Saturday, Apr. 18th – Lincoln County
Summary: It was a bona fide sunshine gale yesterday (see Weather Factoid below) as north winds topped 40 mph along parts of the Central Coast; Waldport’s anemometer spun-up to 43 mph for the peak gust. Temperatures were mostly in the upper-50s albeit Lincoln City’s thermometer topped out at 63F for the highest reading. It was mainly clear, but there was haze over the beach in the afternoon and a few clouds appeared around sunset. Skies were mixed during the evening and overnight with some serious foggy spots developing early this morning dropping visibility to a quarter mile. At sunrise, patchy fog persisted but skies were blue above and the wind had fallen light.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust…
Lincoln City: 63F/48F/38mph
Depoe Bay: 56F/44F/32mph
Forecast: The sunshine gale scenario is expected to develop again today, so it’ll be a smidge breezy at times for the Depoe Bay Wooden Boat Show, Crab Feed and Ducky Derby, and for Lincoln City’s Devils Lake Paddle. The mercury should climb up to 60F or better under mostly sunny skies. Clear tonight, breezy, and lows of 45-50F. Sunny again tomorrow but the wind is projected to be a little lighter while temps climb to 65F, maybe higher. Outlook is for sunshine and a northeast wind of just 5-10 mph on Monday; cooler with a high of 55-60F. Patchy fog and partly sunny Tuesday, followed by an overall change to damper weather Wednesday through Friday as the current pattern breaks down and minor fronts are allowed to bring a chance of showers in off the ocean. Temps for mid- to late-week are predicted to be 40F lows and 55F highs.
Travel: In the Coast Range today, mostly sunny with 65-75F. Valley destinations are expecting sunshine and a high of 75F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast calls for sunny skies, light east wind, temps near 75F. For the Cascades, there is bare pavement on the highway passes this morning, temperatures are 30-35F; sunny, the free air freezing level is 10,000 feet. Outlook for weekend travelers is dry roads tonight through Sunday night for all of Northwest Oregon including the Cascades where the freezing level will be around 11,000 feet.
Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 47”; a loss of 3” since yesterday; an overall gain of 6” in the past seven days; 68” 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…
Mt. Bachelor 0”/44”/firm packed
Mt. Hood Meadows 0”/31”/wax warm for spring skiing
Timberline 0”/73”/no report
Marine: The N wind is still blowing like crazy this morning, 15-25 knots gusting 30, with seas 9-10 feet at 12-14 seconds. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect through tomorrow morning. The strong northerly is expected to stay up around 20-25 knots gusting 30 today, tonight and tomorrow, along with lumpy seas 7-9 feet and 6-7 foot windwaves. Outlook is for the N breeze to finally subside a bit on Monday, easing to 15-20 knots, and swells drop to 7 feet at 13 seconds. NW winds 15-20 knots on Tuesday, swells 8 feet, and then conditions ramp-up again Wednesday as the N wind returns at 20-25 knots and choppy seas rebuild to 10 feet. Always check the latest Bar Reports before you venture offshore.
On the Beach… Becoming sunny, very breezy, surf 6-8 feet (moderate).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
04/18 Sat 06:36 AM -0.96 L
04/18 Sat 12:56 PM 8.08 H
04/18 Sat 06:40 PM 0.71 L
04/19 Sun 12:52 AM 9.42 H
In Short: Clearing and windy, then continued clear, warmer and breezy.
Weather Factoid: So what’s causing these unusually strong winds during sunny weather? The hefty northerly breeze of the past few days is not related to a storm system. Normally when we get winds above 40 mph, it is due to a front on the leading edge of a Pacific weather disturbance. Right now, however, conditions are stable; and that’s where the rubber meets the road. The air from a strong high pressure center over the ocean is rushing in to fill the void left by very low pressure over Northwestern California and Southwestern Oregon. This low pressure is not the result of a storm system, but rather is caused by warm temperatures and rising air south of us. The highest winds, then, will blow during the warmest part of the day, i.e., afternoons and evenings. Because of their stability, these ‘sunshine gales’ can last for prolonged periods, sometimes a week or more.