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Warm, Sunny Skies for Washington / Oregon Coast - But Also Sneaker Waves

Published 01/25/22 at 4:36 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Warm, Sunny Skies for Washington / Oregon Coast - But Also Sneaker Waves

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(Oregon Coast) – Another few days of sunny and sometimes almost-warm temps are in store for the Oregon coast and Washington coast, while the south Oregon coast has a greater threat of sneaker waves on Tuesday. Sunny skies will stick around until about Saturday, bringing daytime highs into the mid 50s in parts of Oregon's shoreline but colder up on the Washington coast. Winds will be generally fairly light, which will make for a balmy effect directly next to the ocean. (Above: Port Orford. Courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

For the southern coast, there is a heightened threat of sneaker waves from the afternoon through late evening, according to a Beach Hazards Statement put out by the National Weather Service (NWS).

There, a long period between swells kicks in, which can cause waves offshore to pile up together and build considerable energy.

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“Even during calm conditions, sneaker waves can sweep up the beach without warning and knock unsuspecting people over and pull them out to sea,” the NWS said. “Shock and hypothermia can occur quickly in the cold Pacific waters. In addition, logs and other debris can be lifted and carried by the waves, crushing or entrapping unsuspecting victims underneath.”

For the northern half of the Oregon coast and southern third of the Washington coast, the NWS has said on social media there is also a greater threat of sneaker waves throughout the week, although it did not elaborate on the timing between swells. The agency also issued special statements for these areas.

Meteorologists in both states are urging extra caution throughout the week while on the beaches from Brookings up through Seaside and into Westport and beyond, with a greater risk down south on Tuesday. Conditions get calmer south of Reedsport after Tuesday, however.

“With such great weather on the coast this week, many of you may head that way,” the NWS said. “FYI - there's an elevated sneaker wave threat thru the week. If you go to the beach, it's a good idea to stay off rocks, logs, and jetties AND never turn your back on the ocean.”

For the south Oregon coast, Wednesday will be sunny with a high near 58. Thursday and Friday lower that number a little bit, and then rain and clouds begin on Saturday and Sunday.

It's a similar forecast for the northern half, including the towns of Newport, Pacific City, Manzanita and Cannon Beach. However, daytime highs will remain in the lower 50s.

On the Washington coast, beaches stay sunny until the weekend as well, but daytime highs will struggle to reach beyond 50 degrees.

However, conditions like these on beaches – with little wind and lots of sun – will make it seem as much as 10 to 15 degrees warmer when you're next to the ocean. The water and sun reflect the sun back, creating this almost tropical effect. Although it's winter, you may discover the need for sunscreen.

Air stagnation will be plaguing much of the inland portion of the two states, but also on the Washington coast as well as the Oregon Coast Range. Those with respiratory issues may need to take caution.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees nearly 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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