It’s Friday! January 24th, 2014
Summary: It blew like the dickens yesterday and produced a tale of two stories. (Sorry, Charlie.) If you were in a wind-sheltered area, the day began with frost, but by early afternoon a tee-shirt was sufficient clothing. If you were in the brunt of the east wind, morning windshield scraping wasn’t necessary, but a jacket was required garb throughout the day. The breeze made a big difference in how yesterday felt. Highs were mostly in the upper-50s, after morning lows around 40F. East winds were a steady 15-25 mph with a peak gust of 39 recorded at Yachats. It remained breezy and clear through the night. The wind was in a brief lull early this morning, cloudless skies prevailed with a Last Quarter Moon shining, and temperatures stayed relatively warm in the 40s.
Past 24 hours high/low…
Lincoln City: 56F/47F
Depoe Bay: 59F/39F
Forecast: Windy and warm. And it seems we all need to be cautious with fire. The Red Flag Warning is still up for the South Central Coast below Florence, but other coastal areas are exceptionally dry and windy, too. Dozens of firefighters are on the scene of a wildfire that broke out last night near Arch Cape, about four miles south of Cannon Beach. It’ll be sunny and warm along the Central Coast again today (see Weather Factoid below), and more of those east winds are predicted, 15-20 mph, with some stronger gusts. High near 60F. Tonight’s low about 40F with an easing breeze. Tomorrow, we should see much lighter winds, mostly sunny skies and a high in the upper-50s. The last of the dominant sunshine for a while is forecast for Sunday with light winds and little temperature change. Outlook is for the sunny weather pattern to break down beginning Monday with mostly cloudy skies and increasing chances of rain in the forecast through mid-week at least. Highs in the 50s, lows in the 40s.
Travel: Highways 18, 20 and 34 are open but near freezing again this morning with icy/frosty patches. Highway 101 temperatures are well above freezing through the Central Coast region. Valley destinations are frosty and clear this morning. In the Cascades, highways have mostly bare pavement with icy spots. The freezing level is at 11,000 feet. Outlook for weekend travelers is icy/frosty spots on the Coast Range highways nights and mornings, frosty and foggy in the Valley, and icy spots in the Cascade passes.
Cascades Snow Pack… 49”, a loss of 1” since yesterday.
Marine: The east winds are down a little this morning to 10-15 knots, and seas are at 9 feet. Depoe Bay bar is restricted for recreational vessels 24 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is unrestricted. A Small Craft Advisory for seas remains in effect through this evening for wave heights up to 11 feet. Easterly winds are expected to stay in the 10-15 knot range until tomorrow when they turn SE and drop to 5-10 knots gusting 15; seas down to 7-8 feet. Light NE wind, 5-10 knots, by Sunday, seas 8 feet. Outlook is for a series of fronts to pass through local waters starting Monday and lasting most of the week. Not much wind associated with these systems, but seas building back to 10-12 feet.
On the Beach… Sunny, breezy, surf 10-11 feet.
01/24 Fri 12:31 PM 1.79 L
01/24 Fri 06:40 PM 5.69 H
01/24 Fri 11:38 PM 3.2 L
01/25 Sat 06:23 AM 8.73 H
In Short: Clear, breezy, then clouds/rain next week.
Weather Factoid: What occasionally causes the Oregon Coast to be much warmer than the rest of the state? Blame California. When temperatures heat up down there, they create what’s called a ‘thermal low pressure zone.’ This bulge of warmer air is often able to sneak north along the west side of the Coast Range and give our area a taste of California weather, even in Winter. Thermal lows are also responsible for the strong east winds, and those rare 80-90F days in Summer.