Sun-Drenched Oregon Coast Not Unusual for February
(Oregon Coast) - There's a glut of extra lovely weather on the coast, and it has Peg Leoni, owner of Trollers Lodge in Depoe Bay, beaming and upbeat.
“It’s spring,” Leoni said. “We’ve got daffodils and tulips blooming. There’s no wind to speak of. It’s been really nice.”
According to the weather station at the motel, it reached 66 in Depoe Bay on Thursday, while weather officials around the state announced that Newport had the highest temperature that day, at 64.
But what she’s talking about is no real surprise to serious weather nerds on the coast – who have nicknamed this rather regular phenomenon “the Mini Spring of February.” It happens a lot this time of year, making parts of February warmer than even many days in summer, and certainly warmer than the rains that usually hit around the misnomer known as spring break.
This mini-spring has made its appearance numerous days this month already, and the warm temps and blue skies are expected to stay through the weekend, changing to something a littler rainier on Tuesday.
Friday will be close to 60 with little winds and sunny skies. Saturday is predicted to be in the mid-50’s with lows in the 40’s at night. On Sunday, a few clouds will roll in, but it will stay mostly sunny with similar temperatures. Monday, there is still more sun than clouds.
Every year, the weather statistics show six to ten days of extremely nice, spring-like weather on the beaches during February. They aren’t consecutive days – they’re scattered throughout the month – and this doesn’t always happen in great numbers each year. But in between the storms and the calmer rainy days, there’s often more than a sprinkling of blue skies and nice vibes in the winter than Oregonians are probably aware of.
Lorna Davis, Tourism for the Newport Chamber of Commerce, said that “mini-summer” of February is really spectacular.
“It’s always really weird,” she said. “It’s so warm. There’s always about six days of really banner, balmy weather in February. Then you can turn around and have a half a foot of snow in early March.”
Many areas of the United States will experience this, including inland Oregon. By this time of year, Oregon has gone through the early sunsets and the dark and wetter days. February begins to get over that hump, and the days are getting longer. That added sunlight heats up the weather just enough.
When those clear days of late happen – and it’s not all the time, that’s for certain – they’re colder in the valley because of the east winds bringing colder air. Basically, cold air settles in the valley. But on the coast, weather is automatically more moderate because it’s next to the ocean, which is about 50 degrees, keeping things from straying too far away from that temperature. Because of this you get a lot of days on the coast more around 50 in the winter, while the valley regions are much colder and more winter-like.
In the summer, this same element keeps the temperature down.
The coast range also blocks the cold air dynamics from the east, helping to keep the moderate temps trapped near the seashore.
Another large dynamic this year is the El Nino phenomenon, making the inland warmer as well.
Leoni said she’s familiar with this pattern of lovely weather in February. “Although it’s been off and on,” she said. “It’s been rainy, then sun – and sometimes all in one day. Usually by the Newport Seafood and Wine weekend we’ve got flowers blooming. But that 'cause it’s milder here than in the valley.”
Leoni noted that when she and her husband Rick took over the motel in February of 1999, there were flowers blooming then.
In Manzanita, San Dune Inn owner Brian Hines didn’t think it was as warm as some others did. “There’s not much wind,” he said. “But when it’s sunny it’s chillier than when it’s raining out here. But it’s beautiful, and people are responding. There was a beautiful sunset and clear blue skies today.”
Hines noted he’s almost full for the weekend already, as visitors have picked up on the sun-drenched weekend possibilities.
“This whole winter’s been good,” Hines said. “Other than a cold spell in December - beyond that it’s been mild.” More Oregon coast weather....
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