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Dry Winter, Soggy 1st Day of Spring

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METEOROLOGIST MELISSA FREY’S FORECAST DISCUSSION:

Happy last day of winter! Winter 2013 is going down in the record books as an extremely dry season! If you count winter as 12/21-3/19 (which was the case this year), as of right now this is the second driest winter ever recorded. We’ve seen 5.57″ total this winter season, which is 12.62″ below average and 16.50″ below what we had last year. Here’s how it shaped up by month:

12/21-31: 1.55″ (.98″ below average, last year we saw 4.86″)
1/1-31: 1.35″ (5.54″ below average, last year we saw 8.12″)
2/1-28: 1.61″ (3.82″ below average, last year we saw 4.05″)
3/1-31: 1.06″ (2.28″ below average, last year we saw 5.04″)

*These numbers will change a bit tonight as the next storm is already pushing into western Oregon and will likely give us rain for the final hours of the day.

It’s ironic, that on the first day of spring…just like last year, we will see one of the strongest storms this winter. An area of low pressure is making it’s way north offshore of California. We’ll start to see the rain this afternoon, along with a round strong winds.

The southern Oregon coast is under a High Wind Warning from 8 p.m. through 5 a.m. Wednesday. South winds of 35-45 mph with gusts to 65 mph can be expected. The valley will also be quite breezy with southwest winds of 20-25 mph and gusts to 35 mph.

The rain will continue Wednesday as a cold front makes its way east across the state. Highs will be in the low 50s with lows in the mid 30s. We will initially see rain all the way to the pass, with the snow level all the way up to 6,000 feet, but that snow level will drop behind this storm to about 1,500 feet by Thursday morning.

This will be a big snow maker for the passes and ski resorts and even a decent snow maker for the higher foothills. The northern Oregon Cascades are under a Winter Weather Advisory from 5 p.m. Wednesday through 11 a.m Thursday. 5-10″ can be expected above 3,000 feet with 3-5″ above 2,000′. Although, the 48 hour snowfall totals will likely be even higher as snow showers will continue off and on Thursday and for the passes on Friday as well.

The valley and coast will continue to see scattered showers behind the storm through Friday.

Stay tuned to the Stormtracker 9 Weather team on KEZI 9 News for the latest on this early spring storm. 

Have a great last day of winter!
-Meteorologist Melissa Frey

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