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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Today marks the beginning of an active weather pattern across the Northwest. A series of storms will bring rain and even snow to the region throughout the end of the week. Skies will cloud over today and spotty showers will develop ahead of a cold front that will sweep through Southern Oregon tonight.

This front will bring in cold air; the coldest we’ve seen in a while. Snow showers are likely as low as 3,500′ for Tuesday morning. A couple inches of snow is possible with these showers overnight above 4,000.’ Because ground surface temperatures are on the warmer side, accumulating snow will likely be wet and slushy in these areas.

Thunderstorms are in the forecast for Tuesday, as the cold air settles in above us. Showers will be ongoing through Wednesday before another potent wave moves in from the West Thursday. Temperatures are going to cool down on Tuesday about 15 degrees and remain cool throughout the week.

You can find more weather on my Facebook and/or Twitter pages!

Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese

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ASHLAND, Ore. — The weather was perfect Sunday for the Easter egg hunt in Lithia Park. Thousands of little ones met the Easter bunny and searched for some 255 dozen eggs. As NewsWatch 12 photojournalist Dustin Peters shows us, even the ones who didn’t find the golden egg still had a great time.

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EUGENE, Ore. – Eric Avila already proved he can compete with the top collegiate runners in the nation when he set the best time in the 5,000 Meter Run at the Stanford Invitational earlier this month. On Saturday, Avila established his presence among the best overall runners in the country. Avila finished 0.33 seconds behind former NCAA Champion and silver medalist at the 2013 World Championships Matthew Centrowitz. Avila actually led heading into the final lap, but the former Oregon star pulled away down the stretch. NewsWatch 12 spoke with Centrowitz after the race about SOU’s budding superstar.

WEATHER NEWS

Lyrids Meteor ShowerThe yearly Lyrids Meteor shower is currently underway. The shower is usually active between the 16th and the 26th of April each year. The peak of this shower will be on the evening of April 21st and the morning of April 22nd. From 11 p.m Monday to 5 a.m. on Tuesday about 20 meteors per hour can be seen from the northeast sky. The last quarter moon will cause some viewing concerns, but in rural areas, the event will be best seen. Unfortunately for all areas in our region, we will either be seeing rain or clouds during the event. If you happen to be further to the southeast for this event you’ll have a better chance at viewing the shower.

The reason for the shower each year is that around this time, the Earth is crossing the orbital path of the comet Thatcher. This comet is extremely rare because it takes about 415 years to orbit around the sun. Therefore, the last time it came close enough for us to see it, there were no cameras around to take a picture. The next time the comet is expected to come close to us is in the year 2276. This will be the first year the comet Thatcher will be able to be photographed. Debris left behind this comet is what we get to see every year. The debris left behind (sometimes being only the size of a grain of sand) burns up in our atmosphere. This is what causes the Lyrids meteor shower! The debris hits the atmosphere at a rate of 110,000 mph, which causes the particles to vaporize and streak the nighttime sky.

So with the unfortunate storm system moving in, the shower will be hidden this year. Don’t get discouraged though. We pass through the orbit of Comet Thatcher every year, so about this time next year, if all is clear, we will get to see it. Also, keep in mind that this shower is not even close to the most active showers we see. The Giminids Meteor Shower usually occurs annually between Dec. 7th and the 17th. At it’s peak, the Giminids shower averages 120 multicolored meteors per hour! Also, there is a possible meteor storm forecasted for May 24th this year. At it’s peak we could see anywhere from dozens to hundreds of meteors per hour!

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Happy Easter Sunday!

After the beautiful sunny weather seen during the weekend, active weather is on tap for the week. Rain, wind, and snow are all expected with a series of storms moving in. The high pressure ridge is finally breaking down and off the coast a very well defined, deep trough is setting up to move onshore tomorrow.

