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Snow expected on valley floor Thursday night into Friday

 Posted: 4:20 PM December 04, 2013

A cold week could be capped off with snow, the National Weather Service reported.

Forecasters today issued a winter storm watch that will be in effect Thursday night through Friday evening. During that time, a storm system with ample moisture is predicted to move into the area, dropping an estimated one to three inches of snow on the valley floors in Jackson County.

"It could snow all the way down to sea level," said NWS meteorologist Chuck Glaser. "(It's a) good day to stay home."

A winter storm watch means accumulations of snow and ice could impact travel.

The low-pressure system, inbound from the Arctic, is expected to head off into the Pacific Ocean, picking up moisture before drifting back inland. When it reaches the Rogue Valley, already blanketed in a cold front, the snow should start falling. Weather officials believe it will start between 4 and 8 a.m. Friday.

"It might even be earlier," Glaser said. "It just depends on the timing."

Up to six inches is expected at elevations 1,000 feet and above, with up to eight inches predicted for the Siskiyous and higher elevation passes. The weather service said snow is expected to accumulate on untreated roadways, with travel impacts for all motorists.

"Whatever does fall isn't going to melt really fast," Glaser said.

Nighttime low temperatures for Thursday and Friday are expected to drop into the low 20s, dipping into the low teens by the weekend, even though snow is expected to cut out by Saturday.

"It should be pretty much done by then," Glaser said.

— Ryan Pfeil

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