Thursday, Dec. 18th – Lincoln County
Summary: When the tenacious east wind event finally collapsed yesterday, the switch to a southwest breeze was rapid. Between noon and 2:00pm we went from easterlies 8-10 mph to southerlies 15-20 mph gusting into the 30s. The heaviest rainfall came after sunset with amounts generally between a tenth and a quarter of an inch. The thermometer was in the low-50s for most of the day. Rain continued until about midnight as the front passed and lows dropped into the 40s. This morning, it was cloudy with a light and variable breeze.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 52F/46F/35mph/0.13”
Depoe Bay: 53F/44F/35mph/0.08”
Forecast: The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for potential flooding Saturday night through Monday for Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington rivers. A storm system developing over the Pacific is expected to bring heavy rain to the Pacific Northwest Saturday evening through Sunday. As of now, it looks like the heaviest rain will be in the North Oregon Coast Range and the North Oregon and South Washington Cascades. But this forecast is uncertain. Meteorologists will be keeping a close eye on the development of this storm. This is a classic atmospheric river event that could produce some areas of very heavy rain. Rainfall amounts are currently projected as 5-8” for the coast, Coast Range and Cascades with 2-5” for Valley locations. Snow levels will be high, well above pass level, for most of this event. If we get these amounts of rain or more, there will likely be flooding on area rivers and creeks Saturday night through Monday.
In the near term, today looks moderately dry until late this afternoon when the next band of heavier rain is expected to arrive backed by south winds 15-20 mph gusting 25-35. High temps should be a tad warmer, 55F or so. Rain tonight, up to half an inch, southwest winds 30-35 mph gusting to 45, and the mercury settling to about 45F. Tomorrow, look for a showery pattern with maybe a tenth of an inch of precipitation, southerlies gusting 20 mph and a high of 50-55F. Outlook, as noted above, is for some serious ark-building necessary before the weekend as rainfall accumulation for the Central Coast could reach 6” total between Friday night and Sunday. It’ll probably be windy, too, with this Pineapple Express storm although not hurricane force winds like last week. Rain is likely on Monday with a chance of rain Tuesday. Cooler temperatures and drying are projected for mid-to-late week.
Christmas Eve/Day… Showers, some clearing, low 35F, high 47F. The chance of snow is less than 10%.
Travel: In the Coast Range today, rain and wind developing with highs of 50F. Valley destinations are expecting rain late this afternoon and 50-55F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast is rain later, temps around 45F. For the Cascades, there are icy spots and areas of packed snow on the highway passes this morning, a chance of rain and/or snow showers today; the snow level is at 4,000 feet. Heads-up for 1-3” of snow possible in the passes Friday through early Saturday. Carry chains or traction tires.
Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 8”, unchanged since yesterday; an overall gain of 3” in the past seven days.
Ski Report – New Snow/Base/Condition…
Willamette Pass 0”/4”/Closed
Mt. Bachelor 2”/31”/Open, variety of conditions
Mt. Hood Ski Bowl 0”/18”/Closed
Mt. Hood Meadows 2”/7”/Closed
Timberline 4”/14”/Open, Bruno’s lift only
Marine: The breeze is light SE nearshore this morning but 10-15 knots gusting 20 farther offshore; seas are lumpy, 11 feet at 14 seconds. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is closed to recreational vessels 34 feet and less, and to uninspected passenger vessels 28 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is closed to recreational vessels 20 feet and less. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas is in effect until 1:00pm this afternoon. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is also in effect until 1:00pm this afternoon. A Gale Warning goes into effect at 1:00pm this afternoon and runs through this evening. S winds rising later today to 30-35 knots gusting 45 and combined seas 11 feet at 13 seconds. Tonight, gale force winds gusting 45 knots early but easing to 20-25 knots gusting 30 after midnight with rough seas 13 feet at 12 seconds. A longer period swell, 15 feet at 20 seconds is expected tomorrow along with SW winds 15-20 knots gusting 25. Outlook is for another good blow on Saturday with southerlies 35-40 knots gusting to 45 and seas running up to 20 feet or higher. Sunday and Monday, SW to W winds 15-25 knots, seas slowly subsiding from 15 to 13 feet.
On the Beach… Rain developing, breezy, surf 6-8 feet (moderate).
* High surf, up to 20 feet, is projected for this weekend.
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
12/18 Thu 08:46 AM 8.82 H
12/18 Thu 03:50 PM 0.48 L
12/18 Thu 10:21 PM 6.41 H
12/19 Fri 03:11 AM 3.38 L
In Short: Rain later, windy, then very wet and robust winds.