Break in the weather won't last

A break in the weather has left only scattered showers over the region today, but another big storm is expected Thursday.

Both Oregon and California transportation departments report no serious travel problems on Interstate 5 currently.

The Siskiyou Summit has spots of ice on the roadway and some snow flurries are expected, Oregon Department of Transportation's TripCheck Web site reports.

Isolated showers of rain in the valleys and snow at elevations above 2,500 feet are expected today, said Jim Bunker, a hydrometeorological technician at the National Weather Service office in Medford. Up to 1 inch of snow could accumulate during the day, he said.

Travelers — especially those heading south — might want to hit the road soon to make the most of the relatively good weather, Bunker said.

"It's better now than it will be this evening," he said.

A winter storm warning goes into effect at 1 a.m. Thursday and continues until 4 p.m.

The warning predicts light snow beginning this evening and becoming heavy by early Thursday. Snowfall will taper off during the day Thursday, but not before it stacks up in the mountains.

One to 2 feet of snow is expected in the Cascades north of Highway 140 and 9 to 18 inches will pile up in the Cascades south of Highway 140, the warning said. In the Siskiyous, 7 to 14 inches are expected by late Thursday afternoon. South winds will increase to 25 to 40 mph, causing blowing and drifting snow along exposed stretches of roads.

Elevations as low as 2,500 feet could get 2 or 3 inches of snow, while the Rogue Valley can expect about 0.4 inch of rain, Bunker said.

Drivers headed over mountain passes should prepare for winter driving by carrying required safety equipment such as chains, as well as food, water, a blanket and flashlight. ODOT offers winter driving tips at

— Anita Burke

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