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Triple digit heat will stick around Rogue Valley for awhile

So you're not crazy about the heat that's enveloping the Rogue Valley? Then you really won't be happy to read this: At least one weather forecaster predicts the high temperatures will be 100 degrees or more for 15 of the next 16 days, starting Thursday.

AccuWeather, which provides weather reports for media outlets across the country (including the Mail Tribune), predicts 100-degree-plus weather every day through July 3, followed by a cool 99 degrees on the Fourth of July, then six more days of triple digits.

Long-range temperature forecasts are hardly set in stone, but all forecasters agree it's going to be hot, really hot. The National Weather Service predicts it will be 102 on Thursday, a scorching 109 on Friday, 106 on Saturday and 102 on Sunday. It doesn't get much better after that — Monday, 103; Tuesday, 105; Wednesday, 103.

The NWS forecasters make no bones about their predictions, calling Friday and Saturday's heat  "a ten year event in terms of temperatures."

"So make it clear ...," the weather service report continues, "the upcoming heat is not normal for this area for this time of year and should be taken seriously. What may make this heat more significant than others ... is the duration. The area could experience up to 7 days of temperatures 15 to 20 degrees above normal."

Those forecasts have organizations from health departments to animal shelters and forestry managers flying their red flags.

The Oregon Health Authority says people should try to stay cool, stay hydrated and stay indoors if they have any significant health risks, noting that this level of heat can have serious consequences.

"Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are real problems that can lead to death," said Dr. Bruce Gutelius, deputy state epidemiologist at the Public Health Division, "so people need to take precautions to protect their health."

The Jackson County Health Department warns in a release, "Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and claiming more lives each year than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined."

Some tips for dealing with the heat:

  • Drink lots of water, two to four cups every hour while working or exercising outside.
  • Use air conditioning — not just a fan — to keep cool.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.

There are also numerous warnings to never leave children or pets in cars in hot weather. 

Good advice for everyone, regardless of age or species.

Bob Hunter is editor of the Mail Tribune. Reach him at bhunter@mailtribune.com.