Wind, rain expected to continue

A storm moving on shore brought strong winds followed by rain showers to the Rogue Valley this morning and could deliver a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon.

The National Weather Service in Medford has issued a wind advisory, which is in effect until 2 p.m., warning of 20 to 30 mph winds with gusts of up to 45 mph.

Meteorologist Mike Stavish said the strongest winds hit between 7 and 10 a.m., when gusts of 45 mph were recorded in the Ashland area and peak winds hit about 40 mph at the Medford airport.

Winds were quelled as showers swept into the area by late morning. An inch of rain was reported in Curry County, while the Illinois Valley reported 0.7 of an inch.

"This is a good, potent winter storm with a strong, moist, southerly flow that's bringing heavy snow to Northern California," Stavish said.

About a foot of snow was reported around Mount Shasta City and a winter storm warning is in effect across much of Siskiyou County. Wind and snow could cause travel difficulties on Interstate 5 between Weed and Mount Shasta.

Stavish noted that temperature differences between the ground, which has been warmed by spring weather, and cool air moving in with this low-pressure system could cause thunderstorms across Southern Oregon from the coast to the Cascades.

He doesn't expect much change in the weather through the weekend.

"It stays stormy," Stavish said. "It doesn't change for the better."

He said another low-pressure system slides in on Friday night, delivering another dose of southwesterly winds, rain and snow in Northern California, where winter weather is expected through Saturday morning.

After a brief lull on Saturday afternoon, another storm much like today's will sweep in with more wind and rain for the region on Sunday, he said.

"It's just crummy weather, not significantly hazardous," Stavish said.

Things will look up next week, though. He said showers will diminish by Tuesday, and nicer weather, with warmer temperatures and less chance of rain, will arrive late next week.

— Anita Burke

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