After respite, expect rainy, snowy holiday

Warmer temperatures, sun expected today

Sunny skies and warmer temperatures are on tab for today. But the next storm is expected to roll in Christmas morning bringing rain across the Rogue Valley, and snow in higher elevations.

"The weather is beginning to improve," said Shad Keene, meteorologist with the weather service in Medford.

Sunshine is expected to warm things up today to the low 40s in the Rogue and Illinois valleys, after potential morning fog, he said. And those who enjoy winter sports should take advantage of Monday's calm because another 24-hour storm surge is expected to hit Tuesday morning, Keene said.

"Christmas is looking like another storm will impact the area," he said, adding that snow levels will be significantly higher for this storm, but holiday travelers heading to Klamath Falls or over the Siskiyou Summit could encounter flurries.

"The lower-elevation travel areas are just looking wet," he said.

Sunday's storm dumped 12 inches of snow in 12 hours in the Mount Shasta area, which has received up to 50 inches since Dec. 19, Keene said.

Power outages continued late Sunday in the Grants Pass and Happy Camp area as snow-laden trees caused power poles to take a beating, said Monte Mendenhall, regional community manager with Pacific Power.

Nearly 8,200 in Josephine County, Rogue River and Medford were without electricity Saturday. But all power had been restored to Jackson County residents by Sunday. About 242 crew members were working Sunday in the Grants Pass area to restore power to 2,800 customers remaining without power, Mendenhall said.

"We will have most of them back on (today), and a few later in the week," Mendenhall said.

Two of the three warming shelters set up by Pacific Power and the American Red Cross for displaced residents have been closed. Only the center at the Wolf Creek Fire Department, 100 Coyote Creek Road, Wolf Creek, remains open, he said.

In Siskiyou County, 567 customers remain without service, with most in the Happy Camp area, Mendenhall said. He said crews are struggling in the heavy snowfall and rugged terrain, so helicopters have been brought in to help restore service, but it's not expected to return until midweek.

A warming center has been set up at the Karuk Senior Nutrition Center in Happy Camp, he added

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email

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