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Medford logs 2013 as its driest year since recordkeeping began

A number of weather records fell as the clock struck midnight today.

2013 turned out to be the driest year on record for Medford, Roseburg, Klamath Falls and the city of Mt. Shasta, Calif.

In addition, December turned out to have been the coldest December Medford has ever seen, according to the National Weather Service office in Medford.

Today, the New Year is predicted to begin just as the old one ended — with thick, freezing fog that's likely to reduce visibility to one-quarter of a mile during the morning.

The NWS issued a dense fog advisory from 2 to 10 a.m., meaning visibility will be significantly affected by the fog throughout Jackson County this morning.

Medford got a temporary reprieve from the persistent cold and fog Tuesday with some sun and a high temperature of 49 degrees.

"It basically just dried out," said meteorologist Misty Duncan. "When you have cloud cover, it kind of acts like a blanket. Having the high clouds around really helped out."

An air stagnation advisory will remain in effect until 4 p.m. Thursday. Then a weak system is expected to enter the area Thursday night and Friday that could bring some rain, but not much.

"It doesn't really look too strong for the Rogue Valley," Duncan said. "After that, we'll pretty much go back into our fog pattern again."

In terms of records, Medford's average temperature for December was 31 degrees. The previous record, set in December 1972, was 31.5 degrees, the NWS reported.

Medford recorded 8.99 inches of rain in 2013, shattering the old record of 10.43 inches set in 1959. The average yearly rainfall for Medford is 18.25 inches.

Roseburg received 16.11 inches of rain in 2013, breaking the record of 23.07 inches set in 1944.

Klamath Falls saw 5.62 inches of rain last year, breaking the low-water mark of 6.73 inches recorded in 1959.

In the city of Mt. Shasta, 10 inches of rain fell in 2013, more than four inches less than the 14.21 inches that set the old record in 1976.