A potent mass of cold air headed to the region this week could result in tying — possibly even breaking — some records for temperatures in the Rogue Valley.
The National Weather Service reported Monday that a strong cold front is on its way from Alaska. Monday's 85-degree high temperature is expected to plummet to 54 degrees by Wednesday, May 22, tying the record for the lowest recorded high temperature on that date, which was just three years ago in 2010, weather officials reported.
Thursday's predicted low temperature also could get close to the date's record low temperature of 35 degrees. The historic low for May 23 was recorded in 1980.
"We actually may have some frost freeze concerns Thursday morning," said NWS meteorologist Sven Nelaimischkies, adding the Rogue Valley should have enough cloud cover to prevent it, but that higher elevations will probably see frost during the morning hours.
"That won't be until Thursday morning," Nelaimischkies said.
Snow levels are predicted to drop to 2,500 feet by Wednesday morning, with up to 5 inches predicted for the Cascade passes, Siskiyou Summit and Mount Shasta area in Northern California.
"Snow levels may drop briefly down to lower passes like Sexton Summit as well," a special weather statement reads.
NWS officials added they do not expect snow to accumulate much below those higher elevations, as soil and road temperatures are still warm. Up to a foot of snow also is expected for the just-opened stretch of Bear Camp Road out to the coast. Wind speeds could reach 20 mph today in the Rogue Valley.
Nelaimischkies said there will be a bit of a break going into the Memorial Day weekend, with temperatures expected to scratch the mid-70s, but the chance for additional precipitation still exists.
"We do taper off a bit, but we still will see some rounds of showers coming through much of the weekend," Nelaimischkies said. "But a lot of that's going to be thunderstorms east of the Cascades."
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or email email@example.com.