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Expectations - weather on the coast in September

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Expectations - weather on the coast in September

I'm considering a trip to the oregon coast sometime after the Holiday crowds fade (around sept 10th). I'm open to any part of the coast, but so far I've been interested in Florence, Newport, and Cannon beach. However, I'm leary about the weather differences between upper and lower coast beaches. I want to spend quite a bit of time at the beach, but I'm wondering how much sun I'll really see?

I found that the average high this time of year is about 70/75, but how cold is the water? I'm a midwesterner, so I'm not a weather wussy :) I swam in south lake tahoe in sept and the temps were about the same...water was chilly, but easy to get use to but thats with full sun. I'm hoping that the coast will be about the same.

Thanks for any insights and your time,


Eugene, Oregon
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1. Re: Expectations - weather on the coast in September

Weather in Sept on the central coast should be very nice. Most of the crowded beaches will be in the north (Seaside, for example).

As a rule our beaches are not really "sun bathing" beaches. They're strolling, sightseeing, beach combing beaches...with great tidepools when the tides are low.

What they really aren't are swimming beaches. The water off most of our coast is cold, rough and with dangerous riptides and other strong currents. Some brave souls do surf (with wet suits) in a few places, but you can go for miles and miles and not see any swimmers. Some wary people do get their feet wet here and there...always on the watch for sneaker waves or flying logs.

There's just no way to compare the Pacific Ocean off Oregon to a lake...any lake. If anyone on the forum's panel of coast experts knows of any safe swimming beaches I'm sure they'll chime with their suggestions.

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Expectations - weather on the coast in September

You will see the sun in September. At that time of year- there shouldnt be any distinct difference in weather between Southern, Central and Northern parts of the coast. The coast is pretty nice even when its not sunny! :) Because of pacific ocean currents, the ocean in the summer is actually colder than in the winter. Water temp is useally about 50-55 degrees year round. Must of us dont go in more than knee deep for extended periods of time without a wetsuit-and their the brave ones. The only swimming beach I can think of would be Sunset Bay State Park on the Southern Coast. It gets somewhat warm there as it is protected. But it is a bit of a ways from Florence and Newport


Newport- Florence stretch and Cannon Beach areas are good choices.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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3. Re: Expectations - weather on the coast in September

Artsy and upscale Cannon Beach, by virtue of the fact that it's less than two hours from Oregon's biggest metro area (pop 1.5 million) is crowded nearly all year 'round. Much bigger Newport will still be quite busy in September, and Florence is not on the ocean, it is inland.

But none of the Oregon coast is crowded like some of the east coast, or like those photos of Korea making their way around in emails!

As far as swimming, a lot of people do swim. But it is cold, no question about that. There are miles and miles of fairly safe beaches.

Cannon Beach and Newport are both places where you will find people in the water in September. Others are Seaside, Rockaway Beach, Pacific City, and Lincoln City. Sunset Bay near Coos Bay is popular for swimming, as it is sheltered. Surfers are all up and down the coast; kayaking is popular in some areas as are jet skis on some bays.

Farther south, in many places the land surface just off shore is more abrupt so not as many people swim around Bandon, Gold Beach or Brookings. That information is from my DH, who swims a lot. I, on the other hand, have more sense than to go in [icy] cold water ;-)

There are no lifeguards anywhere as far as I know. The only place might be maybe at Seaside and Cannon Beach in the summer?

"Sneaker" waves seem to be a northwest coast invention, since the term is not known on Florida beaches. It refers to a wave that is larger than most others in a series. The surfers used to use the term "7th wave" or sometimes "9th wave", meaning one that was a bit larger. All it means is to keep your eye on the ocean and use caution.

The average high temps are misleading. Those are taken a slight bit inland. Right out on the water it most likely will be cooler, although the summer wind will have died down by Sept, usually. It will probably be sunny. It may be hot - in the 80's - we often get a heat wave in Sept that lasts 2-3 days.

Florence, Oregon
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4. Re: Expectations - weather on the coast in September

In addition to the above good advice, I will add that there really is little temperature variation between say Astoria and Gold Beach MOST of the time during the warmer months. That being said, there are always anomolies that occur.

Also, during September, the Pacific Ocean off of the Oregon Coast will be at it warmest, which could reach as high as 55º or 56º!! Compare that with Maui, HI where the ocean will warm to above 80º during the same timeframe and you'll see that it is QUITE cold.

Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Expectations - weather on the coast in September

As if it needs to be said again....... ;-) I'm not a weather wussy either, but I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to cold water. I remember swimming in Sunset Bay as a child, but don't recall being in up past my knees since being a teenager. Regardless of the time of year, the water feels bone-numbing cold to me. You might have to go as far as southern California to find the water really swimmable.

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Expectations - weather on the coast in September

I know you mentioned that you wanted the ocean, but lots of us are river rats. The water is warmer and tubing and swimming and fishing and water skiing are fun. You wouldn't lack for beauty.

You could consider the coast then come inward to the many rivers we have here.

Olympia, Washington
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7. Re: Expectations - weather on the coast in September

Best bet for swimming in Oregon Coast......heated pool :)

Have spent many enjoyable vacations in the Seaside/Cannon Beach area in September after school starts. My husband used to say that all the "blue heads" were in town....now we are one!!

It's a great place any time of year. You never know what you'll get in the weather department. This year we even had a tsunami warning when we were there in early October. A first for us!

The locals give the best advice and I have benefited from it many times.

8. Re: Expectations - weather on the coast in September

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