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Wild and Crazy Oregon Coast Weather Moments in Video, Pictures

Published 05/18/2014

(Oregon Coast) – Weather can be an odd and freaky thing just about anywhere on the planet. But on the Oregon coast, it can be pushing the envelope. This is what happens with one of the more dynamic environments in the world, where weird can just be the norm.

These weather photos and video were taken over about ten years.

Surreal Sunset, Seaside. Sunsets are always dramatic and addictive fun on the Oregon coast, but they do can some astounding things if the clouds are in the right positions. Often, clouds can hide the sun all day, making for those legendary (or notorious) dreary days along the beaches. But then a small break in the clouds near the horizon sets the world on fire once the sun finds it.

In this case, such a thing happened in Seaside one day about 2003. One of the more surreal sights, ever. Ever.

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Red Sky, Rainbow and Lightning. The coast can create the strangest weather systems, probably because this is where the inland and the oceanic systems collide. Sometime in spring 2002, this scene presented itself just east of Pacific City. A crazy, angry bank of clouds was moving in from the east, while the coastal sunset hit it with wild colors and tinted it with pinks and reds. Rain was beginning to fall, and lightning could be seen in the distance. For a brief time, this collection of conditions created a rainbow in the midst of this almost sepia-toned moment.

Its blues and greens were largely cut out by the fierce cast of the reds from behind, but it was still visible: a strange and surreal reminder of how dynamic and unique the coastal environment is.

Down the road, in Neskowin, the lightning was directly overhead, and created the most thunderous, cataclysmic noise imaginable.


Above: the overlooks at Manzanita. This kind of weather pattern often dominated the summer's warm spells back in 2012. Above Manzanita, at the overlooks at Neahkahnie, the offshore layer looked like a haboob – a kind of dust storm that can plague the southwest states on occasion. In this case, it's a big, fat cloud a ways into the ocean and it became lit up in this most unusual, striking manner.

Miniature Water Spout on N. Oregon Coast: It's not technically a real water spout, but more like an oceanic version of a dust devil on land. Wind gets compressed into a certain area in just the right way and causes this odd little kind of updraft, which causes the already-wacky ocean foam to swirl upwards in circles.

Mostly, this video shows the wild things sea foam can do during even minor Oregon coast storms. If there's a lot of the stuff (and it's caused by a combo of lots of winds and lots of phytoplankton), it can go flying upwards, looking like snow going the wrong direction.

This was filmed in Arch Cape, near Cannon Beach.

Below, see more configurations of the surreal Seaside sunset. Where to stay in these areas - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours

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