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Winter Storm Warning (In Spring?) for Oregon Coast Range, Washington Coast; Stormy Seas

Published 03/24/23 at 6:50 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Winter Storm Warning (In Spring?) for Oregon Coast Range, Washington Coast; Stormy Seas

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(Newport, Oregon) – Some more wackiness from Mother Nature along the Oregon coast and Washington coast, as seas go a little bonkers through Saturday and roads along the Coast Range and Willapa Hills will be getting plenty of snow. All this may bring snow to lower elevations in valley towns like Salem, Portland and even Seattle, but it's not a high chance and not expected to be a heavy inundation. (Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

The National Weather Service (NWS) is more concerned about higher elevations, such as the tops of the Coast Range and especially the Cascades. They've issued a winter storm warning for all mountainous areas of Oregon and Washington, in effect until Saturday afternoon.

Up to five inches of snow is expected in areas just below 1500 feet, which brings the upper elevations of the Oregon Coast Range and Washington coast's Willapa Hills into some slippery conditions, the NWS said. Most of the activity will be overnight and in the early morning, leaving peak traffic hours out of it.

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All of this shuts down Saturday afternoon, leaving spring breakers plenty of decent road conditions to get home or get to the Washington coast or Oregon coastline.

Along the south Oregon coast's mountain passes, less snow is forecast.

Seas along the coastlines are the other story getting somewhat ignored.

Snow in Washington coast's Willapa Hills, photo Angi D. Wildt Gallery

There are Hazardous Seas Warnings all along the area, from the south Oregon coast up into Washington's offshore waters. Some expire later on Saturday but some stick around through Sunday. While that actually affects mariners, beachgoers may find some wild conditions.

Shore Acres at Coos Bay, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

Seas will be 14 to 18 feet at 14 seconds through Saturday, which is dangerous for boats but dramatic for rocky places like Yachats or Shore Acres by Coos Bay. Seas lessen to nine feet to 13 feet later, but still with a 13-second timing between waves. It's that number you have to worry about when on the beaches, as a long period timing means waves can build up energy and turn into sneaker waves.

There are beach hazard advisories from the NWS, however Oregon Coast Beach Connection urges caution this weekend while on the beaches or at rocky places.

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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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