The long awaited precipitation has arrived to Southern Oregon and Northern California. Rain has already started at the coasts and valley areas, while snow is falling in the Cascades. The heaviest amounts of precipitation for southern Oregon will come in on Friday. With the rain and snow, we will also see an increase in winds. Winds along the coast will be in the 30-60 mph range with gusts up to 70 mph. This will create dangerous offshore conditions. A HIGH WIND WATCH for the coast is in effect until Friday night with winds peaking Friday afternoon and evening; winds could cause downed trees and power lines. In the mountain areas, winds of about 15-25 mph could be experienced with gusts up to 60 mph. The cold temperatures, snow, and wind will create low visibilities and travel concerns, be prepared for winter travel through the next few days. Elsewhere, A WINTER STORM WATCH is in effect until Friday morning, and A WINTER STORM WARNING will last until 4:00 am Saturday due to travel impacts for snow and wind.
This will be the wettest week since December 2012 which left December as the 7th wettest December on record last year! Heavy rain is expected at the coast with moderate rain at times in the valleys while the basin and mountains will be getting a lot of snow. Snow totals in the Cascades and Siskiyous will be around 10″ to 22″ while the Klamath Basin will experience 6″ to 13″. Elsewhere above 3,000′ we could see 7″ to 15″ of snow with the heaviest snow arriving Friday above 3,000′. Snow levels on Friday will be around 3,000′ but could locally drop to 2,500′ or even lower at times in heavy showers. Northern California will continue to see heavy precipitation over the weekend, mainly in the form of rain as snow levels will rise to 5000′ or higher. Showers with moderate rain for Oregon will continue into the weekend but the bulk of this weekends storm will be in central and northern California.
With the lower snow levels on Friday, I-5 will see snow covered roads at times and thus travel impacts, and other Cascade passes with experience snow and low visibility. Travelers will mainly be impacted through Friday night in the Cascades and at Siskiyou Summit with improving conditions over the weekend while Mt. Shasta and the East side will see travel impacts into Saturday morning. The benefits to all of the precipitation will be the much needed replenishing of soils, rivers, and lakes which hopefully will aid in preventing an active wildfire season and of course winter outdoor activities will get a boost!
Thanks for logging on and have a great night!
Meteorologist Megan Parry