Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Medford, OR

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FXUS66 KMFR 222314

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Medford OR
314 PM PST Wed Feb 22 2017

.SHORT TERM...Tonight through Saturday Night...Several reports of
graupel and snow have been called into us today from Roseburg,
Oregon to Etna, California. This suggests that snow levels remain
relatively low in general, but have also been highly influenced
by the strength of the showers. This trend is expected to continue
through the rest of the week. Although there have been some
breaks in the clouds west of the Cascades which have helped melt
the snow and graupel after the showers have passed, colder
temperatures will return tonight and accumulating precipitation
may take longer to melt. Have decided to allow the winter weather
advisories to continue through their expiration times.

The weather is expected to remain in this showery and cold
pattern for the rest of the week. Although things briefly reprieve
on Thursday, the next low pressure system will be sliding down the
west coast on Friday and Friday night. The 12Z run of the GFS and
the 12Z ECMWF align quite nicely with the details of the track and
the strength of this low. The preliminary 18Z run of the GFS,
however weakens this system. With this teeter-tottering of the
GFS, have gone with a blend that favors the ECMWF solution. Have
even further upped the QPF at the coast, the Siskiyous, and the
Illinois Valley on Friday night because the low will be positioned
to draw in extra moisture in these places. Snow levels will remain
low, and with the stronger showers that occur in these area,
periods of heavy snow will be possible. Confidence is only so-so
because if the track of the low moves further toward the coast,
the heavy snows could even make it to the Rogue Valley. If the low
tracks further off the coast, less snow would occur. Have issued a
winter storm watch for a few of these areas closer to the coast
(but not including the Rogue Valley). Because the newest model
runs are differing somewhat, this situation will definitely need
to be monitored.

Things east of the Cascades will be more typical for February with
mainly drier weather and cold temperatures. Lows are expected to
be in the teens for many areas while highs struggle to reach into
the mid 30s. -Schaaf

.LONG TERM...The models are in pretty good agreement through
early next week. Another upper trough is projected to move south
along the Washington/Oregon coast during the day Sunday (similar
to the one on Friday night/Saturday morning). The only difference
is this one is expected to come in during the day which should
lessen the threat for lower elevation snow, but it still exist due
to a combination of existing cold air in place and precipitation
rates which if high enough could drag the snow level down lower
than what`s in the forecast. Right now, we have snow levels around
2000 feet on Sunday, but it could end up lower in heavier
precipitation. Also given it`s still a few days out, details on
the exact track of the low could change. For example, in northerly
flow events, the models are typically too slow with the arrival
of these systems, therefore it would not be out of the realm of
possibility precipitation could move in overnight Saturday into
Sunday morning. At this point its too early to speculate on timing
and track of the upper low and snow amounts, but it`s something
that we`ll have to watch closely.

We`ll see some improvement in the weather Monday, at least in terms
of precipitation with most of it focused in northern California and
east of the Cascades. It will remain cool to cold with showers
decreasing from north to south during the day. A cool northwest flow
will continue Tuesday. The models still hint at some QPF, but
suspect this may be overdone given 500mb heights will be on the rise
and any shortwave activity should stay east of our forecast area.

Wednesday looks dry as an upper ridge starts to build into the area
and the storm track shifts well north of the area. -Petrucelli


.AVIATION...22/18z TAF CYCLE...Snow levels will come up to around
2000 feet this afternoon, but could briefly lower to around 1500 in
heavier showers into this evening. The TAF at Roseburg shows MVFR
conditions remaining the predominate condition through this evening.
However brief VFR cigs are possible around 0z. At the coast, VFR
conditions are expected. However could not rule out brief MVFR
CIGS/VIS with partial mountain obscuration in heavier showers this
afternoon into this evening. Elsewhere, conditions will start out as
VFR, but heavier showers this afternoon into this evening could
result in MVFR CIGS. So we`ll leave them into the TAF at Medford and
Klamath Falls. The timing of when the lower conditions will occur in
Medford and Klamath Falls TAF are low to medium. Showers will
decrease tonight and CIGS should improve to VFR. The exception will
be Roseburg where IFR cigs are possible if there`s enough clearing
due to stable conditions. -Petrucelli


.MARINE...Updated 235 PM PST Wednesday 22 February 2017...The
latest buoy observations showed seas of 8-9 feet at 12 seconds.
Winds were generally below 15 knots except for the southern waters
near the Oregon-California border which were mainly 15-20 knots.
There were also heavier showers causing higher wind gusts. Steeper
seas are expected to develop from west to east tonight as the
dominant period will steepen to 8-9 seconds. Seas will be around 8
feet at 8 seconds tonight into Thursday morning so the small
craft advisory in effect for hazardous seas looks reasonable,
although marginal. Seas steepness will subside on Thursday. Low
pressure moving down the Pacific Northwest coast on Friday should
increase winds and steepen the seas with possible small craft
conditions developing. -Sandler


OR...Winter Weather Advisory until 10 PM PST this evening for
     Winter Storm Watch from Friday morning through Saturday morning
     for ORZ021-022.
     Winter Storm Watch from Friday morning through Saturday morning
     for ORZ023>026.
     Winter Weather Advisory until 10 PM PST this evening ABOVE 1500
     FEET for for ORZ021-022.
     Winter Weather Advisory until 4 AM PST Thursday for
     Winter Storm Watch from Friday morning through Saturday morning
     for ORZ028.

CA...Winter Storm Watch from Friday morning through Saturday morning
     for CAZ080-081.
     Winter Storm Watch from Friday afternoon through Saturday
     morning for CAZ082-083-085.
     Winter Weather Advisory until 10 PM PST this evening for

Pacific Coastal Waters...Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas from 4 AM to 10 AM PST
     Thursday for PZZ350-356.
     Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas from 10 PM this evening
     to 4 PM PST Thursday for PZZ370-376.


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