Next front may hit Rogue Valley tonight

A quick-moving storm blew in from the coast Tuesday evening, plastering the valley floor with large, heavy snowflakes.

The storm briefly closed Interstate 5 between Grants Pass and Roseburg. Three inches of snow fell on the Sexton Summit north of Grants Pass in a little more than 20 minutes, said meteorologist Sven Nelaimischkies at the Medford office of the National Weather Service.

"We got the occasional flash of lightning near the coast," he said. "The storm moved through the valley and on into the Cascade Mountains."

Less than an inch of snow accumulated on the valley floor during the late evening storm. Nelaimischkies lifted the snow advisory at 9 p.m.

The evening snow after a cold front swept into the Rogue Valley Tuesday morning, bringing with it a trail of scattered snow showers that lasted throughout the day.

While the front wasn't as strong as initially expected, showers were intense at times, with falling and blowing snow obscuring visibility. Snow didn't accumulate during the day in the Rogue Valley, but forecasters at the National Weather Service but snow came off and on during evening. Depending on location, anywhere from a trace of new snow to as much as 3 inches were expected. The Cascades were expected to get up to 5 inches of new snow Tuesday night.

"The initial front was not quite as powerful as the model predicted," said Dan Weygand, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Medford office said.

The next front is on its way, though, likely arriving in Southern Oregon tonight. It's expected to bring a mix of rain and snow showers in the valleys and maybe an inch of snow to elevations above the snow level, which will hover between 1,500 and 2,000 feet. Rain will continue Thursday in Medford.

After a slight break, another front will move in Friday afternoon, delivering rain showers that could turn to snow Friday night.

Each of the string of storm fronts could drop up to a foot of new snow on Mount Ashland, pleasing skiers, said meteorologist Frederic Bunnag.

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