Chilly blast could push snow as low as 2,000 feet

A blast of wintry weather will blow into Southern Oregon in coming days, bringing snow to the surrounding hills, the National Weather Service warns.

The Medford office of the weather service has issued a special weather statement noting that a sharp drop in temperatures is expected as a strong cold front pushes through the region on Wednesday night. The chill will continue through the weekend.

As the cold front creeps across Southern Oregon and Northern California Wednesday night into Thursday, snow levels will drop from 7,000 feet to around 5,000 feet, the weather statement said.

Snow levels will continue to fall behind the front. Thursday night through Friday night snow flurries are expected at elevations above 3,500 feet, especially west of the Cascades, below the level of the Siskiyou Summit over Interstate 5 and the pass at Lake of the Woods on Highway 140.

This weekend, an area of low pressure now sitting off the coast of British Columbia near Vancouver Island will slide south, setting up conditions for snow at even lower elevations. As the storm moves across Oregon and Northern California Saturday night and into Sunday, snow levels could drop to 2,000 feet west of the Cascades

Forecasters note that it is too early to predict how much snow might fall, but travelers who will be heading through mountain passes should be prepared for winter driving conditions.

— Anita Burke

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