Friday, Feb. 14th – Lincoln County
Summary: Instead of roses, a new pair of hip-waders may be the best shot for a Valentine’s Day gift today. After the winds died down, yesterday was ho-hum with showers and sunbreaks, but rain returned overnight dumping up to nearly an inch along the Central Coast; Waldport had the most at 0.94”. South winds were fairly strong early Thursday morning, 20-30 mph; Lincoln City won that contest with a gust of 43 mph. High temperatures reached into the mid-50s. Overnight lows were 50F or slightly below, and clouds obscured the Full Snow Moon.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Rain…
Lincoln City: 55F/50F/0.61”
Depoe Bay: 52F/47F/0.72”
Forecast: The National Weather Service this morning issued another High Wind Watch for Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport and Yachats. It is in effect from Saturday morning through Saturday evening for south winds 35-45 mph gusting to 65-70 mph. And an additional round of strong winds is expected on Sunday afternoon and evening.
The National Weather Service has also issued a Flood Watch, in effect from this morning through Sunday afternoon, for the Central Coast and Coast Range. And, more storms are predicted to impact our area during the next several days. The first storm brought about an inch of rain to the Central Coast and Coast Range last night. This precipitation is causing rises in rivers that are already running high from rain and some snowmelt during the past few days. The second storm is expected tomorrow with additional heavy rain. This system is currently predicted to move through more quickly with shorter duration heavy rain. Still, expect another 2 inches in the Coast Range. There will be little time between storms for the rivers to recede, and flooding is likely across river basins in the Central Coast Range and possibly elsewhere. Flooding of small rivers, streams and roads is also possible during the heaviest rainfall periods. [See Weather Factoid below.]
Outlook is for continued warm (45-50F), wet and windy conditions through early next week with heavy rain again on Monday and a potential increase in the local flooding threat. Landslides and debris flows are also possible. Structures and roads located below steep slopes, in valleys and near the mouths of valleys may be at serious risk from rapidly moving landslides.
Travel: Highways 18, 20 and 34 are open and above freezing with wet pavement this morning. Highway 20 is down to one lane with flaggers just west of Eddyville at Milepost 20 where ODOT is repairing a washout; expect delays of less than 20 minutes. Highway 34 has standing water on the roadway near Alsea Mountain summit at Milepost 38.5. Valley destinations are under a Flood Watch with rain and temperatures near 50F today. In the Cascades, highways have mostly bare pavement with icy spots this morning, but up to a foot or more of snow is predicted during the next 36 hours. Carry chains or traction tires. The freezing level is 4,500 feet dropping to near 3,500 feet tonight. Outlook for holiday weekend travelers is heavy rain with possible flooding in the Valley, along the Central Coast and in the Coast Range, and heavy snow in the Cascades.
Cascades Snow Pack… 77”, a loss of 3” since yesterday; 29% below median snow water equivalent.
Ski Report – New Snow Inches/Total Inches/Condition…
Hoodoo 0/33/Packed Powder
Willamette Pass 0/24/Machine Groomed
Mt Bachelor 3/91/Packed Powder
Mt Hood Meadows 7/76/Powder
Mt Hood Ski Bowl 0/22/Machine Groomed
Timberline Lodge 3/30/Powder
Marine: SW winds are blowing 15-20 knots this morning, and seas are up to 11 feet. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is restricted for recreational vessels 30 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar has not reported. Conditions are forecast to deteriorate substantially over the next few days. A Small Craft Advisory for SW winds 20-25 knots gusting 30 is up until 4:00pm this afternoon. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas 12 feet or higher is in effect until tomorrow morning. And, there’s now a Storm Watch posted for Saturday morning through afternoon with S winds intensifying to 35-40 knots gusting 55 with combined seas building to 16 feet. Outlook is for another full-blown gale on Sunday; SW wind 35-40 knots gusting 45 with wave heights 20 feet or higher. Monday and Tuesday, SW winds 20-25 knots, seas slowly subsiding, but not much, to 17-19 feet.
On the Beach… Heavy rain, windy, surf 8-10 feet (moderate).
02/14 Fri 11:35 AM 8.53 H
02/14 Fri 06:12 PM 0.14 L
02/15 Sat 12:42 AM 7.69 H
02/15 Sat 06:15 AM 2.47 L
In Short: Heavy rain, very windy, then more storms.
Weather Factoid: What causes these periods of intense heavy rains along the Central Coast? Meteorologists call it an atmospheric river; colloquially it’s often referred to as the ‘Pineapple Express.’ This situation develops when the southern flank of large storm systems in the North Pacific Ocean – rotating counter clockwise – sweep south far enough to capture copious amounts of tropical moisture (hence, the term ‘Pineapple’). As the rotation of the system flows to the northeast, it propels the heavy rain (and warm temperatures) up from the tropics and directly into our area.