Friday, Jan. 30th – Lincoln County
Summary: Tee shirts in January? Sure, if you live on what we may have to start calling Oregon’s ‘Sunshine Coast.’ Once again, while the Valley was dimmed by white-out fog and chilled with cool, seasonal temperatures yesterday, we basked under sunny skies and thermometer readings near 60F. A few clouds out over the ocean were all that stood in the way of a total blue-out. Skies stayed mainly clear during the evening and the waxing gibbous Moon provided enough light to maneuver outdoors without a flashlight. It was a bit cooler overnight as lows dropped to around 40F. This morning, we had clear skies and a light northeast wind.
Past 24 Hours High/Low…
Lincoln City: 59F/46F
Depoe Bay: 57F/39F
Forecast: We could almost copy and paste yesterday’s forecast into today’s as sunshine dominates the sky, high temps reach for 55-60F and winds should stay light out of the northeast. Patchy fog but otherwise clear tonight and the mercury slides down to about 40F. Mostly sunny skies are in the cards for tomorrow, too, with highs again of 55-60F. Outlook is for our Sunshine Coast weather to come to a screeching halt on Sunday when rain returns and continues likely through Monday, followed by a series of mild but wet days through next week. Highs of 55F and lows of 45F are predicted.
Travel: In the Coast Range today, patchy fog, mostly sunny, highs 50-55F. Valley destinations are expecting fog early, sunny later and a high of 55F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast calls for sunny skies, blustery east winds gusting 30 mph, temps near 50F. For the Cascades, there are spots of ice on all highway passes this morning; sunny with the freezing level at 8,000 feet. Outlook for weekend travelers is mainly dry through Saturday, and then rain with wet pavement Sunday and Sunday night; Cascade snow levels are projected to remain above the passes, though icy spots are possible during the nights and mornings.
Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 32”, no change since yesterday; an overall loss of 7” in the past seven days; 21” less than this date last year; 86% below the 30-year average Snow Water Equivalent, or total amount of moisture in the snow pack.
NOTE: In the words of the National Weather Service, “The wet weather systems expected next week will be relatively warm, so substantial Cascade snows appear unlikely and will do little to help our pitiful snow pack.” (See Weather Factoid below).
Ski Report – New Snow/Base/Condition…
Willamette Pass 0”/18”/closed
Mt. Bachelor 0”/42”/firm packed
Mt. Hood Ski Bowl 0”/3”/open for tubing
Mt. Hood Meadows 0”/30”/loose frozen granular
Marine: The breeze is NE this morning, 5-10 knots, and seas are 7 feet at 15 seconds. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay and Yaquina Bay bars are unrestricted. Look for northerlies rising to 10-15 knots today with 5-6 foot swells at 12 seconds. Tonight and tomorrow, NE winds 5-15 knots are expected along with 6 foot seas at 13 seconds. Outlook is for southerlies to begin Sunday, 10-15 knots gusting 20, and choppy seas 5-7 feet as a weather front arrives. SW wind Monday, 10-15 knots, the swell builds to around 10 feet. For Tuesday, SE winds 5-10 knots with seas relaxing a little to 8-9 feet.
On the Beach… Sunny, light breeze, surf 5-6 feet (low).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
01/30 Fri 08:29 AM 8.91 H
01/30 Fri 03:38 PM 0.25 L
01/30 Fri 10:20 PM 6.74 H
01/31 Sat 03:14 AM 3.60 L
In Short: Mainly clear, patchy fog, light winds, fair, then rain.
Weather Factoid: Just how pitiful is the Cascades snow pack, and why should I care? There are two ways to look at the snow pack. One is in inches of snow, but the most important factor is how much water is in that snow (the Snow Water Equivalent). Currently, the Hood-Deschutes Basin snow pack is about 85% below the 30-year average for total moisture accumulation. Unless it catches up, the effects will be wide-ranging this Summer. Drinking water, hydroelectric power generation, agricultural irrigation, fish populations and recreational activities could all be seriously affected. Ski resorts are already struggling; some haven’t even been able to open. Now, whether the cause is global warming or simply a cyclical anomaly doesn’t really matter as we crystal ball the next few months. With long range forecasts continuing to show above average temperatures and below average precipitation, the Summer of 2015 may be a troubling one for all of Oregon, including the Central Coast.