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FOR 1/23/2020 - from Rogueweather

It was always known that we would see active weather coming at us. But, over the course of the last 24 to 36 hours, the nature of that has changed. It has always been thought we would see warmer than average temps and some lighter amounts of rain coming. Snow levels would be going up to over 6000 to 7000 feet. The temps and the snow levels are staying right about where we thought they would be. But, the amounts of rain we are going to see are going to be significantly higher than what they had been expected to be. 
We have two storms lined up to be coming in over the weekend. The first one arrives tomorrow right on the heels of the storm coming in tonight. Expect to see a noticeable increase in rainfall rates and amounts. But, the storm coming on Saturday will be the big rain maker of the weekend. Rainfall will be heavy at times just about everywhere. But, at the coast and in the Coast Range is where the heaviest rain will be at. We could be looking at totals running up towards 6 inches in the Coast Range just on Saturday. Look for substantial rains to spread inland with well over an inch for the Cascades and an inch to and inch and a quarter for the Umpqua Basin. We could see up to a half inch of rain for areas east of the Cascades. The rain will decrease on Saturday night and then we have showers for Sunday. With as big a hole as we are in for rainfall for the water year, this is going to be welcome news. And, a lot of people are expressing concerns about flooding. Normally that would be more of a concern. But, the snowpack that is in the mountains is going to be able to absorb a lot of water due to it's very low water content. Depending on how much rain we see a great deal of it is going to be held at least for the inland areas. If you notice, you are not hearing a lot of discussion about flooding potential. This is why. Snow packs will certainly compress in terms of depth. But, while we lose depth, we gain better quality to it with much increased water content. And we need that for later in the year.
For the ski areas, this is going to be a wait to see what happens situation. At least for Mt. Ashland. Mt. Shasta Ski ParK, and the lower slopes of Mt. Bachelor. Right now the forecasts look to be on the rainy side. But, with a snow level of around 6000 to 7000 feet we could see it be lower. And, heavier precipitation could lower it too. If the snow levels were expected to be up above 8000 feet then this would be a for sure bad news event. But they are not getting that high. So it opens up a possibility that the ski areas may see snow. At least those three. Willamette Pass and Hoodoo are looking to be in the really warm air and will be far more likely to see rain. When we get to Monday and Tuesday next week, colder air will be coming in and snow levels will be lowering down to 4000 to 5000 feet. That will really cause the snowpacks to set up. And, there will be new snow for all of the ski areas in our paert of the world. Not sure yet on amounts to expect. That is still be worked out. But, it is going to be snowing. I wish I could say for sure that will last. 
In the middle of next week, we will see more storms coming in. As they do....snow levels move back up. Expect them to be 5500 to 6500 feet. The big question right now is what happens after Thursday. There is a lot of questions that need to be resolved. But, the one thing for sure is that we are going to remain active. I believe I have said previously that it is expected we will be seeing above average chances for precipitation through the end of the month. Which is less than two weeks away now. One group of people that will be smiling reading this is going to be anybody with travel plans through the middle of next week. I am just not seeing anything that looks like trouble for travel. Especially on I 5 at any point in Southern Oregon and Northern California. 
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