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Severe Oregon Coast Range Snow Watch; High Winds, Flooding on Coast

Published 02/11/2019 at 3:23 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Severe Oregon Coast Range Snow Watch; High Winds, Flooding on Coast

(Oregon Coast) - In a sudden change since early Monday, a winter storm watch is now in effect for the Oregon Coast Range from 6 p.m. Monday through late Tuesday night. Accumulations may be up to two to six inches – although the National Weather Service is saying confidence is still low about that kind of event.

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The Oregon coast is also under a high wind warning and a flood watch until late Tuesday. Then, huge waves arrive over the weekend.

Much shifted in the overnight hours with the National Weather Service’s (NWS) predictions. At 3 a.m., the agency was still saying snow events would be over for the region, which included Portland and the Willamette Valley. But early this morning all that changed.

The NWS is saying heavy snow is possible in the coast range, with as much as a foot falling on the higher elevations. Travel could get difficult and the NWS said you should carry chains if heading over the passes to the Oregon coast, especially early Tuesday.

Still, confidence is not high this will happen.

“There is high confidence in heavy precipitation tonight and Tuesday, but low confidence for the snow levels,” the NWS said. “Rainfall totals of 1 to 4 inches are possible for the coast and inland valleys. The combination of low-elevation heavy rain and snowmelt may result in localized small stream and urban flooding.”

The current forecasts from the NWS for the Oregon Coast Range indicate rain and then snow after 7 p.m. tonight. Much the same forecast is for Tuesday, although little to no accumulation is expected. Some more snow is possible before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, then the pattern returns to straight rain for the week.

Overnight lows only get to 31 or 30, while daytime highs are around 41.

A high wind warning goes into effect for the Oregon coast from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday.

“South to Southwest 25 to 40 mph with gusts to 65 mph,” the NWS said. “Strongest wind on beaches and headlands.”

Minor flooding is possible along some of the rivers in northwest Oregon, from the coast to Portland. There is a flood watch in effect from 7 p.m. to late Tuesday night.

“Heavy precipitation Monday night through Tuesday will likely fall as rain at lower elevations, although uncertainty remains about the snow level Tuesday morning,” the NWS said. “Rainfall totals of 1 to 4 inches are possible for the coast and inland valleys. The combination of low-elevation heavy rain and snowmelt may result in localized small stream and urban flooding, along with flooding along a few rivers and creeks in the Willamette Valley Tuesday and Tuesday night.”

Some fairly heavy wave action is headed for the Oregon coast as well. Monday will see combined seas of more than 15 feet at times, lowering a bit to 13 feet and then a bit lower than that on Wednesday.

Thursday, they pick up again to around 14 feet, and then some really big waves swoop in on Friday at around 23 feet – possibly around 27 feet. They lower to about 21 feet on Saturday. This could spell some beach warnings or advisories over the weekend, but certainly good stormwatch action along rocky spots like Yachats, Depoe Bay, Oceanside and south of Cannon Beach.

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