An angler searches for winter steelhead on the Applegate River at Cantrall Buckley Park Thursday. - Jamie Lusch

Coming Down With The Cold

Snow could reach the valley floor on Saturday as another winter storm pushes into Southern Oregon, weather officials said.

However, this round of winter weather won't be as dramatic as the storms that hit in December, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow was expected to fall Thursday night, he said, but should have disappeared by this morning and shouldn't hamper anyone's commute.

About three-tenths of an inch of snowfall was reported in Medford Thursday, with about half an inch in Ashland.

Thursday's snowfall prompted a two-hour delay for the Butte Falls School District.

Higher elevations did see some significant accumulation. Howard Prairie received 7 inches of snow overnight, NWS officials reported Thursday. Mount Ashland received 5 inches in the previous 24 hours.

The snowy weather heading our way Saturday will bring low temperatures expected to drop slightly below freezing, leaving possible icy spots on bridges and overpasses, National Weather Service meteorologist Sven Nelaimischkies said.

"(The Oregon Department of Transportation) is usually really good about spraying the roadways, but there might be patches of black ice out there Friday morning," National Weather Service meteorologist Sven Nelaimischkies said.

The snow level this morning could drop to 1,500 feet, which would affect the Sexton Summit on Interstate 5 and Lake of the Woods on Highway 140. But road temperatures have remained above freezing in most areas, which should keep the snow from clinging to driving surfaces, Nelaimischkies said.

The other issue facing travelers in the coming days is dense fog that will hang around the valley in the morning, he said. Fog will stick around until mid-morning, as temperatures warm up during the day.

Sunday could see periods of freezing fog, as temperatures drop into the 20s during the night, the weather service reported.

Heading into next week, the valley could see the sun peek out, with daytime temperatures rising into the high 40s.

Later in the week, the area could see highs nearly hit the 50s, with lows remaining well above freezing.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email

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