In hot pursuit of a record

We're nearing a record for days below 100, so noting it can't hurt ... right?
It may not be 100 degrees outside, but itís hot enough for Whitney Hutsell, 5, of Talent, to play in the spray park at Don Jones Memorial Park in Central Point Thursday.Julia Moore

While much of the nation broils under a merciless summer sun, Mother Nature is on a cool streak in the Rogue Valley.

As of today, it has been 702 consecutive days — the second longest streak on record — since the mercury has risen to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter in the valley, according to the National Weather Service, which began keeping Medford weather records in 1911.

If a triple-digit temperature isn't reached by Aug. 27, it will be a record 733 consecutive days since the mercury has climbed to 100 degrees or more, said Ryan Sandler, warning coordination meteorologist at the agency's weather station near the Medford airport.

And the outlook for August offers only a slim chance of any triple-digit temperatures locally, Sandler said.

"The whole country is above normal except for our region," he said. "We can't say for sure we won't get 100, but the weather pattern we think will dominate won't be conducive for 100 degrees.

"So much of the country has been hot this summer with so many record highs being broken," he added. "But we have not had that high ridge of pressure that has covered a lot of our nation this summer. It's like the bubble in the middle of the country is so big that it doesn't move easily. We are staying in the same trough pattern here."

The highest temperature reached this summer was 99 degrees on July 8, he noted.

The last triple digit came on Aug. 25, 2010, when the temperature sizzled to 105 degrees, he said.

The longest stretch of sub-100 temperatures ever recorded in Medford was the 732 days that ended July 25, 1958. That record would be tied on Aug. 26 if no triple temperature is recorded before then, he said.

Other long periods without 100-degree or above temperatures were 695 days ending on June 27, 1948; 664 days ending on June 7,1955; and 653 days ending on June 20, 1990, the agency reported.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in the valley since 1911 was 115 degrees on July 20, 1946, followed by 114 degrees on Aug. 8, 1981.

Meanwhile, the weather service is calling for the low 90s to the mid-80s in the Rogue Valley through Wednesday.

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 541-776-4496 or email him at pfattig@mailtribune.com.



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