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Surf Advisories Oregon, Washington Coast, Waves 20 Ft This Weekend - Maybe Bigger This Week

Published 1/06/24 at 2:25 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Oregon Coast) – A high surf advisory is in place along the entire Washington coast and Oregon coast until late Saturday night, with possibly more adverse beach conditions this week. All this happens as a fair degree of snow is coming to the Cascades, maybe a dab in the Oregon Coast Range – and it looks like snow later in the week for Portland and other valley areas.

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The National Weather Service offices in Seattle, Portland and Medford issued the surf advisories from Brookings all the way through the Olympic Peninsula, with breakers up to 20 feet along the beaches. Areas like Westport, Newport, Long Beach, Bandon, Yachats, Seaside and everywhere in between are going to see dangerous conditions.

The NWS is urging to stay off the beaches, and stay far back along viewing areas.

“Sneaker waves are likely with these types of sea conditions,” the NWS said. “Surfing, swimming, fishing, boating, and observing large waves from rocks or coastal structures during high surf conditions is dangerous. All large waves are not alike. There is often an extra large breaker that can suddenly sweep a person overboard or off a large rock with no warning. The safest place to be during high surf conditions is in port and well away from breaking waves.”

Small beaches with no quick exit to higher ground – especially those with cliff walls behind you – will be very deadly. These include areas like much of Bandon, Lincoln City, Brookings, Gleneden Beach, and Oceanside.

See Washington Coast Weather - Oregon Coast Weather

For the southern Oregon coast, such as Gold Beach, Port Orford, Coos Bay and Reedsport, wave height will be higher at up around 24 feet at times. That region gets a second large run of waves on Saturday after tonight's initial push.

Wave height on much of the Washington coast won't be as big, at around 13 to 18 feet.

While these conditions calm Sunday, Tuesday may see an even bigger event, with combined seas over 20 feet while a combination of swells from two different directions join in.

Photo courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

This is not the time to go beachcombing or look for agates, although after this run of storms there will likely have been considerable erosion and good gravel beds.

King Tides takes place this coming Thursday.

Snow is the other big headline in regional weather, with one foot or more hitting the Cascades this weekend.

“Expect accumulating snow above 2500 ft this weekend (Sat-Sun), including the Cascade passes where around 1 foot or more of snow is forecast,” the NWS said. “Be prepared for winter weather conditions if traveling to the Cascades.”

Snow in the NW, courtesy NASA

However, later in the week, the NWS said snow is definitely a possibility for places like Portland through Eugene and other parts of the valley. Snow levels are predicted to lower to 1200 feet on Wednesday but get down to 400 feet on Thursday.

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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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