The Calm Before the Storm

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Today is the calm before the storm — a potent winter storm is headed straight our way beginning late tonight. For today, sunny skies will prevail across all areas, but afternoon highs are going to be pretty similar to our typical morning lows with this very cold arctic air mass in place. Highs will be in the 30’s over the Rogue Valley, Siskiyou County & the mountains. The 20’s are expected for highs in the Klamath Basin.

A rain/snow mix and/or just snow will begin around 4am at the Coast tomorrow morning. This will be the onset of a winter storm that will bring low elevation snow by late morning tomorrow for inland valleys. Precipitation will likely start and end as snow over West Side Valleys on Friday. In the morning, it is expected to begin falling between 7am & 10am. Morning lows in the Valley will be in the lower 20’s, and with the cold temperatures all week long …cold ground temperatures will also support sticking snow.

This snow will likely turn to a rain/snow mix or just rain across the lowest elevations in the Valley into the afternoon. More showery activity is expected by the evening, but in the form of snow over all areas at this time. This will be after the front has moved through, which will bring in an even cooler air mass for the weekend. The snow showers will then taper off into Saturday morning, with showers into mid morning for the Klamath Basin & Siskiyou County.

In terms of accumulations, snow over West Side Valley grassy surfaces and sidewalks is almost definite …accumulations on the roads over the valley floors will also likely be between a trace to one inch. Locally higher amounts is also not out of the picture — the “higher elevations” of Medford could recieve 1″-2.” The foothills will see a good 2″-4″ easy. The Cascades are looking at 6″-12″, with the highest totals near Crater Lake and Diamond Lake. The Klamath Basin will likely see 2″-5″ ..with the higher elevations of the East Side picking up more towards 5.” The Siskiyous will likely see 3″-6″ before this storm is all said and done.

Travel impacts are anticipated tomorrow morning, with deteriorating conditions through the course of the day. The passes, especially above 4,000′ are likely going to have accumulating snow by the afternoon. Those with plans to travel should put chains on their tires and be prepared for winter weather. Travel Friday evening is not recommended, and those with plans to travel Friday afternoon should be sure to keep a flashlight, food and water in their vehicle in the event of an emergency. Wind is not a huge impact with this disturbance, so blowing snow is not a huge concern. Our biggest problem will be slush, ice and snow …especially Friday evening and Saturday morning.

For the weekend, the coldest air mass we have seen so far this season will move in, following Friday’s cold front. This is an even COLDER arctic air mass that will restrain highs from warming beyond the 20’s over West Side Valleys! Morning lows will be in the lower teens west of the Cascades and below zero in the mountains and the Klamath Basin. These are the temperatures that will not only freeze pipes, but burst them. Households & businesses should take the necessary precautions to protect pipes through at least Tuesday of next week.

Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese