Summary: Blustery east winds, dry, mostly cloudy skies and chilly yesterday.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust…
Lincoln City: 44F/39F/27mph
Depoe Bay: 47F/38F/26mph
Newport Airport Conditions…
Visibility: 10 miles/Wind: E 31 mph G39/Altimeter: 29.91”
Forecast: At 7:15am EST this morning, Pennsylvania’s legendary groundhog prognosticator emerged from his burrow for the 131st year, and indicated that we’ll have six more weeks of Winter. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow at Gobbler’s Knob (see Weather Legend below). This is probably rather unwelcome news for most of Northwest Oregon where more Wintry weather is on the way tonight through tomorrow night (see Travel below). On the Central Coast, however, not so much. Albeit we are in for an extended period of rainy, breezy and cool weather, there isn’t any freezing precipitation in our forecast. Rain today, mainly in the morning, mostly cloudy, the chilly east winds continue at 20-25 mph gusting up to 40 or so, and the thermometer stops around 45F. Rain tonight, maybe a half inch, east winds gusting 35 mph and a low of 35F. Tomorrow, another half inch of rain, the wind veers to southeast and drops to 15-20 mph gusting 25, highs of 45-50F. Outlook is for rain Saturday and Sunday, showers Monday, a chance of rain Tuesday, then rain likely on Wednesday. Temps a little below average with highs of 45-50F and lows 35-40F throughout the period.
Be sure to follow Weather or Not’s Twitter feed to keep current on Winter’s rapidly changing conditions. You’ll get updated travel info and notification of any new advisories, watches or warnings. Follow @chrisburnswx.
Travel: A Winter Storm Watch or Winter Weather Advisory in effect for all of Northwest Oregon, except the coast, for another round of Wintry weather tonight through tomorrow. A dusting to one inch of snow is possible first followed by freezing rain with ice accumulations of a tenth of an inch or less through the Willamette Valley, Coast Range and Columbia River Gorge. Heaviest ice accumulations are expected in the Gorge and Portland Metro; the most snow, 2-6 inches, is predicted for the Cascades.
In the Coast Range this morning, there’s mostly bare pavement, spots of ice possible, windy and 30-35F in the passes. Willamette Valley highways are mainly dry, temperatures around 35F. The Columbia River Gorge has spots of ice and thermometer readings of 25-30F. For the Cascades, expect packed snow and spots of ice on the highways, carry chains or traction tires, cold temps 10-20F. * An interactive map of the latest Northwest/Central Oregon travel weather is available here. Also, motorists should always visit ODOT’s TripCheck before hitting the road.
Marine: East winds are 20-25 knots gusting 30 this morning with choppy seas 7 feet at 6 seconds. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect through late tonight. Gale force southerlies are predicted for Sunday, combined seas building to 20 feet or higher. * Full text of the latest marine forecast is available here. And, 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.
02/02 Thu 10:08 AM 2.06 L
02/02 Thu 04:08 PM 7.16 H
02/02 Thu 10:04 PM 1.58 L
02/03 Fri 04:46 AM 8.72 H
In Short: Rainy and windy for the next several days.
Weather Legend: 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!”