Winter storm brings dropping snow levels

As much as 6 inches of snow could hit the valley floor by late Thursday, making travel in the region problematic, a National Weather Service storm watch reports.

A winter storm watch for Southern Oregon and parts of Northern California predicts several inches of snow in the mountains this week, falling into the valleys by Wednesday night.

According to forecast, 1 to 3 inches of snow is expected to fall in Medford and Ashland on Wednesday night, with an additional 1 to 3 inches expected Thursday.

The storm watch, issued this morning by the National Weather Service Medford office, runs from Wednesday morning through Thursday. The arctic storm blowing into the region will bring the snow level to around 1,000 feet Wednesday night and possibly drop it to sea level by Thursday morning.

The Siskiyou Mountains are expected to receive about a foot of snow, with some areas receiving as much as 2 feet of snow from the storm.

The forecast for Mount Ashland calls for 4 to 8 inches of snow Wednesday night, and an additional 7 to 11 inches possible Thursday.

The National Weather Service is calling the storm unusually cold, and predicts problematic amounts of snow in the region, with sleet and ice expected to affect road conditions.

Spots of heavy snow in the valley could lead to broken tree limbs and possible power outages, and overnight snow on Wednesday will make Thursday's morning commute hazardous, the warning said.

—Teresa Ristow

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