Sunday, Feb. 16th – Lincoln County
Summary: We got a good batterin’ yesterday, no doubt. The predicted strong southwest winds came to fruition and the Central Coast was assaulted by gusts over 70 mph, with a peak of 78 mph on the Yaquina Bay Bridge at Newport. Elsewhere in the region, Sea Lion Caves on the south coast clocked the highest gust of all with 93 mph, Mary’s Peak in the mountains southeast of Newport topped out at 86 mph, and on the north coast, Garibaldi also reported a gust of 86 mph. Trees, limbs, power lines, signs and other objects swiftly morphed into hazardous debris. Many streets, roads and highways were blocked, and people from almost every neighborhood now have a storm-related incident or two permanently etched into their memories. It was warm, too, with highs in the mid-50s and lows in the upper 40s. We received a decent shot of rain as well; amounts up to an inch and a half fell along the Central Coast and in the Coast Range. Just before dark, it was all over but the shouting. Winds dropped off, so did the heavy rain, and an astonishing sunset closed the day. Overnight, a few flashes of lightening and their resounding thunder, the Moon played peek-a-boo through big but disperse clouds, and the mercury dropped into the low-40s as a cold front passed through. This morning, winds were down to a measly 15-20 mph gusting 30 and it was partly sunny.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Rain/Wind Gust…
Lincoln City: 54F/46F/1.11”/75 mph
Depoe Bay: 52F/42F/1.21”/52 mph
Newport: 54F/41F/1.45”/63 mph
Waldport: 54F/43F/1.31”/68 mph
Yachats: 55F/44F/1.56”/59 mph
Forecast: As Yogi Berra so ineloquently put it, this is déjà vu all over again. Here comes another one. The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for the Central Coast and Coast Range, in effect from 1:00pm this afternoon through 10:00am tomorrow morning. Strong south winds, steady at 30-45 mph with gusts of 60 mph, are forecast for coastal communities, and 35-45 mph gusting 70-75 mph for beaches and headlands. Peak winds will begin late this afternoon and continue overnight.
We also remain under a Flood Watch through tomorrow morning for the Central Coast and Coast Range. Rivers and streams are already running high from heavy rain during the past few days. Today’s storm could bring an additional 1-2 inches of rain to the Central Coast and Coast Range, and some flooding is likely across river basins. Flooding of small rivers, streams and roads is also probable during the heaviest rainfall periods. 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.
Today’s weather begins with a mix of sun and clouds, south-southwest winds slowly rising to 25-30 mph gusting to 50 mph by early afternoon, a high of 50F, and rain beginning around noon. The wind ramps up to warning levels before dark, but should be easing after midnight to 40-45 mph, with heavy rain at times, low about 45F. Tomorrow, still breezy, heavy rain at times, high again near 50F. Outlook is for additional heavy rain but winds decreasing by Monday night, followed by showers on Tuesday. The remainder of the week, look for periods of rain and showers, cooler, occasional sunbreaks, and lighter winds. Highs 45F and lows in the upper 30s. Snow is possible down to 800 feet or so in the Central Coast Range by Thursday. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel with a good chance that we’ll be drying out and see at least partially clearing skies by the weekend!
Travel: With the ground becoming saturated and trees already weakened by yesterday’s storm, expect further hazards for motorists late this afternoon and tonight when strong winds return. Dangers could include trees, limbs, power lines and other debris on any Central Coast and Coast Range road, street or highway. As of 8:00am, Highways 18, 20 and 34 were open and near freezing with wet pavement and icy patches. Highway 34 has standing water on the roadway near Alsea Mountain summit at Milepost 38.5. Valley destinations remain under a Flood Watch with rain, wind and temperatures near 50F today. In the Cascades, highways have packed snow this morning and are under a Winter Storm Watch. A foot or more of new snow is predicted over the next couple of days. Chains or traction tires are required at Santiam Pass and Government Camp. The freezing level is 3,000 feet. Outlook for holiday weekend travelers is windy and 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… 85”, a loss of 1” since yesterday; 42% 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 4/105/Powder
Mt Hood Meadows 9/90/Powder
Mt Hood Ski Bowl 0/22/Machine Groomed
Timberline Lodge 9/30/Powder
Marine: Seas are up, running about 14 feet, and winds are down to SW 20-25 knots this morning. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay Bar is closed to all recreational and uninspected passenger vessels. Yaquina Bay bar is restricted for recreational and uninspected passenger vessels 50 feet and less. A Gale Warning is in effect until 3:00pm this afternoon for S wind increasing to 30-40 knots gusting 50. A Storm Warning kicks in from 3:00pm until late this evening for SW winds 35-45 knots gusting 55. Combined seas of 18 feet today building to 25 feet tonight. Tomorrow, SW winds 20-25 knots gusting 30, seas down to 19 feet. Outlook is for SW wind 20-25 knots gusting 35 on Tuesday, seas 15 feet. Winds turn westerly by mid-week, 15-25 knots, and seas remain 14-17 feet.
On the Beach… Rain, high winds, surf 15-16 feet (moderate).
02/16 Sun 12:48 PM 8.21 H
02/16 Sun 07:10 PM 0.52 L
02/17 Mon 01:37 AM 8.08 H
02/17 Mon 07:29 AM 2.0 L
In Short: Heavy rain, very windy, then continued stormy.