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Mountain snow forecast through the weekend

Snow is forecast for the mountains of southwest Oregon this weekend, setting an atmospheric tone that may continue for at least the next week.

“The high mountains are going to continue to get snow the next seven to 10 days,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Shad Keene.

The Rogue and Umpqua basins Friday were at 80% of their median snow-water equivalent, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The forecast is expected to bolster that level starting with anywhere from three to five inches of snow falling Friday night into Saturday morning over the Southern Oregon Cascades and Siskiyou Mountains, including Mount Ashland.

“You’re going to encounter some snow if you head above 3,000 feet, and that’s going to last through the night,” Keene said. “You’re going to encounter some travel difficulties.”

Snow is expected to taper off Saturday morning, and snow levels are forecast to rise above 6,000 feet. More winter weather is then expected to push ashore from the Pacific Ocean late Saturday.

“Initially, a lot of this is going to fall as rain,” Keene said.

From Sunday morning through Sunday night, about seven inches of new snow is forecast to fall on Mount Ashland, with 10 inches expected for Diamond Lake and Crater Lake, and seven inches at Lake of the Woods.

Weather watchers connected to the internet will soon be able to view incoming patterns on the Weather Service’s upgraded radar website, which is set to debut Dec. 16, at https://radar.weather.gov. The new site can be previewed at https://preview-radar.weather.gov.

Meteorologist Ryan Sandler said the new site will have more features, better resolution and a responsive design that’s easier to view on mobile devices.

“The old map is kind of a mess on the phone,” Sandler said. “Most people look at this stuff on their phone and not the PC. This is more phone-friendly. It fits the bill there.”

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com.