Warm weather brings hottest days to mind
In light of Wednesday's record high temperature, my husband and I began to think back about some of the other hottest days we've had around Medford. We remember it got to somewhere around 109 about five years ago, but then we got to thinking: what is the hottest it's ever been here?
— G. Trotter, White City
Good memory Mrs. Trotter, the National Weather Service bureau in Medford reported that the temperature reached 109 degrees on July 29, 2009.
The hottest it has ever been on record in Medford is 115 on July 20, 1946 — quite toasty indeed.
Remember though, weather data has been consistently recorded in Medford only since March 1911.
And for the record, the coldest it has ever been on record was 10 below zero on December, 13, 1919.
Now, if we may indulge, it's not that 1946 was an overly hot year, said Brett Lutz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Medford, and there are plenty of ways to determine how hot or cold a calendar year is.
It's like using sports statistics to compare who the best ball player is, he said. Sure, a handful of players — like years — might stick out, but determining who is who comes down to a matter what data one chooses to take into account and what data is ignored.
If we're looking at which year had the highest maximum temperatures on average — and we are — 1992 is the hottest year Medford has ever seen on record, Lutz said, with 1946 coming in a dismal 84th place.
Though one might not think it, last summer — June 21 to Aug. 31 — which didn't log any excruciatingly hot days, but had plenty of warmer overnight lows, all but tied for the hottest summer on record in Medford.
The temperature last summer averaged 75.8 degrees, four-tenths of a degree less than 1967's record of 76.2 degrees.
Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to email@example.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.