All Creatures Great and Small

By: NewportOr , 3:09 PM GMT on March 23, 2014

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Sunday, Mar. 23rd – Lincoln County

Summary: It was a great day for wildlife viewing. Yesterday, over 100 sightings of migrating gray whales were recorded at Central Coast viewing stations. And, ashore, you may have noticed the large number of hummingbirds, and other avian critters, fluttering about. Seems the animals take advantage of the sunshine as much as we do. Our high was just above 50F and the north wind settled down to 5-10 mph with a few gusts to 20. And it was dry with no precipitation recorded. Overnight, skies remained clear and temps dropped to near freezing again. This morning, the last quarter Moon and a very bright Venus greeted early risers, windshields were frosty and the wind was nearly calm.

Past 24 Hours High/Low...
Lincoln City: 53F/38F
Depoe Bay: 52F/34F
Newport: 52F/32F
Waldport: 53F/34F
Yachats: 53F/38F

Forecast: Today could be the pick of the litter for this current stretch of dry weather. Mostly sunny skies, a high close to 60F and light winds should be delightful conditions for those hunting glass art on Lincoln City beaches or otherwise strolling the sands. Tomorrow, while the temperature could be even warmer, possibly over 60F, we expect to see some clouds start moving in advance of a major change in the weather. By tomorrow night, south winds begin blowing 20-25 mph and rain clouds rapidly ripen. Outlook is for a rainy and at times windy week. The Central Coast is in the sights of a progressive pattern of weather fronts throughout the long term into next weekend. There may be short breaks, but mostly one wet system after another, with highs in the low-50s, lows in the low-40s and winds occasionally gusting to 30 mph or higher.

Travel: At 8:00am, Highways 18, 20 and 34 are open through the Coast Range, well below freezing, and have mostly bare pavement with icy patches through mid-morning. Highway 101 along the Central Coast is dry with possible icy spots, especially on the headlands. Valley destinations have mostly bare pavement with temps above freezing, warming to the mid-60s today. In the Cascades, highways are about 20F with spots of ice. The freezing level is 6,000 feet today. Carry chains or traction tires. Outlook for weekend travelers is to expect heavier than normal traffic on Highways 18, 20, 34 and 101 as sunshine and several activities have encouraged thousands to visit the Central Coast. On the pavement itself, Coast Range, Valley and Cascades highways should be dry with spots of ice developing by late tonight.

Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 115”, a loss of 1” since yesterday, or 72% of normal.

Ski Report - New Snow Inches/Total Inches/Condition...
Hoodoo 0/48/Packed Powder
Willamette Pass 0/26/Machine Groomed
Mt Bachelor 0/105/Machine Groomed
Mt Hood Meadows 0/109/Hard Packed
Mt Hood Ski Bowl 0/26/Machine Groomed
Timberline Lodge 0/73/Powder

Marine: Seas are up around 9 feet this morning, but winds are down to about 10 knots out of the NNE. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is restricted for recreational vessels 20 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is unrestricted. Today could be the best shot small craft have had for quite a while to put to sea, with northerly winds 5-10 knots and seas 7-8 feet. The breeze and seas are not expected to build much higher through this afternoon and tonight. Tomorrow, the beginning of a major transformation as the wind goes south, literally, 10-15 knots and wave heights hang around 4-5 feet. Outlook is for a big blow with possible gale force gusts starting Monday night; S winds 20-25 knots gusting 30 or higher, and seas building to 7 feet. Tuesday, extremely lumpy seas with a 10-12 foot swell and 6 foot wind waves, S winds 20-25 knots gusting 30. Wednesday and Thursday, SW winds 10-15 knots and a 10-13 foot swell. Additional weather systems are predicted to arrive Friday and Saturday.

On the Beach... Mostly sunny, light wind, surf 5-6 feet (low).
California gray whales are migrating north and Whale Watch Week, on now through Saturday, is a great time to see them. Central Coast locations staffed by volunteers to help you spot the whales include Spanish Head, Boiler Bay, Depoe Bay, Rocky Creek, Cape Foulweather, Devils Punchbowl, Yaquina Head and Don Davis Park.
Tides
03/23 Sun 12:24 PM 0.36 L
03/23 Sun 07:10 PM 6.04 H
03/24 Mon 12:08 AM 3.35 L
03/24 Mon 06:21 AM 7.88 H

In Short: Mostly clear, light winds, then wet and windy.

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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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