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Travel to and from Oregon / Washington Coast May Be Difficult

Published 12/23/21 at 6:32 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Travel to and from Oregon / Washington Coast May Be Difficult

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(Manzanita, Oregon) – A variety of wintry issues are coming to the Oregon Coast Range and Willapa Hills of the Washington Coast, and the possibilities of snow and icy conditions coming even to the beaches – including the south coast – are increasing.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Oregon Coast Range, from about Florence up into the Washington coast, in effect tomorrow (Friday), and then another in effect Saturday through Sunday.

Heavy snow is possible above 1,000 feet, which will affect various parts of the Coast Range summits along Highway 26, Highway 18 and Highway 6. Total accumulations of 6 to 12 inches are possible on Friday.

“Travel could become very difficult due to snow and ice covered roads and limited visibility,” the NWS said.

On Saturday and Sunday, the storm watch is showing some lesser amounts of a dusting to about six inches of snow, the NWS said. But there could be a white Christmas for the south Washington coast and northern Oregon coast.

Central Oregon coast area like Yachats or Lincoln City may stick to rain, however, the NWS said.

“There could be locally higher amounts, particularly just a few hundred feet above the ocean,” the NWS said. “The Coast and Cascade Ranges will likely see a continuation of the snow from Saturday, but will intensify and the elevation of snow will lower. Snow levels will easily reach 600 ft overnight into Sunday, then reach the surface in all areas by later Sunday morning. In fact, the low temperature for Sunday likely will not occur until later in the morning due to the steady southward trend of the arctic cold air pool. Because of this, any precipitation will fall as snow.”

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Saturday night and Sunday are likely to cause a fair amount of snow on the valley floor, however, which will again impact driving to and from the coastlines of both states. Later in the week, more snow is predicted to as low 300 feet or less, at which time this storm system starts to affect southern Oregon coast towns such as Bandon, Reedsport or Port Orford. Snow is currently in the NWS forecast for that bottom half of the coast from Monday onward, through at least Thursday.

Meanwhile, valley towns could be seeing lows in the teens next week.

The NWS said to be cautious and expect weather delays while traveling over the holidays.

“Be prepared for winter driving conditions with snow and ice covered roads and very limited visibility,” the NWS said. “If you must travel, slow down, and allow plenty of extra time to reach your destination. Allow extra following distance to the vehicle in front of you, and keep snow chains and a winter survival kit, including a flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”

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