Chilly storm delivers snow to higher areas
October 10, 1997
A cool, early-season storm dumped as much as two inches of rain on much of the Rogue Valley Wednesday, and lingering snow showers could make for hazardous driving in mountain passes today.
To the north, wind gusts downed power lines in the Willamette Valley, leaving more than 12,000 customers without power. On the coast, winds hit 69 mph at Cape Arago south of Coos Bay and 61 mph at Cannon Beach on the northern coast.
Forecasters said cold Alaskan air rushing into Oregon behind the storm could drive snow levels down to 4,000 feet today, and bring three to six inches of snow above that elevation. As much as eight inches of snow could accumulate above 5,000 feet.
About 8 inches of snow had fallen on Mount Ashland by late afternoon. Ski Ashland marketing director Gene Landsmann said he hoped the storm signaled the beginning of “really wonderful winter weather.”
The storm dropped nearly a foot of snow at Crater Lake National Park, prompting park managers to close the Rim Drive and the park’s north entrance.
“The winter season is starting with a vengeance,” said Norris Gaines, the park’s radio dispatcher.
As much as three inches of rain fell along the Oregon Coast. Medford recorded a half-inch of rain at the airport by mid-afternoon Thursday. Snow flurries dusted Fish Lake Thursday morning, and the thermometer hung around 38 degrees during the afternoon.
The storm was expected to weaken overnight as it migrated north along the coast toward Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the weather service said.
Forecasters said showers and much cooler temperatures would continue into Saturday, but Sunday would bring warmer, drier weather.