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Rain and snow in the forecast

From Oct. 1 — the beginning of the 2019-2020 water year — to midnight Wednesday, Dec. 11, 1.39 inches of rain had fallen on Medford. That’s more than four inches less than the normal level of 5.44 inches for the same time frame, the National Weather Service reported.

But rain is expected to soak the Rogue Valley Friday and boost that lagging number, while a wallop of snow is forecast for the area around Crater Lake National Park and other high-elevation sites.

A strong jet stream is responsible, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Spilde. Strung out across much of Southern Oregon and Northern California, the wet weather is expected to last into late Friday.

Some rain fell across the region late Wednesday and Thursday, with a half-inch to an inch of rain forecast across Jackson County Friday.

“I would expect there to be a pretty good period of rain (Friday),” Spilde said. “Especially in the morning and the first part of the afternoon.”

The front is then expected to push south.

Moderate to heavy snow is expected above 5,000 feet, the Weather Service reported, though snow levels could drop to as low as 4,000 when the front starts to move south.

“The snow level may occasionally lower down to a higher pass, like Siskiyou Summit may be affected” Friday afternoon and evening, when the rain starts coming to a close, Spilde said.

A winter weather advisory is in effect through 4 p.m. Friday in the south-central Cascades, including Crater Lake, Diamond Lake and a sliver of northern Jackson County, according to the Weather Service. Accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are expected above 5,000 feet, with up to a foot of new snow expected above 6,000 feet by Friday afternoon, the Weather Service reported.

“So no significant impacts expected due to the snow, but we’ll get a pretty good slug of rain,” Spilde said. “And we’ve been lacking that so far this fall outside of September. This may be one of our bigger rain events, here in Medford especially.”

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