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Snow forecast for Crater Lake area Saturday

A winter preview is forecast this weekend for the Crater Lake area and parts of northern Jackson County, with more than a foot possible at higher elevations.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory through 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, with a coverage area that includes part of the south-central Oregon Cascades, Crater Lake and portions of northeastern Jackson County and eastern Douglas County. Areas above 5,500 feet will see the most snow.

Snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are expected across the forecast area, with localized amounts of up to 13 inches possible, the Weather Service said.

At lower elevations, you can probably swap out your winter coat for a rain slicker.

“Areas around Union Creek might see an inch or 2. (The snow forecast) is really for those higher elevations like Diamond Lake and Crater Lake,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Charles Smith. “Unless you’re really high up there. ... Most of us will just see rain.”

Drivers should use caution, especially on roads that are above 5,500 feet.

“Snow rates may exceed an inch an hour at times Saturday morning, making for particularly hazardous travel,” a Weather Service bulletin said.

Motorists should travel with tire chains, food, water, blankets and a fully charged cellphone. They should also allow for extra time to reach their destination.

A much weaker system is forecast to push through southwest Oregon Sunday, with chances for rain in the Rogue Valley.

“Snow accumulations are not expected because the air is warmer,” Smith said. “Snow levels are around 9,000 feet, so unless you’re on, like, Mount Shasta, you won’t see any snow.”

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanPfeil.