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Sneaker Wave Advisory for S. Oregon Coast; Northern Half Large Display

Published 12/05/2018 at 5:39 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Sneaker Wave Advisory for S. Oregon Coast; Northern Half Large Display

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(Oregon Coast) – The southern Oregon coast is under an advisement for powerful and dangerous sneaker waves on the beaches, while the northern half will see some larger waves but not as significant a risk. 16-foot breakers are expected on south coast beaches in areas like Reedsport, Bandon, Port Orford and North Bend.

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Medford issued the special statement regarding beach dangers, in effect from 10 p.m. tonight until Friday afternoon.

“The highest risk will be late tonight through Thursday,” the NWS said. “The threat will be highest on west and northwest facing beaches. Waves with higher run-ups can surprise beach goers, knock them off their feet, and sweep them into the ocean. Large waves will also wash over jetties and rock outcroppings that normally stay dry.”

The northern half of the Oregon coast will still witness some big breakers as well, though not quite with the same intensity as down south. In places like Newport, Nehalem Bay or Astoria, these will be cause for caution along jetties – although you should never walk on jetties no matter the conditions. Shorter beaches with cliff walls behind them, like those at Gleneden Beach, parts of Lincoln City or Oceanside, may pose risks as well.

Wave height on the northern half is expected to get around 12 feet for the next two days, but it’s that long swell period – 17 seconds in some cases – that can cause an issue for sneaker waves. The longer the swell, the greater the chance for waves out to sea to pile up together and create a sneaker wave.

All of the Oregon coast is under one kind of small craft advisory or another, with somewhat heavy winds and seas offshore.

These big waves will mean decent wave watching in rocky areas, like those around Yachats, Oceanside, Pacific City or Depoe Bay. You’ll need to stay far back from those basalt ledges, but you’ll often get a good show of breakers crashing into things.

Ocean conditions drop down to around ten feet or less in wave height on Friday and Saturday on the northern half. However, on Sunday and Monday, wave height creeps up again to around 17 feet, which will once more bring great stormy action to coastal towns. See full Oregon Coast Weather and tide info.

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