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StormTracker 9 Forecast: Unseasonably cool, wet weather on the way

Our StormTracker 9 meteorologists are tracking rain and mountain snow to start the weekend.

Posted: Mar 11, 2020 11:58 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Our StormTracker 9 meteorologists are tracking a mix of clouds and sunshine on Wednesday morning as a weak front passes through. This front could bring some spotty drizzle to parts of the coast and coast range. This front will quickly lift with sunshine for the afternoon.

Fast Forecast:
Wednesday: Mix of clouds and sunshine. Highs in middle to upper 50s
Thursday: Sunny. Highs in middle to upper 50s
Friday: Mostly sunny w/ PM showers. Snow level 3,500 feet, lowering to 1,500 feet. Highs near 50
Saturday: Showers. Snow level 1,500 feet. Highs in middle to upper 40s.
Sunday: Mostly sunny w/ few rain & snow showers. Snow level 500. Highs in middle to upper 40s.
Monday: Sunny. Highs in middle to upper 40s.
Tuesday: Sunny. Highs in low 50s

Sunshine will continue on Thursday with highs in the middle to upper 50s. Dry weather will come to an end on Friday as a strong front followed by a cold, upper-level, low-pressure system will move through the region.

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Models are mostly in agreement with a low dropping out of the Gulf of Alaska on Friday. Rain will spread inland into the interior valleys during the day. Models project rainfall between 0.5 to 1 inch of rain through the weekend.

This system will also bring in unseasonably cold temperatures. Snow levels will drop throughout the day, from 6,000 feet to 1,500 feet by Friday night. This means accumulating snow is possible in the Cascades, foothills, and Coast Range. Snow levels will continue to fall on Saturday night to near 500 feet. That means the South Hills are in play to see a few flakes. With that said, while unlikely at this time, a trace of snow to the valley floor is still possible. With recent mild weather, the risk of seeing accumulating snow on the roadways in the lower elevations is extremely small. Travels over the mountain passes will likely be impacted.

This remains a challenging forecast over the coming days as the models continue to shift and adjust as we get closer. As I always say, “Models are just gossip and not gospel, so they can and will change.” Ensembles of both the American GFS and European ECMWF show a variety of differing solutions of either the low staying offshore or moving inland. Ensembles are when initial conditions in weather models are slightly adjusted to see how it effects the forecast with the objectives measuring the likelihood of an event and improving accuracy of the forecast.

This storm system will be important moving forward as moderate drought conditions exist across much of western Oregon. The rainfall deficit since Oct. 1 ranges from 10 to 16 inches below normal in the interior valleys and close to 22 inches below normal along the coast. Additionally, snowpack is way down in Southern Oregon, ranging from 64-69% of normal. The Willamette Basin is a little better off at 84% of normal, but still below normal.

For more information, visit the KEZI 9 News StormTracker 9 weather page.

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