Monday, Feb. 2nd – Lincoln County
Summary: It wasn’t quite dry enough for a tailgate party yesterday, but not really a serious soaker, either. On and off rain left about half an inch in the gauges, and southwest winds gusted to 20-25 mph. Much of the afternoon was dry, though by evening the precipitation began again. A follow-on cold front arrived around 2:00am bringing increasing rain and southerly winds gusting near 30 mph. Unstable air behind the front produced a few Patriot-like lightning strikes along the South Coast. This morning, rain was turning to showers and it was a bit breezy.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Rain…
Lincoln City: 55F/45F/0.66”
Depoe Bay: 54F/45F/0.52”
Forecast: At 7:28am EST this morning, Pennsylvania’s legendary groundhog prognosticator emerged from his burrow for the 129th year, and indicated that we’ll have six more weeks of Winter. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow despite lightly overcast skies at Gobbler’s Knob (see Weather Factoid below).
Okay, Phil, we’ll take it. Six more weeks of this kind of Winter, with Summer-like conditions here on the Central Coast, wouldn’t be all that bad. Well, except for the dismal snow pack, of course. Showers today with south winds 20-30 mph, a chance of thunderstorms and highs about 55F. More rain tonight and tomorrow, light winds and above average temperatures between 45F and 55F. Outlook is for a break on Tuesday night and Wednesday when the guestimate for rain drops to 50-50. Thursday and Friday are a different story, however, as we face a potential Pineapple Express rain event, which may continue into the weekend. Warm temps, lots of wind and inches of rain are conceivable.
Travel: In the Coast Range today, showers, possible thunderstorms, windy, with highs 45-55F. Valley destinations are expecting showers and a high of 50-55F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast calls for showers, possible thunderstorms, east winds gusting 20 mph, temps near 50F. For the Cascades, there are spots of ice at Government Camp and standing water at Willamette Pass this morning, bare pavement on Santiam Pass; rainy and windy with the snow level at 6,000 feet, dropping below the passes tomorrow.
Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 32”, no change since yesterday; an overall loss of 2” in the past seven days; 33” less than this date last year; 86% below the 30-year average Snow Water Equivalent (total amount of moisture in the snow pack).
Ski Report – New Snow/Base/Condition…
Willamette Pass 0”/18”/closed
Mt. Bachelor 0”/42”/firm packed
Mt. Hood Ski Bowl 0”/3”/closed
Mt. Hood Meadows 0”/30”/wet packed
Timberline 0”/28”/wet packed
Marine: A cold front has pushed seas and breeze up this morning; SSE winds are 15-25 knots and swells are steep, 9 feet at 12 seconds. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is closed to all recreational vessels, and to uninspected passenger vessels 32 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is closed to recreational vessels 26 feet and less. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect through this afternoon. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas is in effect through this evening. S winds 20-25 knots today, easing to 10-15 knots but still gusting 25 this afternoon along with 10 foot seas at 14 seconds. Tonight, look for southerlies 5-10 knots and swells 10 feet at 14 seconds. A light breeze is expected tomorrow, 5-10 knots, with swells holding at 10 feet. Outlook is for SE winds 10-15 knots on Wednesday and seas relax to about 7 feet. But don’t get your hopes up; gales are predicted for Thursday and Friday as S winds howl at 30-35 knots and rough combined seas build to 20 feet or higher.
On the Beach… Showery, breezy, surf 7-9 feet (moderate).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
02/02 Mon 10:51 AM 8.96 H
02/02 Mon 05:42 PM -0.22 L
02/03 Tue 12:19 AM 7.53 H
02/03 Tue 05:35 AM 3.07 L
In Short: Showers, moderate winds, a break, then wet and windy.
Weather Factoid: How did the Groundhog Day tradition begin? The celebration of Groundhog Day began with Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers who brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, February 2nd, which states, “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May.” Punxsutawney held its first Groundhog Day sometime in the 1800s and the first official trek to Gobbler’s Knob was made on February 2nd, 1887. Punxsutawney Phil, so the story goes, was eventually named after King Phillip though previously he had been called Br’er Groundhog. Phil’s annual forecasts are not made in advance, or with any help from meteorologists. After he emerges from his burrow on the morning of February 2nd, Phil speaks to the Groundhog Club president in ‘Groundhogese’ (a language apparently only understood by the current president of Punxsutawney’s Inner Circle). His proclamation is then translated for the rest of the world. This morning’s translation was: “Forecasts abound on the Internet, but I, Punxsutawney Phil, am still your best bet. Yes, A Shadow I see, you can start to twitter, Hash Tag: Six More Weeks of Winter!”