'Energetic' front expected to bring wet weather

Autumn has arrived right on schedule.

A weekend of come-and-go rain and high temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below normal are expected for Jackson County through Wednesday.

National Weather Service officials said a strong cold front that originated offshore worked its way inland Friday and will continue to drop precipitation on the Rogue Valley over the next few days while temperatures plunge into the upper 60s and lower 70s. There's even a chance Crater Lake could see its first snow of the season today, though meteorologists suspect it won't be much.

"The ground temperature's still really warm," said meteorologist Mike Petrucelli. "It's not to say we won't get anything, but if we get anything, it won't be a big, significant snow up there — maybe barely just covering the ground."

Petrucelli described the front as "energetic," one that will bring rain showers and possibly an isolated thunderstorm or two.

"It won't be the norm; it will be the exception," Petrucelli said of thunder.

Moderate to heavy showers are expected today as a trough of cooler air moves overhead. A break is expected early Sunday before another system rolls into the area during the late afternoon. Petrucelli said most of that system will be confined to Douglas and Coos counties.

"We may not get anything here other than some cloud cover," Petrucelli said.

Temperatures will remain cooler in Jackson County through Wednesday, when as much as a half-inch of rain could fall in Medford and the surrounding area. By Thursday and Friday, daytime highs could warm back to nearly 80.

Petrucelli said travelers into Josephine and Douglas counties over the next few days should be mindful of the potential for flooding.

Burn scars from recent fires make it harder for soils to absorb precipitation, and flooding can result if the downpour is heavy enough.

"A lot of it's a function of how hard it rains in a short period of time," Petrucelli said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com.

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