Tomorrow will start on a bit of a dry note. Clouds will be present overhead, but the saturated air mass in place could cause some fog situations along the coast and in the valleys. Showers are expected to start at the coast around the late morning hours and really strengthening during the early afternoon. All other locations will see mostly cloudy skies through most of Monday.  Showers will then start getting heavy in the mountain locations because of the southwest to northeast tilt of the rain line. A few stray showers will hit some locations in the valleys and Northern California. The bulk of the rain will move in into the later hours of the the day on Monday. Cooler air aloft will allow for some instability to develop in the region. A slight chance of thunderstorms could be present along the coast and in the mountains. The Basin will see its rain increase into the evening hours. Winds will also be strong in the Basin and Northern California. Sustained winds will be in the 5-25 mph range with gusts up to 30 mph. High profile vehicles may feel crosswinds.

Late April snow will also be seen with this system. Snow levels will drop to 3,500′ on Tuesday morning allowing for snow to impact some mountain passes. The question is how much accumulation will occur. Temperatures will be above freezing for most locations throughout the next week. In the overnight hours, snow will fall and accumulate, but as soon as temperatures start warming again, snowfall will transition to rain and the snow that has built up on the roads will begin melting. Slush will be more likely in this scenario. Still, this will create hazardous driving conditions. Allow for extra commute time and it is recommended to carry chains no matter what the conditions at the time. The closer we get to Tuesday will bring better knowledge of snow accumulations in the mountains, Basin, and North California. Snow levels will increase a bit on Wednesday as warmer air is pushed in. Overall snow and rain will be seen until Wednesday for Northern California and the Basin.

Wednesday will be the only break in precipitation, however, “break” is a loose term. Showers will still be likely. They will just be light and isolated. Thursday brings another round of precipitation to the area with another storm system moving in. Heavy rain will be present in most locations, lasting through Friday. Saturday is proving to bring yet, another round and last into Sunday. These later storms will be lowering snow levels and we could see rain and snow events with them.

As of now, no flooding is expected. However, as commonly seen with this much rain in the forecast for consecutive days, small stream and urban areas could see some rising water. This will depend on rate of precipitation over the course of the week. As the soil becomes saturated, mudslides and landslides could occur in extreme circumstances. We are still in the negative when talking about rainfall totals since the water year started (Sept 1st). These systems may not undo these negative values, but hopefully we can make a dent in them.

Thanks for logging on and enjoy your week!

Meteorologist Seth Phillips

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MEDFORD, Ore. — This week, a federal judge will review Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage. LGBTQ advocates in Southern Oregon and around the state will be holding vigils on the eve before Wednesday’s oral arguments.

Same-sex couples in Oregon are waiting for the verdict on a state ban which they argue discriminates against gays and lesbians. In five states, federal judges have thrown out voter-approved bans on same-sex marriage on constitutional grounds.

Oregon is the last state on the West Coast to hold a same-sex marriage ban. Many LGBTQ advocates argue the ban denies them one of their civil rights.

“At the end of the day, I would love for my grandchildren and my children to witness the marriage ceremony of me and my partner, we’ve been together for 15 years in a loving relationship, and I mean why can’t I have that American dream?” asked Gina DuQuenne.

Many supporters of the ban say allowing same-sex couples to be married goes against the traditional definition of marriage. Oregon’s Attorney General has called the state ban legally indefensible. Oral arguments are scheduled for Wednesday at the U.S. District Court in Eugene.

The local Vigil for Freedom to Marry will be held at the Jackson County Courthouse on Tuesday evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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MEDFORD, Ore. — ABC’s “The Bachelor” stars Juan Pablo and Nikki Ferrell will be coming to the Rogue Valley on April 26 for a local non-profit fundraiser.

Both will be arriving Friday night, for the Valley Wide Dance Party.   The party is being hosted by Tumor Hater, a local non-profit raising money for people with tumors here in Oregon and across the country, and is for high school students only.  Eighty percent of the proceeds raised through the dance will go directly to one Rogue Valley girl who is currently suffering from a disease called Neurofibromatosis.

At five years old, Madison Branaugh is dancing around the yard singing her favorite song “Let It Go” from the Disney animated movie Frozen, but just like the song she sings, she too has her own story of strength.

Branaugh was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis when she was just a few months old.  The genetic disorder causes tumors to grow from head to toe throughout her body, clinching on to nerves making it where many cannot be removed.

“You live it on a daily basis,” said Karen Branaugh, Madison’s mother. “You don’t really know what’s going to happen… so you just deal with the symptoms as they arrive, and her tumors are continuing to grow.”

