High surf, small craft advisories issued

The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory that began late Tuesday and runs through 4 p.m. Thursday for all of the Lincoln County coastline. NWS also issued a small craft advisory through 10 p.m. Wednesday for the ocean waters off Lincoln County shores. (Photo by Jeremy Burke)

NEWPORT — The National Weather Service on Tuesday morning issued a high surf advisory that began at 10 p.m. Tuesday and runs through 4 a.m. Thursday for the north and central Oregon coast, encompassing all of Lincoln County’s shorelines.

According to the National Weather Service, Lincoln County oceanside residents and visitors should anticipate large swells creating “chaotic and hazardous” surf conditions. Breaker waves of 25 to 28 feet are expected, with the largest waves expected today (Wednesday).

“A high surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches, producing rip currents, sneaker waves and beach erosion,” NWS stated in its warning. “Stay well back from the water`s edge and be alert for exceptionally high waves.”

The weather service further warns that people should avoid large logs on the beach, as running water onto the shoreline can easily lift or roll logs and cause severe injury. Destructive waves can potentially wash over beaches, jetties and other structures unexpectedly and without warning. Minor beach erosion caused by high surf can damage coastal properties and structures.

“We do have a weather system coming in tonight (Tuesday), and we’re forecasting rain throughout most of the day,” Treena Jensen, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the News-Times on Tuesday morning. “But if we do get some breaks in the rain, people are often tempted to walk on the beach, where a high surf can cause water to run up the beach much faster than expected. That could knock people off their feet and bring them into the cold waters.” 

The weather service also issued a small craft advisory that began early Tuesday morning, running through 6 p.m. Wednesday in the coastal waters from Cascade Head just north of Lincoln City to Florence, about 25 miles south for Yachats.

South winds of 15 to 25 knots with gusts of up to 30 knots are expected during the small craft advisory. Seas were forecasted to gradually build in severity Tuesday evening to 20 to 23 feet before subsiding late Wednesday into Thursday.

“Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in hazardous conditions,” the weather service wrote in the small craft advisory.

With the advisories forecasted to extend through the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, Jensen wanted to make sure visitors unfamiliar with conditions on the coast do not place themselves in unexpected danger while recreating on the ocean’s waters or enjoying the coastline.

“A lot of people like to watch the high waves from jetties, and that’s definitely something we do not recommend,” Jensen said. “It’s always really tempting for people to take selfies, and really, that’s just not a safe idea. We recommend never turning your back against the ocean because the waves are not consistent. They may look safe, even when they are not.”

For more information and the latest forecasts, visit http://weather.gov/portland.


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