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MailTribune.com
  • Strong winds give way to expected steady rain

  • Following a day of sustained winds with gusts that reached 40 mph, weather officials said Monday that up to an inch of rain is likely next in store for the Rogue Valley.
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  • Following a day of sustained winds with gusts that reached 40 mph, weather officials said Monday that up to an inch of rain is likely next in store for the Rogue Valley.
    "We're looking at between three-quarters and 1 inch for most of the area," said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Ottenweller.
    The period of greatest accumulation is expected to continue until about 4 p.m. today, and another quarter of an inch could fall Wednesday.
    Snow levels are expected to drop to around 4,000 feet by Thanksgiving morning.
    Weather officials, however, were skeptical of any accumulation on Interstate 5 at the Siskiyou Summit.
    "(It's) when a lot of people are probably going to be ready to venture out," Ottenweller said.
    High temperatures will be in the low 50s through the week. Travelers on I-5 and nearby highways 97 and 140 are advised to check www.tripcheck.com for traveling updates.
    Higher elevations could see significant additional snow accumulation. Crater Lake National Park could see up to seven new inches of snow today, while Mount Ashland could see up to four during the day, Monday's NWS forecast shows.
    A predicted heavy rainstorm for the Rogue Valley never materialized over the weekend as the weather pattern kept most of the moisture to the coast and northern part of the state, where flooding was reported. But the edge of the front created high winds that blew throughout Sunday night and much of Monday.
    Monday's wind speeds in Jackson County's lower elevations were between 30 and 40 mph. Winds at the Medford airport reached 31 mph with 40 mph gusts. Ashland saw 43 mph gusts, and higher elevations areas such as Squaw Peak and Josephine County's Onion Mountain saw wind gusts as high as 80 mph.
    As of Monday afternoon, no major power outages had been reported in Jackson County, but a few reports of fallen trees — some into power lines — were reported in Ashland and Medford. A large tree fell into a home in Prospect Saturday afternoon, causing significant damage. Weather Service officials said high winds blew some doors off structures in Phoenix, and another tree was reported to have fallen across a residential road.
    Area fire agencies said strong weather fronts like this week's typically do cause an uptick in calls, but most can be handled by one engine crew.
    "There's not usually severe calls," said Medford Fire-Rescue battalion chief Ken Goodson. "It does increase our call volume, but it's not usually something we have to send multiple engines to."
    Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.
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