Snow levels expected to creep through the week

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

The Medford office of the weather service has issued a statement noting that a sharp drop in temperatures is expected as a strong cold front pushes through the region tonight.

The chill will continue through the weekend.

As the cold front creeps across Southern Oregon and Northern California tonight 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.

Areas expected to be most affected are 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 on Saturday night and into Sunday, snow levels could drop to 2,000 feet west of the Cascades.

Forecasters estimate 2 to 5 inches are possible in the highest passes along Interstate 5, so travelers heading through mountain passes this weekend should be prepared for winter driving conditions.

Eight to 14 inches of snow are expected above 4,500 feet and 3 to 7 inches above 3,500 feet in the Cascade Mountains, forecasters said.

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