Ask Oregon: Rainfall on the Coast
By Gary Hayes
Published: 06/28/2014  Updated: 08/09/2019
photo by Gary Hayes

Coast Explorer publisher Gary Hayes answers questions from travelers as Travel Oregon's Oregon Coast Ambassador for the Ask Oregon program.

Question:

I have heard that it always rains on the Oregon coast. Is it really that wet? And, what are the beaches like?

Answer:

That's an easy one! No, it doesn't ALWAYS rain on the Oregon Coast. Sometimes it's just overcast.

Seriously though, the Oregon Coast is known for its moderate maritime climate and we do have a stretch of the year that is pretty wet. Between November and January or February, some parts of the Coast will record over 10 inches of rain each month. It often comes in bunches during a few storms, though gray and showery is a very common forecast between storms. We can also get beautiful, clear, crisp days and sometimes, unseasonably warm weather even during the winter. During July and August, the Coast averages less than an inch or just over an inch of rain each month. The region can sometimes experience cool and foggy weather during this stretch when high temperatures inland trap the maritime layer over the coast. I suggest that for any trip to the coast, you should be prepared for unseasonable warm or cool temperatures and for rain. If you are prepared, you can enjoy the natural wonders and stunning scenery of the Oregon Coast no matter what the weather and discover the unique experiences of each of its seasons.

What are the beaches like? There are many different kinds of beaches along Oregon's 363-mile coast. There are wide stretches of golden soft sand, uninterrupted for several miles. There are beaches punctuated with towering rock formations and near shore islands. There are small, secluded beaches between dramatic rocky headlands and beaches with course dark sand or rounded cobbles. These too can be different each season and sometimes from week to week.

I think this is all part of the attraction of the coast. Between tides and waves and winds and weather; it's a living, always changing and unpredictably magical place.
Ask Oregon: Rainfall on the Coast