Summary: While you slept, the seasons changed. The Winter Solstice (see Weather Factoid below) occurred at 2:44am local time this morning. So, Winter is officially underway beginning with the shortest ‘day’ of the year; we have just 8 hours and 48 minutes of light today. The last day of Fall was fairly ho-hum with moderate temperatures, mixed skies, light winds and precipitation well below measurable (0.01”). Mainly clear overnight with light east winds, which allowed the daytime heat to escape so the mercury fell into the mid-30s or a bit lower, just enough to frost windshields, rooftops and some of our streets. By dawn, it was all blue above but chilly east winds had ramped-up to 20-25 mph.
Newport Airport Conditions…
Visibility: 10 miles/Wind: E 24 mph G29/Altimeter: 30.36”
Past 24 Hours High/Low…
Lincoln City: 52F/40F
Depoe Bay: 51F/33F
Forecast: On this shortest day of the year, we’ve drawn an inside strait. While the Valley is socked in with fog, and the seas are rough offshore, we’ll be basking in sunshine today. Maybe basking is a stretch; if the east winds keep up it will be chilly even though the thermometer should peak around 50F. Tonight, increasing clouds, low of 40F. Tomorrow, rain returns along with moderate southerly winds and a high of 50F. Outlook is for rain turning to showers on Friday, showers, cooler and partial clearing over most of the holiday weekend. Although a White Christmas is probably not in the cards, the National Weather Service said early today, that they “cannot rule out a snow flurry or two on Christmas morning.” Then it’s back to rain Monday and Tuesday.
Christmas Eve/Day… Slight chance of snow flurries, clearing, low 35F, high 45F.
Today’s North Pole Conditions… 6F, snowing, calm.
Be sure to follow Weather or Not’s Twitter feed to keep current on Winter’s rapidly changing conditions. We provide updated travel info and notification of any advisories, watches or warnings. Follow @chrisburnswx.
Travel: Heads-up for frosty patches on the roads around the Central Coast this morning. In the Coast Range, there’s frosty pavement and 25F in the passes; patchy freezing fog early becoming mostly sunny today, highs 40-45F. Willamette Valley destinations are under a Dense Fog Advisory with areas of frost on the highways but clearing and warming later today, high 40F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast calls for sunshine, east winds 5-10 mph, high near freezing. For the Cascades, highways have packed snow and areas of black ice this morning, temps 20-25F, carry chains or use traction tires; mostly sunny, with the free air freezing level rising from 4,000 to 6,000 feet this afternoon. * Motorists should always visit ODOT’s TripCheck before hitting the road.
Marine: Rough seas this morning, 17 feet at 16 seconds, and winds are NE 10-15 knots. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas remains in effect through tomorrow afternoon. Seas subsiding from 17 feet to 12 feet at 15 seconds by this afternoon, E winds 5-10 knots gusting 15. Tonight, seas holding at 12 feet at 15 seconds, winds becoming S 10-15 knots gusting 20. A minor weather system impacts local waters tomorrow with southerlies 10-15 knots gusting 20, swells about 11 feet at 15 seconds. Outlook is for northerlies 10 knots Friday and Saturday, swells 10 feet, and then light E winds 5-10 knots Sunday, swells 9 feet or so. * Make sure you check the latest Bar Reports before venturing offshore.
On the Beach… Mostly sunny, breezy, surf 12-15 feet (moderate).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
12/21 Wed 12:39 PM 2.94 L
12/21 Wed 06:19 PM 6.14 H
12/22 Thu 12:14 AM 2.41 L
12/22 Thu 07:04 AM 8.09 H
In Short: Clearing, rain, then showers and cool.
Weather Factoid: What is the Winter Solstice, anyway? The Old Farmer’s Almanac tells us the word solstice comes from the Latin for ‘sun’ and ‘to stand still.’ In the Northern Hemisphere, as Summer slowly turns to Winter, the place on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets moves south every day; the high point in the Sun’s daily path across the sky at noon also moves southward each day. At the Winter Solstice, the Sun’s trajectory has reached its most southern spot. The following day, the path will advance a tiny bit toward the north. However, a few days before and after the Winter Solstice, the change is so slight that the Sun’s path appears to remain the same, or stand still. These are also the days with the least amount of light; here on the Central Coast, that’s just 8 hours and 48 minutes today, but tomorrow will be 4 seconds longer as the Sun begins moving north again.