Siskiyou Summit traffic intermittent through snowfall

The expected winter storm arrived this morning, blanketing the higher elevations of Southern Oregon with snow and slowing traffic on the Siskiyou and Sexton summits. Although few snowflakes made it to the valley floor, transportation officials urge travelers to anticipate delays and to be patient during the continuing holiday travel season.

Chains are required on Interstate 5 at the Siskiyou Summit for all vehicles except four-wheel-drive vehicles. Gary Leaming, an Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman, has said there is a temporary hold on northbound traffic on I-5 with intermittent holds expected throughout the day. A weather station on the pass reports 17 inches of roadside snow, with 6 inches of new snow.

"The volume of traffic is a little higher with holiday travelers," Leaming said. "People need to just be prepared and have patience."

Prospect has received 2 inches of snow since 6 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. Highway 62 has spots of ice, so ODOT recommends travelers carry chains or have traction tires.

On Highway 66 in the Green Springs snow was falling hard and continuously this morning. About 39 inches of snow has piled up on the roadside and the road surface is covered with packed snow. Travelers should carry chains or have traction tires. Highway 238 in Jacksonville is seeing snow flurries with slush on the road as packed snow breaks up.

The National Weather Service predicts rain and snow showers throughout the day in the Rogue Valley with a high near 39 degrees. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch is possible. Snow showers could continue through 4 a.m. Wednesday, piling up less than an inch of snow in the valley. The overnight low is forecast to dip to 30 degrees.

— Mandy Valencia

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