WAVE hello to storm-watching season

Posted by The Oregon Coast / January 9, 2015

Story by Nancy Steinberg for the TODAY

Maybe you’re a bird watcher, or maybe you’re a binge watcher (Just one more “Game of Thrones” and I’m going to bed, I swear). But there’s no watching like storm watching on the Oregon Coast, and we’re smack dab in the middle of peak season. It can be fun to allow the fury of the Pacific make you feel small. Here are some tips for enjoying our tempest-tossed shores during the gale-force months.

A little storm science

Peak winter storm season typically runs from November through March. While it doesn’t tend to get cold enough to snow here thanks to the warming influence of the Pacific, our mild winter weather is punctuated by spectacular storms featuring high winds and heavy rain that roll in from the ocean. In the winter, the eastward-flowing atmospheric river of air known as the jet stream intensifies and moves south, pushing rain-bearing weather systems along with it. These storms form over the ocean, typically where warm and cold air masses collide. This winter we’ve also had a couple of humdingers thanks to the phenomenon known as the “Pineapple Express,” a warm river of atmospheric moisture originating near Hawaii.

Where to watch (safe and dry category)

There is no need to get soaked (or, worse, hurt) during a winter storm in order to experience great storm watching. Many local oceanfront hotels have special winter rates, making a quick trip to the coast easy and affordable. The Adobe Resort in Yachats offers a front row seat for winter storms. Their Ocean Escape Packages on winter weekdays start at $124 per night for an ocean view room, including breakfast. You can get another view of the storm from the oceanfront dining room of the resort’s award-winning restaurant.

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