Wednesday, Dec. 31st – Lincoln County
Summary: Yes, it was a little chilly yesterday, and yes, the east wind blew 15-25 mph with some higher gusts, but from the look of the crowds at the Central Coast’s popular outdoor recreation areas, a lot of people thought it was a Spring day. Beaches, whale watch sites, hiking trails, baysides and waterfronts saw throngs of holiday visitors bundled up for the cold temperatures in the upper-30s, but nonetheless smiling in the full-on sunshine. You could almost hear the hiss as the Sun set on a cloud-free ocean horizon at the end of the day. Skies remained clear through the evening hours, but some low clouds developed overnight with the thermometer dipping to around 30F. At daybreak, the thin overcast was breaking up and east winds had eased to about 10 mph.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust…
Lincoln City: 37F/30F/28mph
Depoe Bay: 38F/30F/33mph
Forecast: Look for a mix of sun and clouds today, a little warmer as the mercury climbs into the low-40s and light east winds. Clear and cold for your New Year’s Eve party, low around 30F. New Year’s Day should be sunny with a high about 45F and a northeasterly breeze of 10 mph. Outlook is for areas of fog and partly sunny on Friday, high near 50F. Then, a transition to typical coastal Winter weather with mostly cloudy skies on Saturday and a chance of rain developing by Sunday, high of 50F, lows of 40-45F. Monday and Tuesday there’s a continued chance of rain with seasonal temperatures.
Travel Today: On Highway 101, a new traffic light goes into operation today at the landslide repair area 12 miles north of Florence. The light will control single-lane traffic in alternating directions when there are no flaggers or pilot cars present.
In the Coast Range this morning, there are spots of ice on all highways, sunny and cool today, high of 35-40F. Valley destinations are expecting sunshine and 30-35F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast is possible icy spots, sunny, windy, temps around 30-35F. For the Cascades, there’s packed snow with chains or traction tires required on Santiam Pass, it’s icy at Government Camp and Willamette Pass, carry chains or traction tires; partly cloudy and cold with temps in the teens.
Outlook for Holiday Travelers… Cold with patches of icy pavement possible through New Year’s Day in all areas of Northwest Oregon, then slowly warming Friday through Sunday. The freezing level in the Cascades should be above the passes by Friday night, but rain/snow showers are conceivable on Sunday.
Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 44”, a loss of 3” since yesterday; an overall gain of 30” in the past seven days.
Ski Report – New Snow/Base/Condition…
Hoodoo 0”/25”/Season Opening today
Willamette Pass 0”/18”/Closed
Mt. Bachelor 0”/50”/Open, packed powder
Mt. Hood Ski Bowl 0”/28”/Open, lifts run to 2:00am, midnight fireworks
Mt. Hood Meadows 0”/42”/Open, packed powder, 10:15pm fireworks
Timberline 0”/50”/Open, packed powder, 10:00pm fireworks
Marine: Seas are almost flat this morning, 2-3 feet at 13 seconds, and winds are light ENE 10 knots with a few gusts to 15. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay and Yaquina Bay bars are unrestricted. Next to nothing for breeze expected nearshore today, NE 10 knots or so, but NE 15-20 knots gusting 25 out past 10 miles where a Small Craft Advisory is in effect through this evening; seas in all areas 3 feet at 12 seconds. Tonight, look for NE winds 5-10 knots gusting 15 and swells 3 feet at 14 seconds. Even lighter conditions tomorrow with NE winds just 5 knots and a W swell at 4 feet. Outlook is for a light NW breeze Friday, veering NE 5 knots on Saturday and to S 10-15 knots on Sunday; swells 4-6 feet through the weekend.
On the Beach… Sun and clouds, chilly, surf 1-2 feet (low).
* Lots of California gray whales are being spotted as they pass the Central Coast headed south to Mexican waters for the Winter. Trained spotters at twenty-four designated sites along the coast can help you get a look at these magnificent creatures. Today is the final day for Oregon Parks and Recreation’s Whale Watch Week. More info and a map of the watch sites are available here.
12/31 Wed 07:55 AM 9.34 H
12/31 Wed 03:00 PM 0.34 L
12/31 Wed 09:30 PM 6.48 H
01/01 Thu 02:27 AM 3.09 L
In Short: Cold, partly cloudy, then slowly warming.