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Thanksgiving Travel: Big Waves on Oregon Coast, Lower Gas Prices, High Traffic

Published 11/20/2018 at 2:59 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Thanksgiving Travel: Big Waves on Oregon Coast, Lower Gas Prices, High Traffic

(Oregon Coast) – Some stormy waves on the Oregon coast, lots of rain, a drop in gas prices and some half a million other Oregonians on the road. This is what’s in store for holiday travelers around Oregon and those heading to the coast.

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The Portland office of AAA says around 700,000 Oregonians will be traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, most of which will be by car. This luckily coincides with the lowest gas prices the state has seen in awhile. Oregon’s average dropped seven cents to $3.20 per gallon of regular this week. These are the largest one-week declines in pump prices this year.

However, even with these drops, those in Oregon are still paying 20 to 50 cents a gallon more than last year. Around the U.S., it’s the highest Thanksgiving pump prices since 2014 and 2013.

“When it comes time to fill up for your Thanksgiving road trip, keep in mind that gas stations along highly traveled routes may be more expensive. Download the free AAA Mobile app to find the lowest gas prices in your area,” said Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

Traveling over the Oregon Coast Range to the beaches will be a smooth ride until Thursday – Thanksgiving itself. Heavy rains are expected to hit later on Thursday and throughout the weekend, which may make visibility a little uncomfortable at times, even for those traveling the I-5 corridor. Since it hasn’t rained much in recent weeks, watch for slick spots on roads both inland and along the routes to and from the coast.

Along the Oregon coast, conditions start to shift to rain on Wednesday night, where half an inch or more of rain is possible. Thursday will see more rain and gusts up to 20 mph, so look for windy, stormy conditions in general. Friday will see yet more rain, but things begin to calm down on Saturday and Sunday, yielding a few showers but skies that could have some sun breaks here and there.

Meanwhile, waves get quite active over the holiday weekend and you should get a decent bit of stormwatching in.

As winds increase so will the wave action, according to the National Weather Service in Portland (NWS). Thursday and Friday you could be looking at 20-foot waves along the beaches.

“Seas will likely also build into the mid-to-upper teens, with some potential for seas above 20 feet,” the NWS said in its forecast discussion. “Going into the weekend, the weather becomes a little quieter. Seas should gradually come down through the day on Saturday.”

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