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High winds forecast in Ashland

Gusty winds of up to 60 miles per hour are expected to barrel through parts of the Rogue Valley today and Thursday.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning until 1 p.m. Thursday for Ashland, Talent, Phoenix and Medford. The warning says to be prepared for intense south to southwest winds of 30-40 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph.  

"(The) strongest winds are expected in the southern portion of the Rogue Valley, especially near Talent and Ashland," a weather service statement reads.

Additionally, Central Point, Jacksonville, White City and Eagle Point are under a wind advisory during the same time frame. Those cities can expect to see wind speeds up to 35 mph with 45 mph gusts, according to the weather service.

Weather officials are urging extra caution for motorists on roads including Interstate 5. High profile vehicles will be the most at risk. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and allow for extra space between vehicles. Area residents also should be prepared for power outages, officials said.

Moderate to heavy rains are expected for parts of Jackson County today, with about an inch expected to fall in Medford and 1.25 inches forecast for Ashland. The rain is expected to cause rapid rises in streams and rivers, with potential flash floods on burned areas across Southern Oregon. People, structures and roads located below steep slopes or at the bases of steep hillsides are at the highest risk, according to a release from the Oregon Department of Geology.

The strong front moving inland from the Oregon Coast is also expected to affect the Shasta Valley and some areas east of the Cascades.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.