Southern Oregon braces for 'historically strong' storm amid Thanksgiving travel

Snow, rain, and extremely high winds are expected throughout the area as many prepare to head out for holiday travel.

Posted: Nov 25, 2019 2:44 PM
Updated: Nov 25, 2019 4:21 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Just as many Oregonians prepare to set out for holiday travels, meteorologists are warning of a more significant late-fall storm than the area has seen in years.

"There's increasing potential for an historically strong low pressure system to make landfall near the Southern Oregon coastline Tuesday afternoon," the National Weather Service posted early on Monday morning. The agency warned travelers to hit the road on Monday and be finished by 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

“If people can leave today, now is the time,” said Oregon Department of Transportation district manager Jerry Marmon. “Travel Tuesday into Wednesday is forecast to be the worst, with conditions improving for Thanksgiving Day.”


TripCheck is the place to go for current road conditions in Oregon


Even for those that plan to stay put, the outlook could be grim. Pacific Power said that potential heavy snow and high winds could cause downed trees and power lines throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California.

“Snow and high winds can knock down trees and powerlines causing power outages,” said David Lucas, Pacific Power's vice president of operations. “We are staging additional crews and equipment in preparation for the storm projected to impact Southern Oregon and Northern California mid-day Tuesday through Wednesday afternoon. With the storm having the potential to affect holiday celebrations, we are pulling out all the stops to mobilize or crews as needed.”

The utility company said that every home or business should have an emergency outage kit that includes a flashlight, battery-operated radio and clock, extra batteries, non-perishable foods, manual can opener, bottled water, and blankets.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office sent out a similar list for travelers, with the addition of blankets or sleeping bags, extra warm clothing, and a shovel.

"Let a friend, neighbor or family member know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If you have a problem along the way, help can be sent quicker along your predetermined route," the agency said.


RELATED: Local landmark elevations and snow levels


StormWatch 12 meteorologists predict accumulating snow and slick travel on Monday along the Cascades and Siskiyous, with the stronger storm due to arrive on Tuesday morning. Snow levels are expected to drop to nearly 2,000 feet by Tuesday morning, then down to 1,000 feet by the evening.

"By the afternoon on Tuesday, travel will become increasingly difficult across our area due to periods of heavy snow and increasing winds," Chief Meteorologist Matt Hoffman said.

Gusts of up to 70 mph are possible inland, and up to 100 mph along the coast. As Pacific Power warned, power outages and wind damage will also be a major concern. Winter weather impacts will be felt particularly strongly in the local valleys from Tuesday night into Wednesday.

"Even in the best road conditions, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year," ODOT said in a statement. "Expect delays, plan ahead, allow extra travel time and know before you go."

The Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport said that it had snow removal equipment and personnel on standby should the valley see snow accumulations. So far, they have yet to see any major cancellations or delays to or from other airports.


For the latest forecast and alerts from StormWatch 12, visit our Weather page here.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 356061

Reported Deaths: 4275
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55695704
Washington38673322
Marion36719454
Clackamas29660309
Lane27624302
Jackson22982310
Deschutes20211125
Umatilla14451150
Linn12780130
Douglas12065243
Josephine9349196
Yamhill8674113
Klamath7965118
Polk733681
Malheur561776
Benton546531
Coos501294
Columbia379744
Jefferson372352
Union318449
Lincoln318039
Crook287546
Wasco287441
Clatsop243329
Baker202529
Tillamook196432
Hood River192137
Morrow184423
Curry180025
Harney113726
Grant100013
Lake92412
Wallowa68612
Gilliam1544
Sherman1503
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4842472

Reported Deaths: 71202
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148181426506
Riverside3712935030
San Diego3660564183
San Bernardino3582135663
Orange3241845550
Sacramento1593332308
Kern1459621644
Fresno1458772084
Santa Clara1453911896
Alameda1205301400
San Joaquin1025821721
Ventura1009841166
Contra Costa998841008
Stanislaus860701331
Tulare80203967
San Francisco54375646
San Mateo54112622
Monterey50885587
Solano46021341
Santa Barbara45160523
Merced42299581
Sonoma40925402
Placer39342425
Imperial35999766
Kings32801322
San Luis Obispo29945332
Madera23876285
Shasta23851352
Butte23738270
Santa Cruz21018220
Yolo20353248
Marin17692244
El Dorado17169149
Sutter13913175
Napa12882100
Yuba1008582
Tehama9510110
Humboldt9243108
Nevada914290
Mendocino763687
Lassen754347
San Benito744472
Tuolumne688089
Lake6605104
Amador544064
Siskiyou450546
Glenn436733
Calaveras389381
Del Norte358342
Colusa307218
Inyo211140
Mono16703
Plumas16417
Mariposa133416
Trinity87711
Modoc6865
Sierra1880
Unassigned1820
Alpine1030
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Brookings
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 54°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Showers and cool Friday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events