Thursday, Feb. 6th – Lincoln County
Summary: This will be one of those Winters you can tell your grandkids about. “Yup, back in ‘13-‘14, we had two Winters and a Summer.” Yesterday we’ll simply classify as dry, frigid and windy. Wednesday’s high temps broke freezing, after morning lows in the 20s. East winds were quite strong, 20-30 mph with a peak gust of 43 on the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport. Overnight, the mercury dropped into the mid-20s, the east winds continued, the cloud cover gelled, and light snow began around 5:00am. By daybreak, heavy snow started falling from Newport south to Yachats. All Lincoln County Schools are closed today due to the weather.
Past 24 Hours High/Low…
Lincoln City: 36F/26F
Depoe Bay: 38F/24F
Forecast: The National Weather Service has upgraded the Central Coast to a Winter Storm Warning from an advisory level event. Expect 3-5 inches of snow along with east winds gusting to 40 mph through this evening. Blowing snow will cause near whiteout conditions, and travel will be extremely hazardous. High today near freezing. In a nutshell, because of the cold, whatever snow lands will stick, or at least try to as the strong winds swirl it around. Though this doesn’t meet the official criteria for a blizzard, it’ll seem like one at times today. A little less wind is forecast tonight, northeast 20-30 mph with gusts to 35; low about 25F, and possibly another 1-2 inches of snow. Tomorrow, there’s a good chance of minor snow accumulations in the morning, but warming into the mid-30s, and by tomorrow night, mixed rain and snow with a low around 34F. We also have a chance of freezing rain during the changeover, but it shouldn’t last long if it does develop. Outlook is for mixed rain and snow by Saturday, and warmer with a high near 45F. The week ahead should be typical February coastal weather with overcast skies, fair amounts of rain, and occasionally windy conditions.
Travel: Local streets and roads, and Highway 101, will be very slippery with varying amounts of snow-cover all day. Expect 2-5 inches of snow on the pavement today, additional snow tonight. Highway department trucks are out sanding, but it may be hard to keep up. The rest of Western Oregon, to include the Coast Range, Willamette Valley and Cascades are all under a Winter Storm Warning for 3-8 inches of snow today. Travel in the Valley will be nearly as tough as in the mountain passes. As of 9:00am, ODOT reports that as many as 20 cars were involved in crashes on Interstate 5 between Salem and Corvallis. I-5 southbound is closed three miles north of Albany, and I-5 northbound is blocked eight miles south of Albany. The strong east winds will also reduce visibilities in blowing snow, and temperatures are forecast to stay below freezing. Travel will be extremely hazardous everywhere west of the Cascades today. Outlook is for these conditions to continue through the day, overnight and into tomorrow.
Cascades Snow Pack… 68”, a loss of 3” since yesterday. There was a gain of 10” over the past week; the deviation from this date last year was -34”; and it’s down -24” from the 30 year average.
Marine: E winds are still fairly strong at 20-25 knots this morning, but with the offshore flow, seas are remaining in the 5 foot range. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay and Yaquina Bay bars are unrestricted. A Small Craft Advisory is in effect through this afternoon for E winds 20-25 knots gusting 30. Seas holding at 4-5 feet, but visibility will be down to less than a quarter mile at times due to the snow. Tonight, more snow, NE winds 10-15 knots, seas 4-5 feet. The same for tomorrow. Outlook is for a switch to southerlies over the weekend, 20-25 knots, possibly higher, and seas slowly rising to 6-7 feet. By mid-week, wave heights could top 10 feet, maybe even reach the teens, as several SW weather systems are lined up and predicted to blow into local waters.
On the Beach… Snow, cold, breezy, surf 3 feet (low).
02/06 Thu 11:50 AM 1.44 L
02/06 Thu 06:04 PM 6.06 H
02/06 Thu 11:16 PM 3.03 L
02/07 Fri 05:52 AM 8.44 H
In Short: Snow, windy, cold, then wet and warmer.