The National Weather Service’s Medford office is warning that snowfall and wind speeds will pick up through 4 p.m. today, with 3 to 6 inches of snow expected in Klamath Falls by then.
The higher elevations outside of town will see more snow this afternoon with 6 to 9 inches forecasted for Highway 140 between Klamath Falls and Medford and up to 8 inches along the Highway 97 corridor near Modoc Point and Chemult.
Brett Lutz with the National Weather Service in Medford also warns of high winds creating visibility problems, forecasting them to pick up to about 20 to 30 miles per hour by this afternoon with gusts as fast at 30 to 50 miles per hour.
Around 1 p.m. the snowfall rate is expected to pick up to about ½ inch per hour.
Although Lutz said forecasts show a lull in the snowfall between 4 and 10 p.m., the wind is not expected to let up and can continue visibility issues and drifts in unsheltered places.
Snow will pick back up around 8 p.m. and overnight as temperatures drop again with 2 to 4 inches expected in Klamath Falls overnight.
Lutz said the main period of concern is from now until the afternoon with the maximum snowfall seen until 4 p.m.
Forecasters also expect snow showers to continue through Wednesday, although lighter and less consistent. Lutz called Wednesday’s snowfall expectations to be “off and on” with light flurries and expects slower wind speeds around 5 to 10 miles per hour.
Wednesday from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. forecasters predict an inch or less of additional snow in Klamath Falls and up to 2 inches further north around Modoc Point and Chemult.
Lutz said we won’t get above freezing until the weekend, though, with the high in Klamath Falls for Wednesday around 30 degrees, so the accumulation from today isn’t going anywhere before then in places that aren’t treated with plows. While we might get above freezing for a time Saturday afternoon, another weather system is scheduled for the weekend. However, Lutz said Klamath Falls looks like it will be “catching a relative break” with that storm as it should only accumulate significantly in Northern California and in the Cascades.
Highway 140 is expected to have about 17 inches on it by tomorrow morning with an additional 3 to 5 inches predicted for this evening and another 3 to 4 inches expected overnight.
For those hoping to hit the road tomorrow before Thanksgiving, Lutz suggested waiting until the late morning to allow for snow rates and winds to diminish and crews to treat the roads.