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Storm Set Records for Oregon, Coast; Hottest Summer Ever

By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff Wednesday September 2, 2015    12:03 PM
They are calling this a once in a lifetime event, however.

Wind data for most Oregon coast towns does not go back much beyond 15 years, said NWS meteorologist Colby Neuman. But one thing is for sure: this weekend's wild wind storm did break the record in Astoria for August with a gust of 62. Portland also broke an August record with a gust of 41 mph at the airport.

Other reports were unheard of for August: Yachats at a gust of 68 mph, Oceanside at 90, Garibaldi had 86 and Seaside had its Hood to Coast base and towers torn up with a gust at 69.

Most reports were in the 50 to 70 mph range, Neuman said. If they were records for August, it's impossible to verify that, as data only goes back a bit more than a decade. But it certainly looks that way.

“But probably the strongest wind gusts at a number of these sights in last 100 years,” Neuman said. “That was such an unusual event it's unlikely people will see that again in their lifetime that early in the season.”

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The general trend does not seem to indicate anything unusual for the next few weeks, Neuman said, although the NWS can only hone in on the next 14 days. The famed Oregon coast "Second Summer" is about to hit – where the coast usually winds up at its warmest and sunniest the entire year, from early September through early October.

Neuman said the odds are "hedged for above normal temps."

"That doesn't always mean that for the coast," Neuman said. "It could be the valley warms up but the coast stays cool. Or the coast can warm up."

The models hint it's possible the Portland area could return to the dismal hot weather its seen all summer, as well.

The NWS also declared this the hottest summer on record for Oregon. Portland, Salem and Eugene had the highest average temps in 75 years of data.

Back in Seaside, spokesman Jon Rahl said the Hood to Coast destruction was cleaned up right on time, in spite of the place initially looking like an apocalypse hit. Hood to Coast structures are always cleaned up by the Monday evening following the race, and this time was no different.

"I can also tell you that aside from broken tree branches and more leaves than normal on the ground this time of year, Seaside was relatively unscathed through all of this," Rahl said.

Tiffany Boothe of Seaside Aquarium captured some video of the storm, but also some stunning images of the wild winds while hiking in Cannon Beach's Ecola State Park. She was in that area when wind gusts were clocked in at 60 mph.