Brookings warms up with wind I try to visit the Oregon coast when the Rogue Valley gets too hot for my tastes during the summer. I am always surprised that Brookings seems so much warmer than its coastal counterparts. I don't blame it on Brookings being located furthest south because Crescent City, Calif., also seems colder. Why is this?
' Sarah C., Medford

Brookings' nickname of Oregon's banana belt is well deserved. High temperatures in the 80s, 90s and 100s have been known to break records during the fall and winter in this area. This unusual warming is known as the Brookings Effect or Chetco Effect.

The cause can be attributed to nearby mountains, a unique sheltered location, and a weather pattern resulting in deep offshore flow or east wind, according to a Web page posted by the National Weather Service Medford Forecast Office.

The offshore wind reaching Brookings originates over the highest peaks of the Siskiyou and Coast Range mountains. As this air descends down to the Chetco River it warms considerably and eventually is funneled into Brookings, creating breezy and warm conditions, NWS officials said.
— Some credit Portland television weatherman Jack Capell for first explaining the Brookings Effect in meteorological terms in 1955.

Mountains north of Brookings also shelter the town from cool marine air that typically sweeps across the rest of the coast. Most locals know that weather in Brookings and other coastal towns is often at its best ' sometimes reaching into the 80s ' during fall and winter when skies are clear.

Send questions to Since You Asked, Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to . We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.