Tumor Hater, a local non-profit fighting tumors in the Rogue Valley is stepping in to help the Branaugh family.   Its founder, Kelly Matthews, has the same disease.

“Outwardly I look okay, but one of my doctors said he thinks I have over 1,000 tumors easily,” said Matthews.

In order to help Branaugh, Tumor Haters is hosting its very first fundraiser called the Valley Wide Dance Party.  The party will not only have food, fun, and music, but it will also feature special guests Juan Pablo and Nikki Ferrell from this season of The Bachelor.

Matthews originally saw film crews filming the Bachelor while on her honeymoon in Florida.  She waited and went up and personally met both Juan Pablo and Nikki.  A couple months later, Ferrell and Matthews, re-connected on Instagram, and that led to both Bachelor stars coming to the Rogue Valley.

“You know it’s not going to be forever that I can use my publicity to help people in this way, and I want to do it while I can… especially for this, for Tumor Hater, and for Madison,” said Ferrell.

A pediatric nurse herself, Ferrell said she’s passionate about the cause, and as for Branaugh, she can’t wait to dance the night away with some of her favorite reality TV stars.

The Valley Wide Dance Party is only for high school students, a valid school ID is required at the door. The event is being held April 26 from 7-11 p.m. at the Inn at the Commons. There will be a meet and greet before the dance from 4:30 – 6p.m., and that is for people of all ages.  Admission is $15.00 for either event.

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PHOENIX, Ore. — Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) analysts say drivers should expect delays on Interstate 5 for the next few weeks. Starting Monday, ODOT will drop travel down to one lane in each direction at exit 24 near Phoenix. This change will allow crews to install a storm water pipe below the highway. It’s part of the Fern Valley Interchange project.

For 25 days, speeds will likely be reduced to 50 mph. ODOT experts say some 38,000 drivers travel through that section of I-5 between Medford and Phoenix.

But this is just the first travel impact of several to come. After this pipe is completed, there will be temporary on and off ramps at that exit for nearly a year. And at some point, for a five day period, those ramps will be shut down completely for project work. Most drivers can use Highway 99, however trucks will have to drive to exit 27 to turn around.

The $72 million Fern Valley Interchange project runs through September 2016.

When complete, exit 24 will feature Oregon’s first diverging diamond interchange with a narrower footprint that aims to move traffic safely and efficiently while saving right of way costs.

Oregon Head Coach George Horton:

Oregon Outfielder Austin Grebeck:

Oregon Pitcher Trent Paddon:

Oregon First Baseman A.J. Balta:

Courtesy: Oregon Sports Information

EUGENE, Ore. – Austin Grebeck didn’t start in Oregon’s 2-1 win over Washington State on Sunday at PK Park, but he ended the Cougars best chance to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Ducks.

Grebeck, who entered the game as a pinch runner in the bottom of the seventh inning, threw out Nick Tanielu at second for the final out of the eighth inning after the WSU third baseman took too big a turn on a base hit by Luke Stratman. Shortstop Mark Karaviotis took Grebeck’s throw and tagged out Tanielu before Michael Monda could score from second base on the hit.

“My first thought was home, but I knew I had a safety valve at second,” Grebeck said. “It wasn’t the hardest hit ball so I knew I really had to make a perfect throw at home, then I saw that guy round second pretty hard so that was my best chance to at least end the inning and if I got it there in time to save that run at home.”

Grebeck got the chance to be the hero on defense after a couple of clutch hits by A.J. Balta and Tyler Baumgartner. After WSU took a 1-0 lead with a run in the top half of the inning, Oregon answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Balta tied the game when he ripped a double on the first pitch he saw with two outs into right field scoring Shaun Chase, who led off the inning with a walk, from second base. Baumgartner followed with a RBI single that just eluded shortstop Trace Tam Sing scoring Balta from second.

Freshman Trent Paddon, making his second start of the season, kept Oregon in the game early as the Ducks (31-10, 10-5 Pac-12) struggled against Washington State (17-19, 7-8 Pac-12) starter Jason Monda.

