Winter Begins

By: NewportOr , 4:06 PM GMT on December 21, 2013

Saturday, Dec. 21st - Newport, OR

Summary: The official beginning of Winter is concurrent with the solstice at 9:11am today. We also experience the shortest 'day' of the year. Sunrise at 7:50am, sunset at 4:39pm, giving us 8 hours, 49 minutes of daylight. Benign conditions this morning to kick off the new season. Clouds have thinned and a filtered waning gibbous moon was visible before daybreak. The winds have settled down from yesterday's 20-plus knots; peak gust was southwest at 37 knots on the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Temperatures rose quickly to near 50F with the storm's arrival. Rainfall amounts were generally around half an inch.

Past 24 hours high/low/rain...
Lincoln City/Depoe Bay: 52F/38F/0.55"
Newport: 50F/34F/0.55"
Yachats/Waldport: 48F/35F/0.41"

Forecast: Mostly cloudy skies with a 50-50 chance of light rain for your weekend activities; patchy fog and light westerly winds. You might take your sunglasses along for occasional holes in the overcast. Highs in the low 50s, lows in the mid 40s. Expect a bit of a break in precipitation Sunday night. Outlook is for the next weather system to come in on Monday with another round of rain, about half an inch, and southwest winds gusting to near 25 knots. Then the picture changes. Beginning Tuesday, we should start seeing more sunshine again with highs near 50F and a little cooler at night, say 35F or so. Partly to mostly clear the rest of the holiday week.

Travel: Highways 18, 20 and 34 passes are just wet today, around 45F, and no problems are anticipated until Christmas Eve when ice and freezing fog are a possibility. Cascade passes could see gusty winds and another 2 inches of snow today and tonight before the freezing level rises above them tomorrow.

Marine: At Stonewall Bank buoy this morning, winds are down to NW 10-12 knots, with square seas 10 feet at 10 seconds. Depoe Bay bar is restricted for all recreational and uninspected passenger vessels. Yaquina Bay bar is restricted for vessels 20 feet and less. A Small Craft Advisory is in effect through this evening for seas, which are expected to build to 13 feet today. Westerly winds 5-10 knots through the weekend, seas remaining 9-11 feet. Outlook is for another weather system to pass through on Monday bringing enhanced winds from the SW 10-15 knots gusting 20, seas around 7 feet. By mid-week we'll be back in a northerly flow with breezes 10-20 knots and seas staying about 7-9 feet.

On the Beach... Cloudy, showers, light winds, patchy fog, surf 12 feet or higher.
12/21 Sat 01:53 PM 7.82 H
12/21 Sat 08:43 PM 0.32 L
12/22 Sun 03:37 AM 7.47 H
12/22 Sun 09:04 AM 3.61 L

In Short: Light rain showers, light winds, then stormy and eventual clearing.

White Christmas Countdown: Dec. 24th-25th -- Eve, mostly clear, patchy fog, low 35F; Day, fog early, partly cloudy, high 47F.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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3:56 PM GMT on December 22, 2013
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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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