Saturated soils, combined with more rain, snow and wind in the forecast, could make for hazardous conditions throughout the Rogue Valley through Wednesday.
"It definitely won't take much," National Weather Service meteorologist Misty Duncan said of the possibility of downed trees and localized flooding as another onshore flow brings rain to the valley and snow to the hills. "It'll definitely be a concern."
Between tonight and early Wednesday morning, 1.2 inches of rain were expected on the valley floor and as much as 12 to 18 inches of snow were forecast to fall on the Siskiyou Pass and up to 2 feet on Dead Indian Memorial Road, Duncan said. Those needing to travel over the Siskiyous should plan on Tuesday afternoon, when snow levels are expected to rise to about 4,500 feet before dropping back down that night.
This evening, the weather service expected the valley floor would see 1 to 3 inches of snow by midnight, then snow levels would rise above 3,000 feet. Chains were required on the Siskiyous for all vehicles except four-wheel-drive unless towing, according to Tripcheck.com.
The Weather Service issued a wind advisory from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, during which gusts of 30 to 40 mph were expected in Ashland and 25 to 30 mph were expected in Medford, Duncan said. Sustained winds will be about 15 mph in Medford and 20 to 25 mph in Ashland.
The Weather Service also issued a flood advisory until noon Tuesday because of the rain and melting snow. The potential for landslides and debris flows will increase this week, according to the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.
Duncan said there could be localized flooding because of saturated soils, standing water and blocked drains and culverts, and small creeks could overrun their banks, she said. The Rogue River at Agness and the Coquille River were forecast to reach flood stage.
The Rogue River at Eagle Point is expected to peak at about 8 feet Wednesday, 2 feet below flood stage, according to the Northwest River Forecast Center. A peak flow of about 13,000 cubic feet per second is forecast. The waters there saw a steep rise over the weekend, jumping from about 3-1/2 feet Sunday to about 6-1/2 feet Monday.
Waters near Gold Ray also jumped during the same period, rising from about 2-1/2 feet Sunday to about 7-1/2 feet Monday. The forecast calls for it to peak at about 10 feet Wednesday, 2 feet below flood stage. A peak flow of about 22,000 cfs is forecast for Wednesday.At Grants Pass, the Rogue peaked late Sunday at more than 21,000 cfs but stayed 10 feet shy of flood stage, according to the forecast center. It is expected to peak there again Wednesday at 7 feet below flood stage. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took advantage of Monday's brief receding of streams to increase outflows from Lost Creek Lake into the upper Rogue by 25 percent. The move was designed to create more space for capturing inflows during the upcoming storm, according to federal hydrologists.
Temperatures are expected to drop into the low 30s and high 20s much of this week, so overnight ice on the roads similar to the slick that caused several crashes around the Rogue Valley Monday could continue.
"We could still run into that for sure," Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming said.
On Monday, spots of black ice were reported on Highway 66 near milepost 15, and on Interstate 5 leading up to the Siskiyou Pass, according to the ODOT Trip Check website.
— Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.