'Historic' Storm Ahead

The National Weather Service is forecasting high winds and heavy rain beginning Tuesday morning in what is being classified as a potentially historic, dangerous storm.

The National Weather Service has issued a significant high-wind warning for Curry and Del Norte counties, stretching from Tuesday morning though early Wednesday morning – which has been classified as a potentially historic, dangerous storm.

“We are calling this a potentially historic storm because we have not experienced such a deepening low pressure coming in from the south, so it is one to take serious,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Brett Lutz.

Weather service models show sustained winds between 40 and 50 miles per hour, with gusts that could approach hurricane force. “The wind gusts have the potential of being as high was 100 miles per hour along the headlands and exposed areas,” Lutz said.

“This low-pressure system will move in and deepen at Crescent City, with the strongest winds there. (The area is) more exposed there.”

The National Weather Service’s online summary describes the approaching storm as a rapidly deepening "bomb" cyclone will take aim for the Southern Oregon Coast. Strong storm force winds with periods of hurricane force gusts are expected over the coastal waters. Those winds over the waters will initially be southerly then quickly switch to strong northerly winds behind the low Tuesday night. This will bring extremely steep and very dangerous seas to the coastal waters. Additionally high surf is expect along all coastal areas of Southern Oregon.

Lutz said the storm will also pack rain. “Most likely we will not see record amounts of rainfall,” he said, “but it will be significant.

“We expect during the six-hour period from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesday to see as much as 2 inches of rainfall.”

The storm will bring snowfall to the higher elevations of the two counties, with the snow level lowering to 500 feet by Wednesday afternoon. The National Weather Service said drivers should be prepared for winter-like conditions in the higher elevations.

Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines, with widespread power outages possible. Travel will be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles. Unsecured outdoor objects may be damaged or blown away.

The Weather Service encourages people in the area of the high winds to take precautions and should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Use caution if you must drive.

Lutz said the winds will likely subside by early Wednesday morning, with the snow level climbing to 3,500 feet by Sunday.

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