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Plan your trip to Eugene, Cascades & Coast.

Storm Watching

Wind-whipped waves and churning surf bring storm-watching visitors, storm chasers and county residents to the Oregon Coast each winter, anxious to see the spectacular mix of crashing water, heavy rain and gusting winds.

Here are some tips for a safe and fun storm watching adventure from Florence to Yachats:

  • Storm intensity picks up noticeably toward the end of November and lasts through March. Watch the weather report and plan your trip when "strong winds and high waves" are forecast.
  • Get a tide table to help you plan your post-storm beachcombing, and also to ensure that you don't get stranded with the changing tides.
  • Bring a rainproof jacket and stock your car or Florence hotel room with extra water, snacks and a flashlight.

Where to Go

  • Any of the viewpoints on the stretch of highway between Yachats and Florence offer a spectacular view of waves crashing against the Oregon Coast's rocky outcroppings.
  • The high cliffs between Heceta Head Lighthouse and Cape Perpetua offer both a dramatic view and the safety of being perched high above the crashing surf.
  • The most enjoyable storm watching is from the safety of a warm, cozy hotel room with a full ocean front view. Bring binoculars and curl up with a warm drink by the window to watch the stunning display of nature's fury.

Safety Tips

  • Wind gusts over 50 mph and sneaker waves towering over 30 feet can sweep you out to sea at a moment's notice. Always stay away from sea cliffs when the wind is strong enough that walking is difficult, and never turn your back on the ocean.
  • Massive waves can unexpectedly throw logs and other debris through the air - another reason to keep your distance from the crashing surf.
  • Discover an assortment of sea treasures while beachcombing after the storm has passed - just keep watch for large waves, which can remain even after the winds have died down.
  • Visit Tripcheck.com for Oregon Coast road conditions and weather alerts.