Wet weather will bring spring showers to region

Jackson County has been slacking when it comes to rainfall totals for the month of March, but a potent spring storm expected to sweep into the region Wednesday and Thursday should give those numbers a boost.

National Weather Service officials said normal rainfall levels through March 18 total nearly one inch, but this year only .15 of an inch has fallen.

However, meteorologists anticipate about a half inch by 10 p.m. Wednesday, with a chance for additional showers into Thursday.

"It should bring us back pretty darn close to normal," said NWS meteorologist Mike Ottenweller. "We certainly don't want to start our summer dry."

The area is still ahead for total seasonal precipitation totals — those started being calculated Oct. 1 — by nearly three-quarters of an inch.

The Rogue Valley's progression into this week's wet weather will be gradual, starting Tuesday afternoon with increasing wind speeds throughout the day, Ottenweller said.

"Nothing extremely strong," Ottenweller said. "We'll probably see between 10 and 15 mph sustained (winds). Gusts could get up to, I would say, 20 mph, and stronger for Ashland and the hillsides. It'll be a slow increase, but you'll definitely notice it by tomorrow afternoon."

The rain will follow Wednesday with possible continuance into Thursday, with at least half an inch predicted for the valley floor and higher amounts in Ashland and the hillsides.

"It's a healthy spring storm," Ottenweller said. "It's not going to be overly strong, but it does have some robust components to it."

Monday and Tuesday high temperatures of around 62 degrees are expected to plunge by as much as 10 degrees Wednesday before leaping back up to nearly 60 on Thursday. A dry weekend is predicted to follow, with high temperatures of 62, 66 and 67 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

"(We're) starting to see signs of spring," Ottenweller said.

— Ryan Pfeil

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