Here is the latest update and information for our winter storm expected Tuesday into Wednesday during the busy Thanksgiving travel week. Updated November 24th at 3:30pm
Summary and key information:
- Forecast models are in better agreement about the placement of the strong low pressure system but a slight difference in the storm track could make a big difference in what happens with this storm. It’s best to be prepared and expect the unexpected with this storm.
- We are already in black ice season. We covered several frost and ice related crashes yesterday and black ice will be a real threat Wednesday night into Friday. Shaded areas especially.
- This storm could cause white out conditions with limited to zero visibility, and even strand motorists. Downed trees are possible. It also has the potential to overwhelm emergency crews.
- This is a wind and snow event
- Winter storm watches have been upgraded to warnings for some areas of northern California. Klamath Falls remains under a winter storm warning as of right now.
From the NWS Medford:
What: Strong system to bring numerous impacts during busy holiday travel
-Periods of moderate to heavy precipitation through Tuesday evening, followed by numerous showers Wednesday morning and afternoon.
-Heavy snow above 2500 ft expected.
-Snow levels lower to 1500 ft, possibly lower, late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
-Possible valley floor snow.
-Cold air mass will lead to the refreezing of road surfaces.
When: Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning
-Strongest winds: 1 pm and 10 pm Tuesday. See graphic below for details.
-Heaviest snow: 10 am and 11 pm Tuesday. See graphic below for amounts.
-Valley floor snow possible: Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
-Cold (potential for black ice): Wednesday night through at least Friday night.
-Strong winds likely across the whole forecast area, especially along the coast, over the marine waters, the Shasta Valley and in the higher terrain. Strong winds also will likely affect the Rogue Valley.
-All area passes will likely be affected by snow, with the heaviest amounts expected for Siskiyou Summit, the Cascade Passes, and the Mt. Shasta City area.
Items to Keep in Mind:
-A slight change in the path of the storm system will affect where the strongest winds occur.
-Given the increased traffic due to holiday travel, travel impacts could be compounded due to wintry weather.
Wednesday night onward:
-Break in the weather Thursday into Friday, with only isolated showers lingering.
-Next period of concern will be Saturday night into Sunday. Snow levels are expected to rise some, around 2500-4000 ft, but details on this will be focused on after the Tuesday system. Stay tuned for updates….
Storm Summary From NWS Medford:
A rapidly deepening surface low will affect the area Tuesday morning through at least Wednesday morning, moving inland along the OR/CA border. A cold air mass will already be in place and snow levels will lower from 3500 ft Monday down to 2500 ft by Tuesday morning.
Periods of moderate to heavy precipitation are expected with this system and with the low snow levels, travel will be greatly impacted by wintry weather, especially given the increased traffic flow with the holiday travel. With the deepening of this low as it approaches, strong winds will also likely accompany this system. High winds are possible at the coast, with storm force winds and seas of 25 to 30 ft possible over the marine waters.
Moderate to strong winds will likely affect almost the whole forecast area, including the more sheltered west side valleys. Once this low pressure moves inland Tuesday night, snow levels will lower further, down to at least 1500 ft, if not lower, and numerous showers will persist through Wednesday afternoon. Showers will taper off by Thursday morning, but in the meantime, temperatures will get very cold Wednesday night and continue through at least Friday night. This raises the concern for road surfaces to refreeze overnight, leading to icy driving conditions.
Aside from the cold temperatures, there will be a break in the weather through at least Saturday morning. Afterwards, models show another system that will potentially affect the area for the after-holiday travel period. Snow levels should be higher with this system, 2500-4000 ft, but details on this will be focused on after the Tuesday system. Stay tuned for updates.