Friday, Mar. 28th – Lincoln County
Summary: Like a pair of fraternal twins, yesterday and Wednesday were quite similar, though not identical. Thursday’s winds were lighter, but rainfall was higher. Both days featured a mix of sun, clouds and showers, and a high about 55F. By noon yesterday, showers were at a minimum and the wind faded slightly. That situation lasted into early evening. Heavier rain began about 10:00pm last night and continued overnight. There was steady rain at daybreak, and the southwest breeze was up to 25-30 mph with higher gusts. Low temperatures were around 50F.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Rain/Wind Gust…
Lincoln City: 55F/50F/0.97”/42mph
Depoe Bay: 51F/47F/0.74”/31mph
Forecast: Until 1909, Oregon was called The Webfoot State. We may want to revive that moniker for the next few days as ducks, beavers, pluviophiles and everyone else will need webbed feet to get around.
The National Weather Service this morning updated its Special Weather Statement. Heavy rains already underway are bringing rapid river rises and increased landslide potential. Low pressure centered off Vancouver Island will funnel moderate amounts of subtropical moisture across the Central Coast today.
Expect periods of moderate to heavy rain. Best estimates of total rainfall through this evening are for 2 to 5 inches along the Central Coast and in the Coast Range. Expect moderate to sharp rises for small streams and rivers today through tomorrow. General flooding is not expected at this time. Some minor landslides are already being reported around the region under saturated soil conditions. Additional landslides are certainly not out of the question, especially for the Central Coast and Coast Range.
South winds will peak this morning at 15-30 mph with gusts of 40-50 mph. The strongest winds will be on exposed headlands and open beaches. Thunderstorm potential today and tomorrow could also result in bursts of wind reaching 30-50 mph. The soggy ground coupled with leafing trees may cause tree damage or toppling, even with wind gusts of 30-35 mph.
Outlook is for showers and possible thunderstorms all weekend with rainfall totals of another inch or more. Rain is likely again Monday with showers on Tuesday (though one computer model shows some brief drying and sunshine on Tuesday). Highs during the period 50-55F, lows about 45F. On the horizon, another storm is predicted to arrive by next Wednesday.
Travel: At 8:00am, Highways 18, 20 and 34 are open with some delays through the Coast Range, wet pavement, spots of standing water and about 45F. A landslide has occurred on Highway 34, 12 miles east of Tidewater. It’s blocking the westbound lane and delays up to 20 minutes are expected. There’s a crash on Highway 18 at Sheridan causing a 20 minute delay. Highway 101 along the Central Coast is wet with no delays. Valley destinations have wet pavement with possible areas of standing water and rain in the forecast today, heavy in Corvallis. In the Cascades, highways are currently near freezing with snow flurries and spots of ice; carry chains or traction tires. The snow level is 5,500 feet. Outlook for weekend travelers is for wet pavement on the Central Coast, in the Coast Range and in the Valley. Cascades highway passes could receive up to a foot of snow through the weekend making mountain travel hazardous at times.
Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 128”, a gain of 8” since yesterday, or 76% of normal. Weekly snow total, +12”; difference from last year, -1”; deviation from 30 year average, -4”.
Ski Report – New Snow Inches/Total Inches/Condition…
Hoodoo 9/62/Packed Powder
Willamette Pass 0/26/Machine Groomed
Mt Bachelor 4/121/Powder
Mt Hood Meadows 11/126/Powder
Mt Hood Ski Bowl 8/34/Machine Groomed
Timberline Lodge 12/89/Powder
Marine: Still no joy for sport fishermen aching to get out for the early ocean salmon season. It’s Rough with a capital ‘R’ this morning. S winds are blowing 25-35 knots and combined seas are 13 feet. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is restricted for recreational vessels 30 feet and less, and for uninspected passenger vessels 22 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is restricted for recreational and uninspected passenger vessels 26 feet and less. A Gale Warning is in effect until 1:00pm this afternoon. By this evening, SW winds should be down to 15-20 knots briefly, but rising again to 20-25 knots with gusts to 30 overnight and through tomorrow. Combined seas are expected to build to 15 feet tomorrow. Sunday, a SW breeze 15-20 knots with wave heights of 12-14 feet. Outlook is for another front to arrive Sunday night packing gale force southerly winds and combined seas 12 feet or higher. Monday and Tuesday, S winds 15-25 knots, seas 10-12 feet. NOTE: A new edition of Chart 18580 Cape Blanco to Yaquina Head was published on March 1st, 2014, due to various general changes. This NOAA chart is now available in both the Print-on Demand and digital raster formats. Go here to download. The corresponding traditional paper chart will be available in two to eight weeks.
On the Beach… Rainy, windy, surf 9-10 feet (moderate).
California gray whales are migrating north and Whale Watch Week, on now through tomorrow, is a great time to see them when weather allows. Central Coast locations staffed by volunteers to help you spot the whales include Spanish Head, Boiler Bay, Depoe Bay, Rocky Creek, Cape Foulweather, Devils Punchbowl, Yaquina Head and Don Davis Park.
03/28 Fri 11:03 AM 8.32 H
03/28 Fri 05:22 PM -0.16 L
03/28 Fri 11:46 PM 8.42 H
03/29 Sat 05:49 AM 0.53 L
In Short: Heavy rain, wind, thunderstorms, then showers and breezy.