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Smoke complicates weather forecasting

It seems like it hasn't been as hot lately as forecasts have predicted. How much does the smoke impact the temperature?

— Al, Medford

Smoke definitely complicates the job of meteorologists, Al.

"A thick layer of smoke can block out enough incoming sun to keep highs 7 or 8 degrees below guidance values, while a thin layer may only drop highs by a degree or two," the National Weather Service says on its forecast website.

So while regular weather models predict we could have record high temperatures this coming Labor Day weekend, smoke could keep temperatures from reaching or breaking records.

The National Weather Service predicts temperatures could still be up to 20 degrees higher than normal for this time of year.

— 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 youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.