Storm Watching on the Pacific Coast
Have you stared in wonder at the raw power of nature during a big storm? If you find yourself filled with awe at winter weather in the United States, you should try storm watching. You can enjoy these storms by pulling on your rain gear and really experiencing the wind and rain, or you can find a good beachfront room and cozy up next to a blazing fire, and marvel at the storm from the comfort of the indoors.
The Pacific Coast is a great destination for storm watching. A mild climate makes it possible to enjoy outdoor activities during the peak storm season, from November to February. The coast has powerful storms throughout the winter. Strong winds along the coast create strong swells in the ocean. When the surf crashes into the rocks you can hear the roar of the waves and watch the mist spray up into the air. Rain turns the entire sky gray, and the wind can blow raindrops horizontally.
Winter storms have started to draw visitors to places like Gold Beach, Oregon and Long Beach, Washington. These destinations have plenty of opportunities to watch the storms from inside, at restaurants and beach-front hotels. You can also brave the chilly rain and wind to experience the storms from the outdoors.
When the storms have calmed, you can spend some time beach combing. The strong wind and waves bring all sorts of treasure to the beaches. Gold Beach, Oregon is a great storm watching spot because this is the area where the Rogue River meets the Pacific Ocean. Where the river flows into the ocean you will see some very interesting tidal actions. Long Beach, Washington is a summer destination and has many resorts and hotels right along the beach, which provide great indoor visibility of the powerful winter storms.
If you decide to venture outdoors during one of these storms you need to remember some of the dangers that the storms can pose. Always be careful of the waves. Sometimes you will be surprised by sneaker waves. The storms cause the surf to be much stronger and can alter the currents, so pay attention to the ocean when walking on the beach. You also need to be careful of logs being tossed onto the beach by the waves.
You can more safely enjoy the power of the storm from higher ground. If you find a good spot above the beach you can watch the waves crash against the rocks or dunes. A storm can change a normally calm ocean into a sea of tumultuous white caps. From higher ground you will better see the trees bend under the strong winds and feel the rain as it blows horizontally across your face.