Summary: Yesterday was about as good as it gets in mid-October. After a cool start in the upper-40s, mostly sunny skies, a hair’s breadth of wind and highs around 60F brought the Central Coast into the pages of a Chamber of Commerce brochure. A few wispy high clouds streaked the azure skies from time to time, but otherwise we had clear sailing for the day. A gorgeous sunset and light winds made a beach walk enjoyable and a lot of folks took advantage of the calm before the storm(s). A waxing gibbous moon ruled the night and temps dipped into the 40s. This morning, it was chilly with some high cumulus clouds partially obscuring the sky and the breeze was light easterly.
Newport Airport Conditions…
Ceiling: broken @ 5,000′
Visibility: 10 miles/Wind: E 6 mph/Pressure: 29.90”
Past 24 Hours High/Low…
Lincoln City: 61F/48F
Depoe Bay: 61F/42F
Watches, Warnings and Advisories…
A Hazardous Weather Outlook has been issued by the National Weather Service for the Central Coast. A series of strong storms will pass across the region starting tonight. Rain may be heavy at times on Thursday and Thursday evening along with gusty south winds. At that time south winds could gust 45-55 mph with the strongest winds on the coastal headlands and exposed beaches. A much stronger storm will pass through the region later Saturday with a strong cold front moving onshore Saturday evening. Another round of very heavy rain is expected resulting in localized flooding due to ponding of water in low lying areas. But the main story will be the gusty south winds. These winds may gust 65-80 mph with the strongest winds on the headlands and open beaches. Still some uncertainty with these wind speeds as they could be somewhat lower or higher depending on the storm track. Nonetheless, coastal residents should be prepared for very strong winds later Saturday. In addition, strong winds and high seas will create deadly surf conditions. This will not be a time to be near the water’s edge.
A High Wind Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for the Central Coast, in effect from Thursday afternoon through early Friday afternoon. Winds 25-35 mph with peak gusts at beaches and headlands 65-75 mph. Timing is late Thursday afternoon through early Friday afternoon. Highest winds expected late Thursday into Thursday evening. Impacts include localized power outages and trees down. Debris on roads may hinder travel. Outlook for Saturday is another storm with stronger and potentially more damaging winds likely. A High Wind Watch means there is the potential for a hazardous high wind event. Sustained winds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or stronger may occur.
Forecast: On this 54th anniversary of the biggest windstorm to strike the Pacific Northwest in recorded history (The Columbus Day Storm of October 12, 1962), it looks like we’re in for a big blast over the next few days. Today is a changeover period with increasing clouds expected, highs 55-60F and light south winds. Tonight, the storm train pulls into the station with its cargo of rain, maybe an inch, southerlies 10-20 mph gusting 30 or so, and lows in the 50s. The full impact of the first storm of the series comes barreling in tomorrow with as much as 2 inches of rain, south winds rising to 35-40 mph gusting near 60 and a high temp around 55F. Outlook is for a bit of a breather on Friday with subsiding winds and rain turning to showers. The next and probably most powerful storm arrives Saturday with another round of heavy rain and high winds of 75-80 mph possible. Total rainfall from these storms could be as high as 5-6 inches. Showers/rain and breezy conditions are in the cards through at least Tuesday.
Travel: In the Coast Range this morning, there’s bare pavement and 35-45F in the passes (the new section of Highway 20 between Pioneer Mountain and Eddyville is now open during the day, by the way); mostly cloudy today, temperatures 60-65F. Willamette Valley destinations are expecting areas of fog early, mostly sunny later and the thermometer rising to 60-65F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast calls for mainly sunny skies, east winds 10-15 mph, high of 60F. For the Cascades, highways are clear this morning, temps are around 35F; partly sunny today, the free air freezing level is 11,000 feet.
Marine: Seas are running 3 feet at 15 seconds this morning with a SE wind 10 knots or less. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect from this afternoon through this evening. A Gale Warning is in effect from this evening through tomorrow afternoon. A Storm Watch is in effect from tomorrow afternoon through tomorrow night. Light SE wind this morning becoming S 15-20 knots gusting 25 this afternoon, swells 3 feet. Tonight, the breeze rises to 25-30 knots gusting 35 and choppy seas build to 6 feet at 8 seconds. Much rougher conditions are expected tomorrow as winds increase to 30-40 knots gusting 50 with large and dangerous combined seas 17 feet at just 13 seconds. Outlook is for southerlies 25-30 knots gusting 40 on Friday and seas holding at 17 feet. Saturday, batten down the hatches for SW winds 35-45 knots gusting 55 and combined seas 32 feet or higher. On Sunday, the sou’westers drop to 25-30 knots and swells subside to 22 feet. Always check the latest Bar Reports before you venture offshore.
On the Beach… Becoming mostly cloudy, light winds, surf 3-4 feet (low).
* Heads-up for possible high and dangerous surf over the weekend with waves reaching above 30 feet.
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
10/12 Wed 10:17 AM 7.28 H
10/12 Wed 04:08 PM 2.18 L
10/12 Wed 10:11 PM 7.41 H
10/13 Thu 04:27 AM 0.50 L
In Short: Increasing clouds, then stormy.