Friday, Dec. 19th – Lincoln County
Summary: Extreme amounts of rainfall and possible flooding are projected for this weekend; see Forecast below. High surf conditions are expected today and tomorrow; see On the Beach below.
Yesterday, the transition to seasonal stormy weather was complete by early afternoon when the sou’westers reappeared in earnest gusting 30-40 mph. It was mostly dry during the daylight hours with only a couple light rain showers. High temps climbed into the upper 50s; Waldport and Yachats toyed with 60F. More serious rain developed during the evening before turning to showers and thunderstorms overnight. Lightning strikes and rumbling thunder were reported at Newport and down in Florence early this morning. Low temps stopped around 45F. At daybreak, broken overcast and showers dominated the area, winds were light.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 56F/45F/28mph/1.31”
Depoe Bay: 56F/44F/31mph/0.51”
Forecast: The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for the flooding threat increasing Saturday night through Monday for Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington rivers. Strong and deep moist westerly flow will begin crossing the coast Saturday morning. A very long fetch of moisture is stretching across the Pacific with origins west to the South China Sea and has above average potential to bring heavy rains to the area. As such, this continues to give the appearance of a classic high precipitation atmospheric river event where the deep moist flow will spend a significant amount of time on a nearly perpendicular course against the Coast Range with the Cascades taking a bit higher of the impact. Latest forecasts for Friday night through Monday afternoon bring 8-12 inches of rain to the Cascades and foothills, 7-11 inches for the Coast Range, 5-7 inches along the immediate coast, and 3-4 inches along the I-5 corridor. Given the latest data, it appears multiple Coast Range rivers have a moderate potential of exceeding flood stage. Additionally, this event has sufficient depth to bring significant rains to the North Oregon and South Washington Cascades where rivers will also see potential for notable flooding. Keep in mind that details will always be in flux under these scenarios as subtle north or south shifts could make dramatic differences in which basins receive extended periods of moderate to heavy rain. Please continue to follow the latest forecasts and impacts as conditions warrant. River forecasts are available here.
For the Central Coast specifically, today’s lead-in to the Pineapple Express heavy rain event will be showers, a chance of thunderstorms, sunbreaks, southwest winds 10-15 mph gusting to 20 or so and highs about 55F. Tonight, steady rain develops with maybe three-quarters of an inch, southerly winds 15-20 mph gusting 25 and lows near 50F. Tomorrow, the really heavy rain arrives drenching us with at least 1-2 inches, winds rise to south 30-40 mph gusting 50, and the mercury parks at 55F. Outlook is for continued very heavy rainfall Sunday and Sunday night with additional accumulations of 2-4 inches, giving us a weekend storm total up to 6 inches or more. Keep your gutters, downspouts and street drains cleared of debris to lessen the impact of that much water. Landslides are also possible as the ground becomes supersaturated. We drop to showers on Monday and a chance of rain Tuesday with seasonal temperatures and normal precipitation values.
Christmas Eve/Day… Showers, some clearing, cooler, low 36F, high 47F. The chance of snow is less than 10%.
Travel: In the Coast Range today, rain showers with highs of 45-50F. Valley destinations are expecting showers and 50-55F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast is showers, temps around 50F. For the Cascades, there is packed snow on all highway passes this morning, more snow showers today with up to 4” accumulation; the snow level is at 4,000 feet. Carry chains or traction tires. Outlook for weekend travelers in the Coast Range, Valley and Gorge is heavy rain and possible highway flooding through Sunday night; the Cascades are expecting additional snow showers through tomorrow with 4-12” of snow, but turning to heavy rain with possible flooding Saturday night through Sunday night.
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 3”/34”/Open, fresh powder
Mt. Hood Ski Bowl 0”/18”/Open, Snow Tube & Adventure Park
Mt. Hood Meadows 2”/7”/Closed
Timberline 4”/14”/Open, Bruno’s lift only
Marine: The wind is light SE nearshore and S 10-15 knots offshore this morning; seas are 10 feet at 11 seconds. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is unrestricted. Yaquina Bay bar is closed to recreational vessels 20 feet and less. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect through late tonight. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas is in effect through late tonight. A Gale Watch is in effect from late tonight through Saturday afternoon. SW winds today 20-25 knots with seas building from 13 to 16 feet at 20 seconds. Tonight, southerlies 20-25 knots gusting 30, but rising to 30-35 knots gusting 45 after midnight with combined very rough seas 22 feet at 18 seconds. Seas stay high and rough tomorrow at 20 feet and SW winds remain gale force at 30-35 knots gusting to 45. Outlook is for moderating breeze and seas on Sunday, SW winds 20-25 knots and swells 15 feet at 13 seconds. Monday and Tuesday, W to SW winds 5-15 knots and seas 12-13 feet.
On the Beach… Showers, sunbreaks, breezy, surf 20-22 feet (extreme).
* A High Surf Advisory is in effect from 10:00am this morning to 4:00pm tomorrow for the Central Coast. Seas and surf will build rapidly this afternoon, reaching 20-22 feet by this evening. Seas will remain around 20 feet through most of Saturday, falling below 20 feet by Saturday evening. A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion. Stay off of jetties and offshore rocks, and be extremely watchful on rocky shores or sandy beaches. These areas may be periodically inundated by surf, especially during high tides. Be aware of sneaker waves that will be significantly higher than those that precede or follow them. Never turn your back on the ocean.
12/19 Fri 09:27 AM 9.24 H
12/19 Fri 04:31 PM -0.21 L
12/19 Fri 11:08 PM 6.84 H
12/20 Sat 03:59 AM 3.40 L
In Short: Showers, partial clearing, then extremely wet with blustery winds.