Paddon (1-2) picked up his first career win allowing just one run on five hits with six strikeouts in six innings. Monda (1-4) took the loss, despite allowing just one hit over the first five innings, after allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

Baumgartner helped Paddon on defense as well gunning Tanielu at home to end the fourth inning and keep the game scoreless.

Aaron Payne became the all-time steals leader at Oregon when he stole his 41st career base in the bottom of the eighth. Balta led Oregon with two of the team’s four hits.EUGENE, Ore. – Austin Grebeck didn’t start in Oregon’s 2-1 win over Washington State on Sunday at PK Park, but he ended the Cougars best chance to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Ducks.

Grebeck, who entered the game as a pinch runner in the bottom of the seventh inning, threw out Nick Tanielu at second for the final out of the eighth inning after the WSU third baseman took too big a turn on a base hit by Luke Stratman. Shortstop Mark Karaviotis took Grebeck’s throw and tagged out Tanielu before Michael Monda could score from second base on the hit.

“My first thought was home, but I knew I had a safety valve at second,” Grebeck said. “It wasn’t the hardest hit ball so I knew I really had to make a perfect throw at home, then I saw that guy round second pretty hard so that was my best chance to at least end the inning and if I got it there in time to save that run at home.”

Grebeck got the chance to be the hero on defense after a couple of clutch hits by A.J. Balta and Tyler Baumgartner. After WSU took a 1-0 lead with a run in the top half of the inning, Oregon answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Balta tied the game when he ripped a double on the first pitch he saw with two outs into right field scoring Shaun Chase, who led off the inning with a walk, from second base. Baumgartner followed with a RBI single that just eluded shortstop Trace Tam Sing scoring Balta from second.

Freshman Trent Paddon, making his second start of the season, kept Oregon in the game early as the Ducks (31-10, 10-5 Pac-12) struggled against Washington State (17-19, 7-8 Pac-12) starter Jason Monda.

Paddon (1-2) picked up his first career win allowing just one run on five hits with six strikeouts in six innings. Monda (1-4) took the loss, despite allowing just one hit over the first five innings, after allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

Baumgartner helped Paddon on defense as well gunning Tanielu at home to end the fourth inning and keep the game scoreless.

Aaron Payne became the all-time steals leader at Oregon when he stole his 41st career base in the bottom of the eighth. Balta led Oregon with two of the team’s four hits.

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

After a morning and an afternoon of scattered showers, conditions are finally starting to calm down. A small upper level disturbance moved into the area Thursday afternoon allowing for some showers to fall along the coast and the Northern Cascades. These showers did not hang around for too long as most had dissipated by 4 p.m. A few showers were picked up on the radar in the Valleys, but most of the precipitation evaporated before hitting the ground. High pressure will stick around tomorrow for Easter Sunday. This will keep dry and warm conditions throughout the day.

Next week is proving to be very active. Showers will start at the coast Monday afternoon ahead of an upper level low moving onshore. These showers will last through Tuesday. Temperatures will also drop anywhere from 10-15 degree after the passage of the first cold front. Zonal flow of the jet stream will be pushing these storms in one after the other. We expect a slight break in precipitation on Wednesday, with isolated showers in most locations. However, we get right back into the rain and snow (yes snow!) by Thursday. A very strong front moving in overnight Thursday will bring heavy rain to most areas as well. Shower activity will persist into next weekend. We are finally going to get some much needed rainfall.

Snow levels will also be dropping as cooler air is rushed in behind the fronts. Snow levels in the upper elevations will start at around 6,000′ on Monday evening. After the front passes levels will get into the 4,500′ – 5,000′ range. Post frontal precipitation will hang around on Tuesday allowing for a rain and snow. Since temperatures will not be below freezing for too long, models are unsure how much snow will stick. This will depend on the rate of snowfall and rate of temperature rise throughout the days. It’s safe to say that any areas up to 5,000 will probably only see a dusting. Higher elevations may see a few inches. As we get closer to these systems, we’ll have a better idea on just how much moisture these systems will bring.One thing is for sure, it’s finally good to see the moisture return to the area.

Thanks for logging on and have a great Easter weekend!

Meteorologist Seth Phillips

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