Hurricane-force wind warning in effect offshore

Even though the sky was blue when this photo was taken at Cape Disappointment at around 10 a.m. Thursday, the approaching storm caused the station to raise hurricane-warning flags — a fairly rare sight even in this entertainingly stormy place.

LONG BEACH — A hurricane-force wind warning is in effect for offshore waters until 7 p.m. Thursday night.

Winds are from the southeast at 25 to 35 knots with gusts to 40 knots this morning, becoming south 40 to 50 kt with gusts to 65 kt by early afternoon. Gusts around 70 kt (81 mph) are possible within 30 nautical miles of shore. This includes Willapa Bay and the ocean to the west of Pacific and Clatsop counties.

By late evening winds will be subsiding to 25 to 35 kt with gusts to 45 kt.

Seas will rapidly increase to between 25 and 30 feet as winds increase today.

A hurricane-force wind warning means winds of 64 knots or greater are imminent or occurring. All vessels should remain in port, or take shelter as soon as possible until winds and waves subside.

The Columbia River Bar Pilots report that there is a short window to move commercial ships Thursday morning. After about 1 p.m., the pilots anticipate a shift to red conditions: “No, or very limited, inbound and outbound traffic.”

The Columbia River bar is currently closed to recreational/uninspected passenger vessels.

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