Portland – has grown and uncovered areas like Woodburn.

The most marked difference comes on the south coast around Coos Bay and Bandon: the 25th shows both areas almost clear of anything.

For a truly stark comparison for all these, take a gander at the NWS satellite image from February 15. There's almost nothing in the way of snow on the Coast Range, much less anywhere other than the Cascades.

The NWS also presents some impressive tech with the CIRA/NOAA satellite system, using GeoColor Imagery. There is this moving loop of the West Coast, showing plenty of weather activity late on February 26 into midnight (the time embedded is for UTC, which is eight hours ahead of this region).

The blue objects are lower level clouds dumping moisture. The gold blobs are city lights, and the thin, white masses are upper level clouds.

During daylight, this would show more true color of areas like the Oregon coast or Washington coast.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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