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Warning: Dangerous conditions off the mouth of the Columbia

Published on November 12, 2017 9:39AM

Last changed on November 12, 2017 9:57AM

LONG BEACH — With a significant Pacific storm approaching the coast, the National Weather Service in Portland has issued a gale warning through Sunday night, intensifying to a storm warming for 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.

Steep seas 7 to 9 feet are forecast for Sunday, but will build rapidly late tonight into Monday, peaking around 25 feet Monday afternoon.

South winds 15 to 25 knots with gusts to 30 knots will continue through Sunday morning. Wind will increase today and tonight, with south wind 25 to 35 knots and gusts to 45 knots. South to southwest wind 35 to 45 knots with gusts to 55 knots are likely Monday morning into the afternoon. Winds are likely to be strongest between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday. (55 knots equals about 63 mph.)

A gale warning means winds of 34 to 47 knots are imminent or occurring. Operating a vessel in gale conditions requires experience and properly equipped vessels. It is highly recommended that mariners without the proper experience seek safe harbor prior to the onset of gale conditions. A storm warning means winds of 48 to 63 knots are imminent or occurring. Recreational boaters should remain in port or take shelter until winds and waves subside. Commercial vessels should prepare for very strong winds and dangerous sea conditions, and consider remaining in port or taking shelter in port until winds and waves subside.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The word “seas” in a marine forecast refers to the total height of waves measured from trough to crest. “Seas are the combination of both locally generated wind waves and distantly generated swell waves,” according to the National Weather Service. Steep seas are particularly dangerous, meaning the waves are bunched closer together. “The danger presented to a vessel is a function of wave steepness as well as wave height and is unique to each vessel. In general for small vessels, for a given wave height the danger increases as the wave period decreases,” the weather service said.


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