Wednesday, Mar. 5th – Lincoln County
Summary: And so it begins… The leading edge of our latest storm system has arrived. Rain started about 10:30pm last night, and southerly winds roared in around 1:00am, jumping from calm to gusts of 35 mph in a little over one hour. Lincoln City and Newport (Yaquina Bay Bridge) have already had gusts to 48 mph. Up on Mary’s Peak (southeast of Newport at 4,137 feet of elevation), a gust of 72 mph has been reported. Rainfall amounts are nothing to sneeze at, either, with generally over half an inch so far (and the storm is just commencing). At daybreak, it’s blowing and raining with the mercury at 52F.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Rain/Wind Gust…
Lincoln City: 60F/52F/0.55”/48 mph
Depoe Bay: 56F/50F/0.64”/37 mph
Newport (Airport): 59F/50F/0.55”/40 mph
Waldport: 58F/51F/0.71”/40 mph
Yachats: 58F/51F/0.66”/43 mph
Forecast: A High Wind Warning remains in effect from 2:00pm this afternoon to 10:00am tomorrow morning for the Central Coast.
Steady southwest winds are expected to increase to 25-40 mph by this afternoon, gusts of 55-65 mph with the strongest on exposed beaches and headlands. Late tonight and tomorrow morning wind gusts of 65-70 mph are likely on the exposed beaches and headlands. Gusty winds this afternoon and evening will ease back a bit overnight, but increase again late tonight into early Thursday. Localized power outages and downed trees are possible. Travel may be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. An updated Special Weather Statement this morning projects rainfall amounts during the next two days at between 1 and 2 inches for Central Coast communities, and 3 to 4 inches in the Coast Range, locally up to 6 inches in areas receiving the heaviest showers. No major flooding is expected, but some low spots and streets may see high water. A chance of landslides is also a risk.
We are closely monitoring this storm and will update our reports as needed over the next couple of days.
Outlook is for conditions to moderate substantially on Friday. Mostly to partly cloudy skies, high 55-60F and light winds. Rain returns over the weekend, maybe heavy at times, winds back up to southwest 25-35 mph, with high and low temperatures in the 50s.
Travel: At 8:00am, Highways 18, 20 and 34 are open through the Coast Range with wet pavement, rain, wind, patchy fog and temperatures in the upper-40s. Wind and rain are expected to increase substantially later today. Highway 101 along the Central Coast has no delays, but motorists in high-profile vehicles like RVs and trucks should be aware of strong winds which could make travel hazardous especially on bridges and overpasses. Valley destinations have wet pavement, rain and forecast highs near 60F. In the Cascades, highways have mostly bare pavement and temps in the 40s. The snow level is well above the passes at 7,000 feet. Up to a foot of snow is forecast in the passes tomorrow. Carry chains or traction tires.
Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 108”, a loss of 2” since yesterday, or 73% of normal.
Ski Report – New Snow Inches/Total Inches/Condition…
Hoodoo 0/48/Packed Powder
Willamette Pass 1/26/Machine Groomed
Mt Bachelor 0/106/Wet
Mt Hood Meadows 3/110/Wet
Mt Hood Ski Bowl 0/47/Machine Groomed
Timberline Lodge 5/73/Powder
Marine: Commercial fishermen might as well go to the meeting today, from 10:00am to noon at Englund Marine in Newport, to learn about new safety requirements for vessels and crews, because it’s rough out there on the ocean. SSW winds are already up to 20-25 knots and seas are approaching 11 feet. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is restricted for recreational vessels 26 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is restricted for recreational and uninspected passenger vessels 40 feet and less. A Small Craft Advisory for winds S 20-25 knots is in effect until 1:00pm this afternoon, at which point it turns into a Gale Warning as winds increase to S 25-30 knots gusting 40, seas about 10 feet. The gale continues overnight with even stronger winds, S 30-35 knots gusting 45 and wave heights rising to 15 feet. Tomorrow, SW winds 30-35 knots gusting to 45 early in the day, then easing to 25-30 knots in the afternoon; combined seas building to 20 feet or higher. Outlook is for decreasing seas and breeze on Friday, but winds back up to 25-30 knots on Saturday, 15-20 knots on Sunday with seas through the period staying around 10-15 feet.
On the Beach… Rainy, very windy, surf 10-12 feet (moderate).
03/05 Wed 09:08 AM 0.45 L
03/05 Wed 03:24 PM 7.19 H
03/05 Wed 09:02 PM 1.98 L
03/06 Thu 03:22 AM 8.64 H
In Short: Heavy rain, high wind, then unsettled.