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Rogue Valley snow level expected to plummet overnight

Snow levels in Jackson County are expected to drop from 6,000 feet today to below 2,000 feet by Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service reported.

The amount of snowfall actually expected for the area is minimal, if anything, but meteorologists say there's a chance moisture from the resulting showers could freeze on the roads in spots.

The snow level is expected to be at about 6,000 feet at 4 p.m. today, then plummets to about 2,500 to 3,500 feet, due to a cold front expected to push into Southwest Oregon. By Tuesday morning, the drop is expected to start leveling out, dropping as low as 1,750 feet, according to the National Weather Service website. Mostly sunny conditions are expected for Medford and Ashland most of the day Tuesday.

The Weather Service has instituted a winter weather advisory for the northern tip of Jackson County and the South Central Oregon Cascades, including Crater Lake, Diamond Lake, Crescent Lake, Odell Lake and portions of highways 62, 230, 138 and 58. New snow accumulations of five to eight inches are forecast, with southwest winds "veering to northwest and gusting as high as 45 mph in exposed areas," according to a Weather Service bulletin.

Mountain snow in areas above 5,000 feet is forecast for Christmas morning, with some rain in the valley areas, meteorologist Charles Smith said.