Sunday, Mar. 9th – Lincoln County
Summary: The judges would probably give the latest storm a 6 on a scale of 10. Not the biggest blow this Winter, but nevertheless substantial. A coastal jet [see Weather Factoid below] developed as predicted and funneled a lot of breeze and precipitation through our area late yesterday and overnight. Lincoln City won the gold in both categories – peak wind gust and heaviest rainfall. Winds continued overnight, but dropped off quickly about 4:00am. At daybreak, it was still raining and winds had gone nearly calm. The good news is that this storm was shorter than most, by at least an hour, because we moved our clocks ahead to Daylight Time this morning.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Wind Gust/Rainfall…
Lincoln City: 57F/51F/55mph/1.88”
Depoe Bay: 56F/50F/46mph/1.34”
Forecast: Conditions are rapidly settling down but remain unstable with more showers on the way today, areas of fog, light southwest winds and a high about 55F. There is a continuing threat of landslides, especially near steep hillsides. For tonight, showers are likely with a chance for thunderstorms and small hail, low near 45F, and light to calm winds. We start the workweek tomorrow mostly cloudy with odds better than 50-50 for additional showers, northwest winds 5-10 mph and a high around 50F. Outlook is for drying, and mostly sunny days, Tuesday through Thursday, with light north winds, highs of 55-60F and overnight lows of 40-45F under clear skies. Next chance of rain is Friday.
Travel: At 8:00am, Highways 18, 20 and 34 are open through the Coast Range with wet pavement and temperatures in the upper-40s. Landslides are not out of the question today on Coast-to-Valley highways. Highway 101 along the Central Coast has no delays. Valley destinations have wet pavement, showers and are under a Flood Watch today for localized high water on highways near streams, rivers and low spots. In the Cascades, highways are near 40F with wet pavement and rain showers. The snow level is 6,000 feet. Outlook for weekend travelers is for rain showers through tonight on Coast Range highways and in the Valley. On Cascade highways, rain showers today, but the snow level drops to near pass level by tonight.
Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 105”, a loss of 3” since yesterday, or 73% of normal.
Ski Report – New Snow Inches/Total Inches/Condition…
Hoodoo 0/48/Packed Powder
Willamette Pass 0/26/Machine Groomed
Mt Bachelor 0/104/Packed Powder
Mt Hood Meadows 0/107/Machine Groomed
Mt Hood Ski Bowl 0/37/Machine Groomed
Timberline Lodge 1/73/Powder
Marine: The wind dropped off significantly this morning, to WSW 10-15 knots, with the passage of the storm front; seas are still beefy at 12-13 feet. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is restricted for all recreational vessels and uninspected passenger vessels 36 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is restricted for recreational and uninspected passenger vessels 30 feet and less. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas is in effect through this evening with swell heights 12-14 feet. Winds are forecast to fade today, becoming SW 5-10 knots with occasional gusts to 15. Tonight, SW wind just 5 knots, seas dropping to 10 feet. A switch to NW wind is forecast tomorrow, 10-15 knots gusting 20, and seas fall to 8 feet. Outlook is for a fair weather pattern with northerlies 5-15 knots for the rest of the week, although seas are expected to briefly rise again to 12-14 feet on Wednesday, subsiding to 10 feet Thursday.
On the Beach… Showers, light wind, surf 9-12 feet (moderate).
03/09 Sun 09:17 PM 5.92 H
03/10 Mon 02:12 AM 3.76 L
03/10 Mon 08:16 AM 7.25 H
03/10 Mon 03:26 PM 1.09 L
In Short: Showers, light wind, then drying and clearing.
Weather Factoid: Why do storm winds typically blow stronger at the coast than in the Willamette Valley or just a few miles offshore on the ocean? This phenomenon is due to something meteorologists call a ‘coastal jet.’ As southwesterly storm winds arrive, they get banked-up against the Coast Range, deflected to the north and then squished into a narrow zone over beaches, headlands and our coastal communities. This scenario leads to peak winds trending higher right where we live, at the dividing line between the unobstructed ocean and the obstructing mountains.