LONG BEACH — Sustained wind speeds and gusts have been rising Saturday morning as an unusually strong late-August storm moves over the south Washington and north Oregon coast.
At Cape Disappointment at 7 a.m., the wind was blowing at 48 mph and gusting to 58 mph. At 6:30 a.m. at Clatsop Spit, a top wind speed of 42 mph was recorded, along with a gust to 50 mph.
At Bonneville Power Administration’s two weather-recording sites nearest the mouth of the Columbia River, the highest wind speeds recorded so far during this storm were 58 mph at 5:10 a.m. at Radar Ridge near Naselle and 63 mph at 6:10 a.m. at Megler Mountain overlooking the Astoria Bridge.
A high wind warning remains in effect for the south Washington and north Oregon coast until 2 p.m., with sustained south winds 35 to 45 mph and gusts to 70 mph. Within the relative shelter of coastal communities, south winds are 25 to 35 mph with gusts 50 to 60 mph.
With leaves still on trees, this storm continues to have the potential to cause downed powerlines and other problems.
Offshore, a gale warning remains in effect until 8 p.m. Saturday, making for extremely dangerous boating conditions. Combined seas are expected to build to 12 to 15 ft later this morning with a dominant period of 11 seconds. Tonight, maritime winds are expected to still be southwest at 25 to 30 kt with gusts to 35 kt in the evening then south 15 to 20 kt. Combined seas 12 to 14 ft subsiding to 9 ft after midnight, with a dominant period of 11 seconds. Seas are 12 to 14 feet inside the estuary.
The Columbia River bar remains open to large vessel traffic with some delays, according to the Columbia River Bar Pilots. The bar is closed to recreational and uninspected passenger vessels.