A potent winter storm will impact Southern Oregon and Northern California this weekend bringing low elevation snow and difficult travel conditions throughout the region. Here's everything you need to know about this storm. Be sure to check back for forecast updates.
What To Expect:
A much more potent storm system is expected to arrive tonight and impact our region through the weekend bringing widespread snow, even down to our lowest elevations. There is growing concern for snow and even accumulating snow in our lower elevations in the Rogue Valley and even down to the immediate coast by Saturday night. There are some key differences to the storm system as opposed to last weekend's system; This storm system is stronger and will likely produce bursts of heavier precipitation on Saturday into Saturday night that will help lower snow levels, we're seeing a much colder air mass ahead of this storm compared to the one from Monday, and this storm system is packing even colder air with it. For these reasons, that's why there's more concern for higher snow totals in our higher elevations and even some accumulating snow in our valleys.
Snow levels will still be low, dropping down to 1,500' in the morning on Saturday, but we expect snow levels to drop further during the day. Moderate to heavy precipitation will help drag those snow levels down more quickly. Snow levels will likely reach the valleys later in the day and into the evening before dropping to the coast as we head into Saturday night. Significant snow is expected in our higher elevations with over 12" through the Cascades and Siskiyous. Some areas could see up to 2 feet or more. Several inches will fall for our lower passes such as the Sexton Summit and Hayes Hill. The Klamath Basin will also see several inches of accumulation for Saturday into Sunday, too. For our westside valleys, we will likely see a changeover from rain to snow Saturday with accumulations up to 1-3" on the valley floor. Totals will go up though into the foothills and for places like Ashland. Accumulating snow will also impact Northern California. The combination of snow and gusty winds in our higher elevations will likely have significant impacts to travel around Southern Oregon and Northern California.
Periods of snow will continue Saturday night into Sunday morning. Any wet roads will also turn icy into Sunday morning as temperautres fall below freezing throughout the region. Any accumulating snow will taper to just flurries in the afternoon on Sunday.
Winter Weather Alerts:
A WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for the areas of Siskiyou County for elevations above 3,000', Southern Oregon Cascades and Siskiyous at all elevations until 10 PM Saturday, in Klamath and Lake Counties above 4,500' from 4 AM Saturday until 10 PM Saturday, in Jackson County for elevations above 2,000' (including the city of Ashland) from 10 PM Friday until 10 PM Saturday, and in Curry and Josephine Counties for elevations above 1,500' from 10 PM Friday to 4 AM Sunday. Gusty winds in our higher elevations and east of the Cascades could lead to blowing snow and further reduced visibility.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY has been issued for Klamath and Lake Counties below 4,500' from 10 PM Friday until 10 PM Saturday, Siskiyou County below 3,000' from 10 PM Friday until 4 AM Sunday, for the Southern Oregon Coast below 1,500' from 4 PM Saturday until 4 AM Sunday, Josephine County below 1,500' from 4 AM Saturday until 4 AM Sunday, and for Jackson County below 2,000' from 4 AM until 10 PM Saturday.
Forecast Snow Totals:
Here's a breakdown of forecast snow from Friday night through Sunday morning...
Higher Cascades Passes, Siskiyou & Coastal Mountains: 12-24", locally higher amounts (Hwy 140, Crater & Diamond Lake, Mt. Ashland)
I-5 Siskiyou Summit: 10-14"
Lower Passes & Foot Hills: 8-12" (I-5 Sexton Summit, Smith Hill, Stage Road & Canyon Mt. Pass, Hwy 199 Hayes Hill)
Klamath Basin: 4-8", locally higher amounts
Shasta, Seid & Illinois Valleys: 3-6" (Yreka, Montague, Happy Camp, Cave Juntion, Selma)
Higher Elevations of Siskiyou County: 6-12", locally higher amounts (Mt. Shasta Ski Park, I-5, Hwy 89 & Hwy 97 near Mt. Shasta and Tennant, and western mountains)
Rogue Valley & Coast: Amounts will range between 1-3" with lesser amounts towards the coast.
**Forecast snow totals are subject to change ahead of the storm impacting our region.**
Stay up-to-date on the forecast with StormWatch 12 on-air and online. Also, be sure to download our StormWatch 12 weather app.
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