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Still Some Big Wave Action Along Oregon Coast But Gone by Weekend

Published 12/28/22 at 5:45 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Still Some Big Wave Action Along Oregon Coast But Gone by Weekend

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(Oregon Coast) – After some mammoth waves and winds along the Oregon coast and Washington coast, the region is shaking loose those over-25-foot waves. Not all the crazed action is completely over, however, with wave height returning to the 17-foot range briefly on Wednesday and Thursday on the southern Oregon coast. On the north Oregon coast and southern Washington coast, waves will around 13 feet over those two days, with a possible brief spike above that. (Graphic above: Oregon Coast Beach Connection. Cape Disappointment shot courtesy Kris Hurrl; Shore Acres courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast)

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting wave height to still be quite active at sea and on the shorelines, and more so down south – from Reedsport southward.

13-foot waves won't cause any hazards on the beaches, but it will still make for great storm action along rocky areas like Cape Disappointment in Washington or the ledges of Depoe Bay and Yachats. These are expected to stick around until later on Thursday night when they subside, leaving Friday maybe up around 15 feet high but then dropping to below ten feet over the weekend.

Still Some Big Wave Action Along Oregon Coast But Gone by Weekend
Cape Kiwanda, Oregon Coast Beach Connection

For the southern coast, it may still be an adventure. With wave height coming onshore at around 15 to 18 feet at times over Wednesday and Thursday, the dangerous part will come with the dominant period between swells, which will be about 13 seconds. A longer timing between waves means the energy can pile up offshore and you get more sneaker waves.

None of this will be like the chaos of 25- to 35-foot waves seen earlier this week, but sneaker wave advisories may be issued for the southern coast. This, plus high winds offshore, are cause for small craft advisories, however, and other dangers relevant to mariners.

Still, even for areas north of Florence and into Washington, early Thursday could well see a bit of a resurgence.


Storm damage in Seaside this week, courtesy Angi D Wildt Gallery

“Seas will also rebuild during this time an are expected to build toward 14 to 17 ft,” the NWS said. “Conditions are expected to subside rapidly behind the front with calmer winds and seas expected by Thursday afternoon.”

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For the southern Oregon coast, NWS is hinting at more tidal craziness offshore for that area beyond Friday.

“Although there will be a relative break Wednesday, seas will remain steep until the next front arrives Wednesday night into Thursday, with another round of gales and very steep seas possible,” the NWS said. “Active weather will continue with additional weaker fronts expected through this weekend.”

Places to be on the southern coast between now and Thursday include Shore Acres near Coos Bay, Bandon's viewpoints, and any other area with many sea stacks close to shore – such as Arizona Beach. Remain up on high viewpoints, however, to watch the waves. Do not enter the beaches during these conditions.

When all is calm after the weekend, some areas of Oregon and Washington's coastline should have good gravel bed exposure, which means many agates.

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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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