WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Weather or Not: It Really Blew in ’62

Chris Burns Weather

Sunday, October 12th – Lincoln County

Summary: Yesterday was rough on the beaches with high and dangerous surf, as evidenced by the Coast Guard rescue at Fogarty Creek Beach. But the weather was decent after the showers faded away by mid-morning. Southwest winds were light at 5-10 mph, and the mercury rose to the mid-60s. Scattered clouds and ocean haze took us through the afternoon and evening. Some serious fog developed around midnight and lasted through daybreak. This morning, it was still foggy at the beach but breaking up inland. Lows were in the 50s and winds remained light.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Rain…
Lincoln City: 66F/57F/0.02”
Depoe Bay: 62F/53F/0.03”
Newport: 64F/52F/0.02”
Waldport: 66F/54F/0.01”
Yachats: 62F/50F/<0.01” Forecast: The National Weather Service issued a new Special Weather Statement this morning for high surf and sneaker waves. Dangerous waves continue to be possible along the Central Coast today. The danger is magnified because the weather is pleasant and long pauses between waves will create a false perception of safe conditions. Stay away from jetties, offshore rocks, rocky shores and all exposed beaches today. These areas may be periodically inundated by high surf. Sneaker waves will be significantly higher than those that precede or follow them. Never turn your back on the ocean.

On this 52nd anniversary of the strongest winds ever recorded on the Central Coast, during the legendary 1962 Columbus Day Storm (see Weather Factoid below), we don’t expect much wind. For today’s Yachats and Lincoln City Farmers Markets, look for a light and variable breeze, sunny periods after morning fog and the thermometer rising to 60-65F. This is probably the last dry day-off for quite a while, so it’ll be a good time to clean out your gutters or maybe do a final once-over lawn mowing. Tonight, fog develops again under partly cloudy skies, lows about 50F. The big change begins tomorrow as we expect increasing clouds and a chance of showers by midday, followed by the arrival of a storm system in the evening with sou’westers 20-25 mph and a half inch (or more) of rain. Outlook is for Fall storms to inundate the Central Coast about every 24-36 hours all week. Winds could reach 40 mph and rainfall amounts will be fairly heavy.

Travel: In the Coast Range today, patchy fog, partly cloudy and 65-70F. Valley destinations will have areas of dense fog early then turning mostly sunny with highs near 70F. For the Cascades, partly cloudy; the snow level is 8,000 feet. Outlook for weekend travelers is foggy with damp pavement this morning, dry and partly cloudy this afternoon and tonight. We could see snow down to the Cascade highway passes by Wednesday.

Marine: It’s calm and foggy offshore this morning with seas 14 feet at 16 seconds. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay is under a Captain of the Port closure; no vessels are allowed in or out. Yaquina Bay bar is closed at Buoy 7 to all recreational and uninspected passenger vessels. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas remains in effect through late tonight. The long period W swell is projected to continue today, 13-14 feet at 16 seconds, making shallower areas extremely dangerous; winds will be light and variable. NE wind tonight 5-10 knots, W swells subsiding to 10 feet at 14 seconds. Tomorrow, a front approaches producing S winds 20-25 knots by afternoon, lumpy seas 8 feet and rain. Outlook is for storms to arrive every other day or so during the week ahead with southerly winds up to gale force and combined rough seas rebuilding to 15 feet by mid-week.

Columbus Day Hospice Regatta… Light and variable winds around 5 knots today with fog early. Large, westerly ocean swells entering Yaquina Bay will affect the W end of the course, and the entrance is closed seaward of Buoy 7.

On the Beach… Fog, sun and clouds, light breeze, surf 15 feet (high*).
* Dangerous surf today! See Forecast above for details.
* Tides
10/12 Sun 09:15 AM 2.71 L
10/12 Sun 03:16 PM 8.60 H
10/12 Sun 10:08 PM -0.23 L
10/13 Mon 04:51 AM 6.97 H

In Short: Foggy, mixed sky, light winds, then stormy.

Weather Factoid: What was the Columbus Day Storm? On Friday evening, October 12th, 1962, the remnants of Typhoon Freda swept into the Pacific Northwest packing extremely powerful winds. Gusts of 150-170 mph were reported along the Oregon Coast. Newport officially recorded 138 mph before the wind gauge was destroyed; inland in downtown Portland on the Morrison Bridge, the peak was 116 mph. By the time the storm ended the next morning, 50,000 dwellings were damaged; 11,000,000 board feet of timber was blown down (15 times the amount destroyed by the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption), not to mention the innumerable fallen trees in every Western Oregon neighborhood; TV and radio towers toppled; the power grid was destroyed and many areas were without electricity for several weeks. The storm killed 38 people, the most from any single weather event in Oregon history. The hellacious sustained winds placed the Columbus Day Storm in league with a Category 3 hurricane, but it was officially termed an ‘extratropical cyclone.’

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