Summary: Just about the time the National Weather Service canceled the Winter Weather Advisory for the Central Coast yesterday morning around 6:00am, temps dropped to 30-31F and freezing rain coated much of the area in a layer of ice. This was due to a process called ‘evaporative cooling’ (see Weather Factoid below) which brought the mercury down from overnight lows in the mid-30s to under the freezing mark as the rain began. Roads became slick and crashes were numerous around the area. The rest of the day was a moving target as temperatures hovered near freezing and precipitation switched back and forth between rain, freezing rain and even a bit of light snow late in the day in some areas. Overnight, it warmed up above freezing, the breeze subsided and light rain fell on and off. This morning, east winds had increased again to 20-25 mph and it was raining.
Newport Airport Conditions…
Ceiling: scattered @ 900’, overcast @ 1,500’
Visibility: 7 miles/Wind: E 21 mph G32/Altimeter: 29.52”
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 43F/33F/18mph/0.16”
Depoe Bay: 44F/33F/25mph/0.13”
Special Note for Weekend Travelers… An Ice Storm Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for all of Northwest Oregon except the Coast, in effect until 4:00pm this afternoon for the Coast Range and South Willamette Valley (including Eugene, Corvallis and Albany), until 6:00pm this evening for the Central Willamette Valley (including Salem and McMinnville), until 10:00pm tonight for Portland Metro, and until late tonight or early tomorrow for the Columbia River Gorge. Freezing rain is projected to increase in intensity again today with a quarter to a half inch of ice build-up. In combination with snow and ice from yesterday, driving will be dangerous or impossible today, trees are likely to come down and power lines snapped. Travel is highly discouraged.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Cascades for 6-9 inches of new snow in the passes through tonight.
Forecast: While the rest of Northwest Oregon braces for a dangerous ice storm today, we’re in the warmer sweet spot (so to speak) with ‘just’ wet and windy conditions expected here on the Central Coast through tomorrow. Liquid rain accumulations about an inch; high this afternoon 50F and low tonight 40F. The rain turns to showers tomorrow, high 45-50F. Outlook is for showers Monday and Tuesday, rain again Wednesday, then a chance of rain/showers Thursday through Saturday. The thermometer should be roughly seasonal with highs of 45-50F and lows of 35-40F all week.
Be sure to follow Weather or Not’s Twitter feed to keep current on this weekend’s Wintry conditions. We provide updated travel info and notification of any advisories, watches or warnings. Follow @chrisburnswx.
Travel: In the Coast Range this morning, there’s ice on the pavement on Highways 18 and 20, but snowing hard with chains required over Alsea Summit on Highway 34, temperatures 25-30F in the passes; freezing rain early today, ice accumulation up to a quarter inch, then rain this afternoon, high 45F. Willamette Valley destinations are expecting more freezing rain, chains required on I-5 from Eugene to Woodburn, temps 30-35F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast calls for freezing rain, over a half inch of ice accumulation, strong east winds gusting up to 50 mph, highs of 25-30F. For the Cascades, there’s packed snow and ice on the highways this morning, chains required over Willamette and Santiam Passes, carry chains or use traction tires at Government Camp, temps 25-30F; snow this morning, then snow mixed with freezing rain this afternoon, snow accumulations 6-9 inches, the snow level rising above the passes to 6,500 feet by this evening. * Motorists should always visit ODOT’s TripCheck before hitting the road.
Marine: E winds are blowing 20-25 knots gusting 30 this morning with seas 7 feet at 12 seconds. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect through late tonight for the inner waters. A Gale Warning is in effect through this afternoon for the outer waters. E winds veering to S this afternoon 15-25 knots, seas 4-6 feet at 12 seconds inside 10 miles, but 25-30 knots gusting 35 out past 10 miles, combined seas building to 13-16 feet at 12 seconds. Tonight and tomorrow, southerlies 20-25 knots gusting 30 with seas 8-12 feet at 9 seconds. Outlook is for SE winds 15-20 knots Tuesday, swells 10 feet, N winds 10 knots Wednesday, swells 8 feet, and then SW winds 10 knots Thursday, swells holding at 8 feet. * Make sure you check the latest Bar Reports before venturing offshore.
On the Beach… Rain, breezy, surf 3-5 feet (low).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
01/08 Sun 08:09 AM 9.34 H
01/08 Sun 03:03 PM 0.40 L
01/08 Sun 09:33 PM 6.85 H
01/09 Mon 02:40 AM 3.27 L
In Short: Wet and windy for the next several days.
Weather Factoid: What is evaporative cooling, and why did it lower the temperature yesterday? This is kind of technical, but there really isn’t a much simpler way to explain it. The heat stored in water is called latent heat. Water absorbs the heat from other surfaces, making them cooler. When water absorbs enough heat, it evaporates, or changes from a liquid to a gas. The result is a decreased amount of heat in surrounding surfaces and the air, thus lowering the temperature. In addition to altering the weather, this process is employed in industrial and domestic cooling systems, and is also the physical process by which sweating cools off your body when it gets too hot.