A storm is expected to sweep across the region today, bringing more snow to Southern Oregon's mountains and high winds on the coast.

A storm is expected to sweep across the region today, bringing more snow to Southern Oregon's mountains and high winds on the coast.

A winter weather advisory in effect from noon today until 10 a.m. Wednesday warns that snow could make travel difficult, particularly on highways 62 and 230 through the Cascades. However, Interstate 5 over the Siskiyou Summit and highways 66 and 140 also face winter weather.

The forecast calls for 3 to 9 inches of snow to fall in the Cascades and Siskiyous by Wednesday morning, while lingering showers could add another 1 to 3 inches during the day Wednesday. Snow levels are expected to drop to 3,500 feet this afternoon and slip to 3,000 feet overnight. The lower reaches of those elevations likely will get 1 to 4 inches of snow, while more is likely at higher elevations, said Dan Weygand, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Medford.

The storm will carry winds of 10 to 25 mph in the mountains, with gusts of 45 mph at elevations above 5,000 feet.

Winds also will buffet the Oregon Coast, with gusts of 55 to 70 mph at headlands between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. today.

Rain is likely in the valleys as this storm moves through. Medford is expected to see morning fog, then rain after 10 a.m. today.

Precipitation will diminish to scattered showers on Wednesday, but another, stronger storm lurks on the horizon.

Another front approaches Oregon on Thursday, but forecasters aren't sure just where it will land. The brunt of that storm could hit farther north, pounding Portland.

"It's uncertain how strong it will be here," Weygand said.

Thursday's storm probably will bring heavy rains to the coast, drenching areas as far inland as Josephine County. Some snow and rain likely will fall in Jackson County. Snow levels are expected to be between 4,500 and 5,000 feet — slightly above Siskiyou Summit's 4,300-foot elevation — but forecasters will watch closely in an effort to keep holiday travelers well informed, Weygand said. Mountaintops could get another 3 to 8 inches.

The long-range forecast predicts a string of storm systems continuing through early next week.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail aburke@mailtribune.com.