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Thursday's low sets new record

Up to 5 inches of snow expected on valley floor
 Posted: 2:00 AM December 06, 2013

Thursday morning's low temperature of 14 degrees at the Medford airport clobbered the record of 18 degrees set in 1972, and now it's time to start getting ready for snow, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service issued a winter storm warning from 4 a.m. this morning through 4 a.m. Saturday. Two to 5 inches of snow are expected on the valley floor, and higher elevations could see a foot, with up to 8 inches expected on the Siskiyou Pass.

"Chances of snow (are) near 100 percent," said meteorologist Chuck Glaser.

A smoky haze from clearing work in the Ashland watershed isn't expected to stick around for long, fire officials said.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, crews burned brush piles on 250 acres in the watershed as part of the ongoing Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project to reduce the amount of ground fuels.

"I'm thinking it'll be gone by (today) with the weather moving in," Ashland Fire & Rescue Forest Division Chief Chris Chambers said of the smoke. "It'll be significantly less, if not totally gone."

For more information on the Forest Resiliency Project, visit

After the snow falls, it'll get cold again, with a low temperature of 9 degrees forecast for Sunday in Medford.

The mercury is expected to creep back into double digits Monday, with a low of 13 degrees predicted.

"Then it just starts warming up gradually. It'll be closer to normal by the middle of next week," Glaser said.

The 1972 record that fell Thursday was one in a series of frigid days that year.

"That was just before the real cold snap hit," said Glaser.

The days that followed in 1972, Dec. 6-10, saw low temperatures of 18 degrees, 1 degree, minus 6, minus 6, minus 6.

"That was a real cold one," Glaser said. "(Those) records are way lower than what we've got in the forecast."

Ashland and the Siskiyou Summit both reported 12-degree temperatures Thursday morning.

Crater Lake National Park also set records on Wednesday and Thursday, with minus 2 degrees and minus 1 degree, respectively, breaking records of 6 degrees and 4 degrees, according to daily weather reports from the park.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or

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