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South Oregon Coast High Surf Advisory: Waves Up to 35 ft., 'No Safe Beach' Says NWS

Published 09/25/23 at 7:47 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

South Oregon Coast High Surf Advisory: Waves Up to 35 ft., 'No Safe Beach' Says NWS

(Bandon, Oregon) – Storms are truly a brewin' as a high surf advisory was just sent out for the south Oregon coast, with breaking waves 22 to 25 feet. The National Weather Service (NWS) said there is even a possibility for waves 35 feet or higher to break on the southern shoreline.

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The NWS issued the high surf advisory for Reedsport down to the California border, in effect until 5 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday).

While this means dangerous beach conditions, it also brings excellent storm watching to places like Bandon, Humbug Mountain and the Coos Bay area's Shore Acres.

However, the NWS reinforced this message with a rather spooky warning about staying off all beaches on the south coast:

“There will be no safe area along area beaches during this time,” the NWS said on its website.

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Farther up the coast, the upper half of the Oregon coast and much of the Washington coast will be seeing wave height almost as large, with waves offshore at around 20 feet high later tonight and through the early a.m. hours of Wednesday.

There have been no warnings issued for those areas, in spite of a long period swell – which often causes sneaker wave dangers.

For areas like Coos Bay, Reedsport, Bandon, Gold Beach, Port Orford and Brookings, the warnings are more stern, however.

“Large breaking waves of 22 to 25 feet,” the NWS said. “Occasional breakers may exceed 35 feet. Large breaking waves will create hazardous conditions along and within the surf zone, and could inundate beaches and low lying shorelines. Beach erosion is possible, and exposed infrastructure may be damaged.”

Waves will be sweeping over jetties with sizable force and range, so stay far from those. The NWS said normally dry areas will get hit with waves, so you'll need to be extra careful.

The advisory expires at 5 p.m. Tuesday, but somewhat large waves will remain on the south Oregon coast and as far as the Washington coast for much of the day Wednesday.

Catch massive wave displays will be easier, however, you'll need to stay far back and up high. Places like Bandon, Port Orford's higher vantage points or Shore Acres will be incredible viewing, but only safe from up high.

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Storm waves in Ilwaco at left, Shore Acres at right

Shore Acres, courtesy Manuela Durson Fine Arts

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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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