The Power Struggle

By: NewportOr , 3:14 PM GMT on March 14, 2014

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Friday, Mar. 14th – Lincoln County

Summary: We may have reached the tipping point in the season where weather systems have their work cut out for them as they try to push their way in. Yesterday was a good example of an approaching front struggling all day to make its way ashore, and then moderating when it finally arrived. The main band of rain from this system finally hit the Central Coast at midnight and was steady until daybreak when it turned to showers. Precipitation amounts were not remarkable, under a quarter inch. Winds overnight came from the southwest at 15-20 mph with a peak gust of 27 at Lincoln City, which also had the most rain and highest temperature.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Rain...
Lincoln City: 57F/43F/0.24”
Depoe Bay: 51F/38F/0.13”
Newport: 52F/36F/0.16”
Waldport: 54F/39F/0.12”
Yachats: 50F/37F/0.12”

Forecast: On again, off again conditions are expected over the next several days. For your TGIF, showers, mostly cloudy with possible sunbreaks later, west winds 10-15 mph and a high in the mid-50s. Patchy fog developing tonight, partly cloudy skies and the mercury settling into the low-40s. We’re looking at a mostly sunny Saturday with a high near 60F and light winds, but a slight chance of showers returning by evening. The next power struggle begins on Sunday when another weather system begins its attack – we’ll see who wins. Outlook is for rain likely on Sunday night, showers Monday, mostly to partly sunny Tuesday and Wednesday followed by a chance of showers Thursday. Relatively light winds with highs of 55F and lows of 45F through the extended period.

Travel: At 8:00am, Highways 18, 20 and 34 are open through the Coast Range with temps in the upper 40s, wet pavement and rain showers forecast today. Highway 101 along the Central Coast is wet with no delays. Valley destinations have wet pavement with showers, about 50F this morning warming to 60F today. In the Cascades, highways currently have wet pavement, however the snow level drops to near the passes, 4,500 feet, later today and 3-6 inches of snow is predicted. Outlook for weekend travelers is for patchy fog and possible icy spots tonight on the Coast Range highways, bare pavement tomorrow, wet again on Sunday. Valley destinations will have a mix of fog, showers and sunshine with temps remaining well above freezing all weekend. In the Cascades, there’s a chance of snow showers tonight in the passes, the snow level rising to 7,000 feet tomorrow, but dropping again to the highways by Sunday night.

Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 107”, a loss of 2” since yesterday, or 71% of normal.

Ski Report - New Snow Inches/Total Inches/Condition...
Hoodoo 0/48/Packed Powder
Willamette Pass 0/26/Machine Groomed
Mt Bachelor 0/106/Machine Groomed
Mt Hood Meadows 0/106/Machine Groomed
Mt Hood Ski Bowl 0/31/Machine Groomed
Timberline Lodge 0/73/Powder

Cascadia: The Juan de Fuca and Gorda tectonic plates off the Oregon Coast have been quite active over the past week, with another good-sized earthquake recorded yesterday. A magnitude 5.2 temblor struck about noon on Thursday, 132 miles west-southwest of Gold Beach. It was felt ashore in parts of Southern Oregon and Northern California. No tsunami was generated. It was the fourth quake of magnitude 3 or higher in the area since last Friday.

Marine: Southwest winds are at 15-20 knots offshore at Stonewall Bank this morning (5-10 knots near shore) and seas have fallen to 7 feet. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is restricted for recreational vessels 22 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is unrestricted. A Small Craft Advisory for S winds 15-20 knots gusting 25 remains in effect until noon. Wave heights today are projected to be 8-9 feet. The breeze veers to NW tonight, 10-15 knots, and then eases to SE 10 knots with seas remaining about 9 feet. For Saturday’s opening of the sport salmon season, no joy for fishermen, as winds kick up again to S 20-25 knots by afternoon and seas build to 10 feet. Outlook is for SW winds 10-15 knots on Sunday, swells rising to 15-18 feet. Northerlies are forecast for Monday and Tuesday, 10-20 knots; seas slowly subsiding from 10 feet down to 6.

On the Beach... Showers, light wind, surf 7-8 feet (moderate).
Tides
03/14 Fri 11:42 AM 7.78 H
03/14 Fri 06:06 PM 0.57 L
03/15 Sat 12:30 AM 7.49 H
03/15 Sat 06:18 AM 1.78 L

In Short: Showers, light wind, breaking up, then more rain.

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About NewportOr

Coastal forecaster, weather observer and offshore sailor specializing in the local nuances of Central Oregon Coast weather for residents and visitors.

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