Nice weather this week, but we cruise into the weekend with rain showers tonight and Saturday. The air temperature will drop about 10 degrees to the high 50s during the day, with nighttime temperatures in the low 50s. Looks like the rain might continue into Monday of next week, and we will probably have fresh snow in the local mountains.
I have been receiving emails about the recent tsunami and if one can watch the weather to predict a tsunami. As I mentioned in my column this week, tsunamis are not weather related like a hurricane or a tornado. Tsunamis are caused by displacement of water by either an earthquake, volcano, or underwater landslide. An interesting fact is that a tsunami usually occurs in the ocean, but these events can originate in a large lake or harbor as well.
A few other emails have asked where should you go when a tsunami warning is issued for Newport? The simple answer is to get up the hill to the bluffs and away from the beaches, islands, and Peninsula. Do not wait until you see the water receding from the shorelines, but be proactive and go to the high ground quickly. Remember to bring your pets with you, too.
Recreational boating will be slow this weekend with the rain moving through the area, and the westerly ocean swells will build to about 7 feet mid-channel tomorrow. The winds will increase to the low teens and the winds may push the swells into single-digit intervals, which will create a pounding ride for boaters in the open ocean.
So, as always, with an eye to the north, we look to the waters off Point Conception where the seas will be up to 14 feet on Saturday with winds in the mid teens and gusting to up to 20 knots. This is not the weekend for small craft to try and round the point. The gusting winds will cause 2- to 3-foot wind waves on top of the large swells. On Sunday, the winds will increase slightly, and the swells should drop to a little over 10 feet.
Boaters should use caution and remember your boating skill level if you plan to cruise in the ocean, and remember to always check the sea and weather conditions before you leave the dock. Always give a safely briefing to your guests onboard before you leave your dock, and leave a float plan shoreside with someone who you can trust.
Mike Whitehead, Capt.