Monday, Mar. 3rd – Lincoln County
Summary: The last 24 hours have been a stern reminder of exactly which season is still shaping our weather. But, it could be worse. It was in early March of 2012 that a surprise Winter storm buried the Central Coast under 4-6 inches of heavy, wet snow, which took down trees and power lines, closed schools and businesses, and brought travel to a standstill. So, our current weather is ‘only’ a typical coastal Winter storm with about three-quarters of an inch of rain and blustery south winds. The highest gust on the Central Coast was 54 mph at the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport. At daybreak, both winds and rain have lightened up, and temps were in the low-50s.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Rain/Wind Gust…
Lincoln City: 53F/51F/0.74”/41 mph
Depoe Bay: 51F/49F/0.71”/41 mph
Newport: 52F/50F/0.76”/46 mph
Waldport: 52F/51F/0.63”/48 mph
Yachats: 53F/51F/0.84”/44 mph
Forecast: The atmospheric Cuisinart will be running on high today creating a blend of showers, possible thunderstorms, winds south 35-40 mph, and a high of 55F. The breeze should be easing later today and tonight, down to 15-25 mph, with rainfall tapering off as well. Rain is likely again tomorrow, southerly winds dropping to 20 mph or so, and a high in the upper-50s. Outlook for what’s on tap later this week is summed up in a Special Weather Statement issued by the National Weather Service this morning. A prolonged period of wet, mild and occasionally windy weather is taking shape for the Central Coast and other areas of Western Oregon. Very heavy rain and strong winds are headed this way. The rain may become heavy enough to bring the threat of flooding to streams and rivers by Thursday, maybe sooner, and with the ground already saturated, landslides will be something to consider as well. The storm system of the past couple of days pales in comparison to what is expected to impact our area Tuesday night through Thursday. The latest forecast models suggest two distinct, very strong frontal systems moving in. Each storm will bring heavy rain with overall totals approaching 2-4 inches on the Central Coast, but as much as 4-8 inches in the Coast Range. Very strong coastal winds are also projected during this timeframe. High and low temperatures through the week will be between 45F and 55F.
Travel: At 8:00am, Highways 18, 20 and 34 are open through the Coast Range with wet pavement, rain showers and temperatures in the 40s warming to 55F today. Highway 101 along the Central Coast has no delays. Valley destinations will be wet today with showers and forecast highs of 55F. In the Cascades, Highway 20 has spots of ice and snow flurries at Santiam Pass; Highway 26 at Government Camp has wet pavement with rain. The snow level is near the passes at 5,000 feet. Carry chains or traction tires.
Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 106”, a gain of 1” since yesterday, or 75% of normal.
Ski Report – New Snow Inches/Total Inches/Condition…
Hoodoo 0/60/Packed Powder
Willamette Pass 1/36/Machine Groomed
Mt Bachelor 7/111/Powder
Mt Hood Meadows 5/106/Machine Groomed
Mt Hood Ski Bowl 3/45/Machine Groomed
Timberline Lodge 7/131/Powder
Marine: It’s not pretty out there this morning. S winds are 20-25 knots with higher gusts and seas are above 9 feet. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is restricted for recreational vessels 26 feet and less, and for uninspected passenger vessels 20 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is restricted for recreational and uninspected passenger vessels 30 feet and less. A Small Craft Advisory is posted for S winds gusting to 30 knots through this afternoon. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas 9-11 feet with 6 foot wind waves is in effect through late tonight. The breeze eases to SW 15-20 knots this afternoon, seas remaining around 10 feet and there’s a chance of thunderstorms. Tomorrow, SW wind 10-15 knots, seas 10 feet. Outlook is for S wind increasing Tuesday night to 20-25 knots, seas around 8 feet. For Wednesday and Thursday, two strong weather fronts are coming in with gales and wave heights rising to 12-15 feet, possibly approaching 20 feet.
On the Beach… Showers, windy, surf 6-8 feet (moderate).
03/03 Mon 01:37 PM 8.59 H
03/03 Mon 07:38 PM 0.47 L
03/04 Tue 01:58 AM 9.24 H
03/04 Tue 08:16 AM 0.3 L
In Short: Showers, windy, then very stormy.