WEATHER SUMMARY AND FORECAST DETAILS
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FOR 2/19/2019 - from Medford NWS
Rain and snow will move into the area this evening through Wednesday morning as an upper level shortwave moves into the area from the north. Widespread moderate to locally heavy rain and snow showers are expected Wednesday afternoon and evening, decreasing in intensity and coverage late Wednesday evening and Wednesday night. This weather system will bring another round of low elevation snow to the area as well as heavy snow in the Southern Oregon Cascades and western foothills. Snow levels will start out around 2000 to 2500 feet this evening, lowering to 2000 feet late in the evening and tonight. Models are in agreement showing the potential for snow levels to dip to 1500 feet as cold temperatures aloft move into areas west of the
Cascades late tonight and early Wednesday morning. So expect snow down to 1500 feet by Wednesday morning. Of note, ground temperatures may be above freezing in western valley locations, so snow accumulations on lower valley floors near 1500 feet may be brief. Still slippery roads are expected with any snow that occurs, including during the morning commute time. At and above 2000 feet, confidence is high for accumulating moderate snow tonight into Wedensday. Expect moderate snow accumulations at and above 2000 feet with heavy snow in the Southern Oregon Cascades and western foothills tonight into Wednesday. East of the Cascades and into Siskiyou County expect a mix of light to moderate snow. For east side and Northern California areas, moderate snowfall is expected mainly into the areas north of Chiloquin and over the higher terrain and Klamath and Lake counties and across Western Siskiyou county.
This pattern continues during the day Wednesday and into Wednesday evening as a cold showery airmass moves overhead with moderate to locally heavy showers. Shower activity will decrease in coverage and intensity late Wednesday evening through early Thursday morning. Flow aloft will turn northwest Wednesday evening as areas of moderate showers continue over the area. This northwest flow pattern will favor the best chance for heavier
showers over west and northwest facing slopes, especially along the Siskiyous, Cascades and Umpqua Divide. With lowering snow levels during the evening, lowering back down to 1500 feet, expect snow accumulations in areas favored under northwest flow like the southern Rogue Valley, including Ashland, Talent, Phoenix and areas along the Umpqua Divide south of Canyonville. Other areas from 1500 feet or higher may see light to moderate showers Wednesday evening. Overnight, expect showers to decrease in intensity and coverage but also snow levels will lower to 1000 feet and locally lower. So a dusting of snow is possible on lower valley floors.Thursday, expect a cold start to the day with morning lows in the 20 to 30 degree ranges for most inland areas west of the Cascades. East side valley temperatures are expected to be in the lower teens early Thursday morning. Temperatures will warm during the day to the upper 30s and low 40s across western valleys and to the upper 20s to lower 30s in eastern valleys. Some lingering light snow showers or snow flurries are possible on Thursday but little or no snow accumulation is expected. Then cold and dry weather is forecast for Thursday night.
Friday through Tuesday night...The models are in good agreement at the beginning of this forecast period, through this next weekend. Model agreement then deteriorates early next week.
Friday afternoon through Sunday another upper level trough will push in from the northwest bringing a slow moving frontal system into the area. Snow levels are expected to be mostly in the 2500-3500 foot range Friday afternoon and evening as precipitation pushes into Southwest Oregon from the northwest. Friday night into Saturday morning appears to be when most of the precipitation with the front will occur. Snow levels then are likely to be mostly in the 2000-3000 foot range during that time period, as the front doesn`t really push all the way through- rather a wave forms along it and moves through the area in a west to east fashion. 2-6 inches of new snow is expected Friday night into Saturday morning in the Oregon Cascades and Siskiyous, with the higher amounts in the Cascades.
Saturday afternoon through Sunday snow levels are likely to fluctuate between 1500 and 2500 feet with generally light precipitation expected to continue. There are some differences in the models regarding snow levels, with the GFS a bit colder than the ECMWF. At this lead time we won`t be able to resolve the valley snow situation, but the data supports accumulations being mainly above 2500 feet.
For Monday into Tuesday the models are indicating a burst of westerlies moving into the forecast area. What they mostly disagree about is the amplitude of this frontal system associated with this westerly wind burst. Due to the origins of moisture with this system being from the subtropics, we`re expecting higher precipitation amounts from this system once it arrives and also higher snow levels. However, looking at the wind fields and the previous forecast, the westerly wind burst itself appears to be a new development in the data. Thus, this is something that will need to be watched over the next couple days.
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