Fall delivered a little taste of winter Wednesday when snow snarled traffic over the Siskiyou Summit and gave skiers and snowboarders reason to hope for an early opening on Mount Ashland.

Fall delivered a little taste of winter Wednesday when snow snarled traffic over the Siskiyou Summit and gave skiers and snowboarders reason to hope for an early opening on Mount Ashland.

Southbound Interstate 5 closed briefly at around noon when motorists lost control of their vehicles near milepost 7, but snow turned to rain as the day wore on and an approaching warm front raised snow levels. Temperatures had climbed to 32 degrees by sunset, and forecasters were expecting warmer weather through the weekend.

Some drivers who tried to avoid the I-5 difficulties by taking old Highway 99 also ran into problems while the snow fell, with some skidding off snow-covered pavement.

Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming said the winter-like weather on the pass was a timely reminder for drivers to carry chains, check road conditions before leaving the Rogue Valley and be prepared for all types of weather.

Snow fell as low as 2,700 feet in some areas of Northern California before the warm front scoured cold air out of low-lying valleys, said Megan Woodhead, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Medford.

Woodhead said rain will diminish today and Friday will likely be dry. But another series of storms could bring clouds and rain to the Rogue Valley again by the weekend. Preliminary forecast data suggested snow levels would rise to at least 5,000 feet by Saturday and Sunday, which would mean rain at I-5's Siskiyou Summit (elevation 4,310 feet).

Five inches of new snow fell at the Mount Ashland ski area Wednesday, adding to the 9 inches already on the ground. Rick Saul, the ski area marketing director, said the early snow raised hopes that the ski area might have its first Thanksgiving opening since 1999.

Mount Ashland typically needs 30 to 36 inches of snow to cover brush and rocks on some ski trails. Saul said ski area officials hope to open on Thanksgiving Day — snow permitting — but could move up opening day to the previous weekend if snow continued to accumulate.

The ski area's earliest opening in recent years came in 1995, when early-season storms allowed the fun to start on Nov. 16.

The Mount Bachelor ski area reported a 22-inch base and 25 inches of snow at mid-mountain Wednesday, and has scheduled its opening day for Nov. 21.