Stagnant air mass to linger through Thursday

This morning's low temperature didn't break any records for Rogue Valley cold, but it may have felt that way.

The National Weather Service recorded a low of 4 degrees today, meaning the minus-6 degrees record set Dec. 9, 1972 still stands. With the cold air continuing to linger, meteorologists have issued an air stagnation advisory for the valley through Thursday, as loitering air could make for worsened air quality.

"With the extreme cold air in the area creating some inversions, it's setting up the table for pollutants to get trapped here in the valley for the next few days," said meteorologist Mike Petrucelli. "It looks like it'll continue through the middle part of the week."

Rain is expected to hit the region Thursday. Whether it will have an impact on the lingering air mass is unknown.

"It looks fairly weak. Difficult to say whether it will do anything to that or not," Petrucelli said. "We'll just have to see how things play out the next day or two."

Inversions are expected to be the strongest during the night, though overnight low temperatures are expected to see a mild increase. The low temperature is expected to drop into the low teens tonight, followed by two days in the mid 20s. High temperatures are expected to creep up into the mid 40s by Wednesday.

"Afternoon temperatures will be slowly on the increase," Petrucelli said.

Friday's winter snowfall has turned to ice on numerous area roads. Numerous school districts have announced closures because of the conditions.

The Oregon Department of Transportation reported spots of ice and packed snow on Hwy. 66, Interstate 5, the Siskiyou Summit, and Hwy. 140. Drivers should slow down, allow for extra distance between vehicles, and allow for extra time to reach their destination.

— Ryan Pfeil

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