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Surf Warnings, Advisories for Washington Coast, Oregon Coast - Waves Up to 35 ft

Published 01/12/23 at 12:19 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Surf Warnings, Advisories for Washington Coast, Oregon Coast - Waves Up to 35 ft

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(Long Beach, Washington) – It's a great time for storm watching on the beaches Thursday but you'll be advised to stay off beaches and far back from rocky ledges. (Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

A sizable list of high surf warnings are being issued for the entirety of the Pacific Northwest coastline – both the Washington coast and Oregon coast. On the south Oregon coast, the area is looking at dangerously large waves of 30 to 35 ft, while on the upper half of the Oregon coast and all the Washington coast there are one kind of advisory or another, with waves still dangerously high at 20 feet or more and an increased chance of life-threatening sneaker waves.

All of these are being issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for Thursday through Friday morning.

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For the south Oregon coast – roughly Coos Bay down to Brookings – the NWS has issued its strongest alert with a high surf warning, in effect Thursday at 10 a.m. through 10 a.m. on Friday. Waves will be hitting the shore at 30 to 35 feet, combined swells that mean trouble if you're on beaches like Nesika, Bandon or even Bastendorff.

“Extremely large breaking waves will create very hazardous conditions along beaches and area shorelines,” the NWS said. “Waves will inundate beaches and surge into normally dry areas. Infrastructure damage and significant beach erosion can be expected. “

For the central Oregon coast all the way up into the south Washington coast (Florence to about Ocean Shores), the NWS issued a beach hazards statement. Sneaker waves are possible in places like Waldport, Newport, Lincoln City, Manzanita, and Cannon Beach into Westport.

Shore Acres near Coos Bay - Courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

“Waves can run up significantly farther on a beach than normal, including over rocks and jetties,” the NWS said. “Sneaker waves can suddenly knock people off of their feet and quickly pull them into the frigid ocean which may lead to serious injury or drowning.”

The NWS said to keep children and pets out of the surf zone.

You'll want stay clear of shorter beaches like Gleneden Beach, northern Yachats or Bandon, where there's only cliff walls behind. Two women died at Gleneden Beach several years ago when they were swept off the beach by such waves.

On the central and northern Washington coast, there is a high surf advisory in effect from Thursday morning into Friday morning. Offshore seas will be around 20 feet or more combined at times, requiring caution in many areas that aren't as wide as Long Beach.

The NWS is expecting minor beach erosion but plenty of hazards to humans.

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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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