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Heavy rain headed our way

Up to three-quarters of an inch of rain is forecast to fall over the Rogue Valley by Wednesday.

But winds from the southeast could mean a significant dip in rainfall amounts, especially in Medford. It’s a potential curveball forecasters are keeping an eye on.

“Whenever we get those southeast winds ... you can either expect to see the rain slack off or stop completely during these intervals,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Jay Stockton.

The winds aren’t expected to be terribly strong, from 10 to 15 mph, with slightly higher speeds possible in Ashland.

The wet forecast is courtesy of a front expected to move into the region Monday night that will soak Curry County and other parts of the Southern Oregon coast.

“It’s going to stall over the area for quite a while,” Stockton said.

Snow levels will rise to anywhere from 7,000 to 9,000 feet, forecasters said.

The Weather Service has issued a flood potential outlook advisory for rivers and streams in neighboring counties, including western Josephine and Douglas counties and eastern Curry and Coos counties.

“Small streams and creeks will see rapid rises during this event, and mainstem rivers will see significant rises as well,” a Monday Weather Service bulletin said. “At this time, widespread flooding is not anticipated, but some smaller streams may create minor flooding in some locations. Recently burned areas may see some flooding and debris flows with this event.”

The region should start to dry out Thursday. A weak front is forecast to move through the area Friday, but Stockton said it will result in “little to nothing” in terms of rain.

As of Monday, Medford had recorded 7.55 inches of precipitation for the water year, about 88% of the normal amount of 8.56 inches, according to Weather Service data. The longterm outlook over the next month points to potential improvement for drought designations in parts of Southern Oregon, meteorologist Brett Lutz said. Jackson County remains in the “severe” to “extreme” drought range, but that could drop to “moderate” to “severe” over the next month. In the Crater Lake area, the area’s “moderate” drought designation could fall off completely, Lutz said.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” Lutz said. “But until it’s on the ground or in the water table, it’s still just a forecast.”

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

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune Heavy fog settles on Cordelia Way in Medford on Monday.