fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

Expect more snow, forecasters say

Mt. Ashland opened Tuesday, Crater Lake pared back a bit, and weather forecasters predicted more of the same wintry conditions for the Rogue Valley in the days to come. That could lead to some tricky driving conditions for holiday travelers.

The good news first: After enduring two days of shutdowns caused by heavy snow and falling trees, the Mt. Ashland Ski Area started up its lifts at 8:40 a.m. Tuesday. Only two chairs, Sonnet and Windsor, were running, however, as crews dealt with icing issues on the other two lifts. The snow on the mountain Tuesday morning was mixed with rain and freezing rain.

The mountain's Facebook page said crews were working on both the Ariel and Comer lifts and hoped to have them restored to service Wednesday.

Rain shouldn't be a problem at the ski area or any other higher elevations through the rest of the week, with snow levels predicted to drop to near 1,000 feet by Thursday morning. That would put snow in all the mountain passes, including Interstate 5's Sexton Summit, and potentially on the valley floor. Medford's elevation is about 1,400 feet.

"Interstate 5 will be impacted by snow, and hazardous driving conditions are expected," the advisory read.

According to a winter storm advisory sent out by the National Weather Service Tuesday afternoon, snow is expected in the mountain passes through Thursday. On Thursday morning, the NWS said, a cold front is expected to move through the area, dropping snow levels to 1,000 feet and accompanied by "moderate to briefly heavy precipitation." The storm is predicted to drop 1 to 4 inches of snow. Snow showers will be "possible" into Christmas Day, with lighter accumulations, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, access to Crater Lake remains limited, and the national park sent some of its employees home Monday to ensure they wouldn't be snowed in. Some activities, such as snowshoeing tours, have been cancelled. Highway 62 leading into Crater Lake, is closed from its juncture with Highway 230. Photos on the park's Facebook page show buildings and parking lots buried in snow.

The Crater Lake Visitor's Center has been buried by the recent snowfall. photo courtesy of Crater Lake National Park.