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A Red Flag Day

By: NewportOr , 4:05 PM GMT on January 23, 2014

Thursday, Jan. 23rd – Lincoln County

Summary: Here’s something you rarely see in January. The South Central Coast (from Florence south) is under a Red Flag Warning for critical fire weather conditions. That simply reinforces the unique nature of our unseasonably dry and windy Winter. Yesterday was a ‘tweener with the last of the weak weather front clearing the area and a mix of sun and clouds filling the sky; highs were around 50F. It cleared off overnight, lows mostly in the upper-30s, but the east wind started ramping up shortly after midnight and we’ve already seen gusts to 25 mph this morning. Clear skies, an easterly breeze, and frosty windshields in wind-sheltered areas greeted Central Coast residents this morning.

Past 24 hours high/low...
Lincoln City: 52F/43F
Depoe Bay: 51F/36F
Newport: 50F/36F
Waldport: 51F/39F
Yachats: 50F/34F

Forecast: The marquee on a Newport oceanfront motel says, “Summer Weather, Winter Stormwatch Rates.” And there’s more sunny ‘summer’ weather on the way for the next two or three days. Highs should be in the mid-50s, and lows near 40F. But robust east winds, 15-20 mph gusting 30, will put a damper on the warmth. Jackets required tonight on your way to try-outs for roles in the play “Harvey” at Yachats Commons. The easterly breeze stays up overnight and well into Friday. Outlook is for a few clouds, patchy fog and less wind over the weekend, highs of 55F and lows of 40F. The signs of change are still somewhat blurred, but it does appear that early next week we’ll begin seeing a more normal January pattern with mostly cloudy skies and fluctuating chances of rain.

Travel: Highways 18, 20 and 34 are open but near freezing with icy/frosty areas and patchy fog. Highway 34 has a bad spot this morning near Alsea Mountain summit (Milepost 38) with water and ice on the roadway. Highway 101 temperatures remain mostly above freezing through the Central Coast region, but could be frosty over the headlands. Valley destinations are frosty this morning, but not foggy for a change, and they’ll be sunny, warmer and breezy today. In the Cascades, highways have mostly bare pavement with icy spots. The freezing level is at 9,000 feet rising to 11,000 feet by tonight.

Cascades Snow Pack... 50”, no change since yesterday. Over the past week there was a net loss of 2”.

Marine: Choppy on the ocean this morning with NE winds 15-20 knots, wind waves 3 feet riding on a 7 foot swell. Depoe Bay and Yaquina Bay bars are unrestricted. A Small Craft Advisory has been posted for E to NE winds gusting to 25 knots through late tonight. And, a Small Craft Advisory for seas 11-12 feet goes into effect from late this afternoon through tomorrow evening. At least mariners will have sunny days and mostly clear nights into the weekend. But winds and seas aren’t expected to lay down much until Saturday when the breeze goes SE and lightens to 5-15 knots, and seas fall below 10 feet. Outlook is for easterlies 5-15 knots, seas 7-9 feet through Monday. A weakening weather system is predicted for Tuesday.

On the Beach... Sunny, breezy, surf 7-8 feet.
01/23 Thu 11:22 AM 2.27 L
01/23 Thu 05:13 PM 5.9 H
01/23 Thu 10:40 PM 2.69 L
01/24 Fri 05:29 AM 8.47 H

In Short: Clear and breezy, then a few clouds.

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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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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