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More snow could fall on Southern Oregon passes this weekend

Weekend travelers heading over the river and through the woods in southwestern Oregon this weekend should be prepared for new blankets of snow on area passes, forecasters say.

The National Weather Service says a cold front will move into the area from British Columbia Saturday into Sunday, with moderate snowfall expected in the Siskiyou Mountains and Cascades. The snowfall is expected to start in the Diamond Lake area Saturday afternoon before spreading south through Crater Lake to the far southern Oregon Cascades Saturday night. It is expected to continue falling through Sunday night.

New snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are expected for Highway 138 near Diamond Lake and Highway 62 near Crater Lake, meteorologists said in a special weather statement released Friday. Between 2 and 5 inches are expected for highways 140 and 66 over the southern Oregon Cascades. Interstate 5 could also see up to 2 inches at the Siskiyou Summit.

Meteorologists said their confidence in the accumulations is "moderate to low," because of uncertainty about how much moisture is in the system. Still, they are advising weekend travelers to be prepared.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is advising drivers to allow extra time to reach their destination. They should also carry tire chains and be well-versed in how to install them should the need arise. Water, snacks, blankets and a fully charged cellphone should be packed, and the gas tank should be full. To stay current on road conditions, visit www.tripcheck.com.

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