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Colder, wetter weather is on the way

The Rogue Valley is expected to shift into a wetter and more wintry weather pattern next weekend, with light rain and a dusting of snow possible on the valley floor, according to the National Weather Service.

The high-pressure system responsible for the recent sunny conditions will erode, followed by several low-pressure systems, National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Schaaf said.

“This will give us good chances for some rain and possibly snow come later this weekend,” Schaaf said.

The transition is forecast to start Thursday, with showers predicted to linger into Friday. The first round of precipitation isn’t expected to bring much, with up to two-hundredths of inch possible. Cold air could bring snow levels down to 3,000 feet, and possibly below that, by Friday evening.

“Some of our guidance is showing that snow levels could lower as low as the valley floors,” Schaaf said, emphasizing that’s not likely.

A brief break is expected during daylight hours Saturday, with another system moving in Saturday night into Sunday, with anywhere between a tenth and a quarter inch of rain expected. Snow levels could drop from 2,500 feet all the way down to the valley floor.

The best chance of snow will come next Monday, Schaaf said, with up to three-tenths of an inch estimated for parts of the Rogue Valley. Butte Falls and Prospect could see several inches, he said.

As of Wednesday, Medford had recorded 8.06 inches for the 2020-21 water year, 1.21 inches lower than the normal mark of 9.27 inches, according to the Weather Service. At the same date last year, 5.62 inches of precipitation had been recorded.

The snow-water equivalent for the Rogue and Umpqua basins was at 70% of the median measurement Wednesday, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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