The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for the Southwest Washington Coast, indicating a increasing threat for coastal flooding Thursday through Saturday over this New Year’s Holiday.
Increasingly high astronomical tides, due to a full Moon, Southwest winds ranging from 20-33 MPH and very large coastal wave swells between 20-25 feet will combine to create minor to moderate tidal overflow conditions.
There will be two wind episodes that will impact the coastal areas. The first will begin Thursday afternoon which will arrive at the same time as one of the highest high tides of the year. The second Southwesterly wind episode will develop midday Friday (New Year’s Day) and continue through Saturday morning. A full Moon and extremely dangerous surf conditions with swells reaching 20-25 feet by Friday afternoon and lasting into the late night hours will add to the problems. The chance of tidal flooding is far greater over Friday into Saturday. Rain will continue to fall and the runoff into the rivers will add to the magnitude of the tidal and coastal flooding.
There is still uncertainty as to how much of an impact these conditions will create upon the area.
Grays Harbor County Emergency Management is asking all who venture onto the beaches for the area Clam digs over the New Year’s Holiday to exercise extreme caution. DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK TO THE SEA! Dangerous wave swells will be very unpredictable and can reach 20-25 feet with long runs up the beaches by the onrushing water. Waves will be powerful enough to sweep a person from the beach. Be alert for logs, debris and beach erosion, as this is common during high surf conditions.