Saturday, Feb. 15th – Lincoln County
Summary: We must be setting the bar too low. Yesterday, cloudy with only moderate rain and wind, was actually termed ‘a nice day’ by some folks. High temps were in the low 50s and lows in the upper-40s. Rainfall varied somewhat; south county received the most and north county the least. The strongest breeze was from the southwest before noon with a peak gust of 34 mph at Yachats. The wind went calm midday before coming up light from the southeast later in the day. Overcast skies remained overnight, but they were backlit by a nearly-full moon and you could easily see the surf without any artificial illumination. At daybreak, the rain showers were picking up and the southeast wind blew less than 10 mph.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Rain…
Lincoln City: 54F/48F/0.08”
Depoe Bay: 50F/46F/0.08”
Forecast: A pair of very strong storms will impact the Central Coast and Coast Range this weekend. This morning, the National Weather Service issued a new High Wind Watch, which is in effect from Sunday afternoon through late Sunday night. Meanwhile, a High Wind Warning remains in place from this morning to 6:00pm this evening. Today, near beaches and headlands, south winds 35-45 mph with gusts to 70 mph; in Central Coast communities, south winds 30-40 mph with gusts to 60 mph. On Sunday, even higher winds with gusts of 70-85 mph possible, strongest along beaches and headlands. Peak winds will be late this afternoon and early evening. Then after a break tonight, the second round of strong winds is expected late tomorrow and tomorrow night.
And, we’re still under a Flood Watch through Sunday afternoon for the Central Coast and Coast Range. Even more storms are predicted to impact our area during the next several days. Rivers and streams are already running high from rain and snowmelt during the past few days. Today’s storm could bring an additional 1-3 inches of rain to the Central Coast and Coast Range, and flooding is likely across river basins. Flooding of small rivers, streams and roads is also possible during the heaviest rainfall periods.
Outlook for today through early next week is for continued warm (45-55F), a chance of thunderstorms, wet and windy conditions 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.
[Defining the differences – advisories, watches, warnings – see Weather Factoid below.]
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 still repairing a washout; generally, delays are 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, wind and temperatures in the 50s today. In the Cascades, highways have packed snow, slush and spots of ice this morning, and are under a Winter Storm Watch. A foot or more of snow is predicted during the weekend. Carry chains or traction tires. The freezing level is 6,000 feet dropping to near 3,000 feet by tomorrow night. Outlook for holiday weekend travelers is heavy rain with possible flooded roads in the Valley, along the Central Coast and in the Coast Range, and heavy snow in the Cascade passes.
Cascades Snow Pack… 86”, a gain of 9” since yesterday; 19% below median snow water equivalent.
Ski Report – New Snow Inches/Total Inches/Condition…
Hoodoo 6/33/Packed Powder
Willamette Pass 4/24/Machine Groomed
Mt Bachelor 18/107/Powder
Mt Hood Meadows 7/85/Powder
Mt Hood Ski Bowl 0/22/Machine Groomed
Timberline Lodge 9/30/Powder
Marine: Seas are up around 10 feet this morning and choppy with a SE breeze of 15-25 knots. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is restricted for recreational vessels 36 feet and less, and for uninspected passenger vessels 26 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is unrestricted. The marine section of today’s report hasn’t escaped special notices from the National Weather Service, either. A Storm Warning is flying from now through this evening for S winds increasing to 35-45 knots gusting 55, seas doubling in size to 20-plus feet by tonight, and a chance of thunderstorms. Winds ease slightly overnight, then a newly-issued Storm Watch kicks in tomorrow morning through late tomorrow night with S winds building to a steady 40 knots gusting 60, and steep seas 23 feet or higher. Outlook is for W to SW winds 20-25 knots gusting 30, and slowly subsiding seas through Wednesday.
On the Beach… Heavy rain, extremely high winds, surf 10-15 feet (moderate).
02/15 Sat 12:12 PM 8.42 H
02/15 Sat 06:41 PM 0.26 L
02/16 Sun 01:09 AM 7.9 H
02/16 Sun 06:51 AM 2.22 L
In Short: Heavy rain, very windy, then more storms.
Weather Factoid: Advisories, watches and warnings – what the heck do those terms actually mean? An Advisory is issued when events are expected to remain below warning criteria, but may still cause significant inconvenience. A Watch tells you that conditions are favorable and there is a pretty good chance that the event will happen. When a Watch is issued begin making preparations for the upcoming event. A Warning means that a certain weather event is imminent or already occurring, and measures should be taken to safeguard life and property immediately. A Hazardous Weather Outlook will describe potential hazardous weather and hydrologic information of concern during the week ahead. And finally, a Special Weather Statement is designed to provide critical short term hazardous weather information. The time frame of this information is six hours or less.