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Sneaker Waves a Possibility Over Weekend on Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

Published 02/28/2020 at 4:48 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Sneaker Waves a Possibility Over Weekend on Oregon Coast: Use Caution

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(Manzanita, Oregon) – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has put out a statement that sneaker waves are a possibility on the northern half of the Oregon coast and the southern Washington coast, although it is stopping short of any advisory or warning. The NWS office in Medford does not believe that is an issue for the southern half of the coastline, although it’s predicting fairly large swells offshore as well.

The NWS in Portland said the bulk of these larger waves won’t arrive until later Saturday so they are not yet sure how big the waves will actually be. Stronger warnings or advisories still could be issued, but so far not yet.

However, they did put out a beach safety statement on social media.

“If you’re headed to the coast this weekend, be aware of an enhanced threat for sneaker waves both Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to give the ocean a little extra room and keep an eye on the waves. Stay off of jetties and stay away from logs on the beach.”

Along the Washington coast, conditions are similar, according to the NWS out of Seattle.

“Wave heights build to 15 ft Fri evening and then hold in the 12 to 14 ft range Sat,” the NWS said. “There is an increased risk of sneaker waves with the long period swell Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning. Seas fall below 10 ft late Sun night, but then build again Tuesday. Seas are expected to stay around 10 to 12 ft past Tuesday night.”

The Medford office acknowledged the large waves and long period swells, but said the “equation was not there” to indicate waves would be building on each other and creating sneaker waves. The means the areas south of Florence – including Winchester Bay, Brookings, Bandon, etc. - should not be affected.

In any case, it will be a rainy and fairly windy weekend on the Oregon coast. Sunday brings partly cloudy conditions, but otherwise cloudy is the general rule for the week up and down both coastlines.

Combined seas offshore in the teens should put on a decent show over the weekend in rocky areas along the entire Oregon coast, such as Oceanside, Yachats or Shore Acres. Beachcombing should be quite interesting starting early in the week, especially as waves subside to 10 feet high or less. See Washington Coast Weather - Oregon Coast Weather
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