Summary: Rain, heavy at times, gusty sou’westers, normal temps yesterday.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 52F/42F/41mph/0.76”
Depoe Bay: 50F/42F/41mph/0.74”
Newport Airport Conditions…
Ceiling: scattered @ 500’, overcast @ 900’
Visibility: 7 miles/Wind: SSW 18 mph G24/Altimeter: 29.72”
A Winter Storm Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for all of Northwest Oregon including the Central Coast, in effect from Sunday morning through Monday morning. Rain will increase Sunday morning, possibly changing to snow as early as midday Sunday. However, it appears more likely that the changeover to snow will hold off until Sunday evening with significant snow continuing through Sunday night. Rain and snow showers will continue into Monday with snow levels likely rising back into the hills Monday morning. The snow level lowers to 1,000 feet or lower as precipitation increases Sunday, then is expected to lower to sea level and the valley floor Sunday night before rising back into the hills Monday morning.
Confidence remains low on how much snow will fall, as well as on just how low the snow level will be. Up to a foot of snow is possible, but some areas may just receive a cold rain. The better chance for snow will be north of Salem and Lincoln City, while the better chance for a cold rain will be farther south toward Lane County. Impacts will of course depend greatly on how low snow levels drop, and how long precipitation stays snow once the snow levels do drop. Impacts may range from minimal in areas that see primarily rain, to severe in areas that see multiple inches of snow.
Forecast: After being left out of previous Winter storm predictions, our area is actually included in the latest announcement. Today and tonight should be typical February weather with plenty of rain, southwest winds 15-20 mph gusting 30-35, high in the low-50s and a low near 40. The situation gets dicey tomorrow as cold air filters in and mixes with the anticipated heavy precipitation causing a combination of rain and snow, though temps should remain just above freezing and little or no snow accumulation is expected. No guarantee on that, however, as it’ll only require a slight dip in the thermometer to change to all snow. Right now, the projected high for the Central Coast tomorrow is 35-38F, which would keep us wet instead of white. Outlook is for showers Monday, a chance of rain Tuesday, rain likely Wednesday and Thursday, then showers on Friday. The mercury should rebound to seasonal with highs around 50F and lows about 40F the rest of the week.
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: In the Coast Range this morning, there’s wet pavement and 45F in the passes. Willamette Valley highways are wet, temperatures 45-50F. The Columbia River Gorge has packed snow and spots of ice, thermometer readings near 30F. For the Cascades, expect packed snow on the highways, carry chains or traction tires, temps 30-32F. Outlook for weekend travelers is wet pavement at the lower elevations early tomorrow but changing to snow by tomorrow night; in the Coast Range, Gorge and Cascades, up to a foot of snow down to or below pass level is possible through Sunday night. * 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: Winds are SSW 20 knots gusting 25 this morning with seas 10 feet at 11 seconds. Small Craft Advisories for winds and hazardous seas are in effect through late tonight. Moderate southerlies during the week ahead, swells 10 feet or less. * 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 8-10 feet (moderate).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
02/04 Sat 12:23 PM 1.48 L
02/04 Sat 06:41 PM 6.23 H
02/05 Sun 12:00 AM 3.11 L
02/05 Sun 06:38 AM 8.86 H
In Short: Rainy and windy, snow possible, then wet and breezy.