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Cold front may roll through by Wednesday night

Expected to bring rain to Rogue Valley and snow to surrounding mountains
 Posted: 2:00 AM November 06, 2012

On Sunday, the Rogue Valley tied a high temperature record that had stood for 63 years. By Thursday morning we should be seeing snow in the foothills.

A large cold front drifting southwest from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to move into the region Wednesday night, bringing 20-degree temperature drops and snow in the mountains, weather officials said.

The front is expected to have a wide range, hitting Siskiyou, Modoc, Curry, Josephine, Klamath, Lake and Jackson counties.

National Weather Service officials said precipitation is expected through early Thursday morning, with snow levels dropping to 3,000 feet.

"Snow levels are going to drop pretty significantly," said Brian Nieuwenhuis, NWS meteorologist. "It's one of those things where we're going to have to watch the passes."

Weather officials added that the snowfall will most likely affect road conditions in areas of higher elevation, including the Siskiyou Pass on Interstate 5, highways 230 and 138 near Diamond Lake, and Highway 140's stretch over the Cascades. Two to three inches are predicted for these spots, with 6 to 8 inches in the Cascades and up to a foot for the Coastal Range.

That means rain for the valley floor, as much as a quarter of an inch by Thursday.

"Some of the coastal mountains out there could see a couple inches," Nieuwenhuis said.

Temperatures are expected to go from highs in the upper 60s to the mid 40s Thursday and Friday in Jackson County. While Sunday's high of 73 tied the record for the highest temperature set on Nov. 4, 1949, meteorologists say Wednesday's high will drop down to 56 degrees and then fall another 10 degrees by Thursday.

Low temperatures on the valley floor are predicted to be just above freezing.

"While some of the finer details will be finalized over the next few days, there is moderate to high confidence in the timing and colder air associated with the system," a NWS statement reads.

The front is expected to stay in the area through the weekend. By Monday, a warm front is expected to give temperatures a slight boost, but only until another mass of cold air makes its way into the area Tuesday, which brings a slight chance of additional rainfall with it.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at

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