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Be advised: It's gonna be hot in Southern Oregon

With a possibly record-breaking streak of sizzling temperatures expected to cook the region this week, the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory from Tuesday afternoon through at least Thursday night — and probably longer.

The advisory covers a wide area, including Jackson, Josephine, Douglas and Curry counties, according to a Weather Service bulletin. On Wednesday, the advisory will extend to the Klamath River Valley in Western Siskiyou County, California, including Happy Camp, and portions of the Shasta Valley in central Siskiyou County, including Yreka, Klamath River and Montague.

Meteorologist Ryan Sandler said the advisory will “almost certainly” be extended past Thursday.

“It’s looking like a very unusual extended period of 100-plus-degree temperatures for highs,” he said. “We could certainly have six, we could have seven days, and possibly more. It’s impressive heat for this late in the summer.”

If the forecast materializes, it would be Medford’s longest stretch of consecutive September triple-digit-heat days in 109 years of record keeping, Sandler said. Medford has seen just two periods when the city saw five straight days of triple-digit temperatures in September. One was in 1944, when triple digits were recorded Sept. 5-9. The other was in 1988, when the mercury hit 100 or more Sept. 1-5, Sandler said.

This week could blow past those periods, with highs in the 100s possible from Tuesday through Sunday — at least.

“We’re probably going to see some records fall this weekend,” Sandler said.

A system of high pressure pushing inland from the Pacific Ocean is the culprit. It’s expected to set up shop over Nevada and Arizona and loiter for several days.

Nighttime will bring a bit of reprieve, but low temperatures are not expected to dip below the mid-60s during the streak.

“The combination of warm overnight temperatures, hot daytime temperatures and dry conditions will make it difficult to stay hydrated and cool,” a Weather Service bulletin said. “These temperatures will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, especially for those working outside and for those who lack access to adequate cooling services.”

The weather “could affect even those who aren’t normally impacted by heat stress,” the bulletin added.

Medford is in the midst of the 16th driest year on record for the city, Sandler said. This week’s forecast could push it into the top 10. California wildfire smoke may return to the area this week due to airflow from the south set up by the high-pressure system, which could cause some slight cooling.

Either way, residents should drink plenty of fluids, seek air-conditioned shelter if possible, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors. Those who must be outside for work or other activities should take extra precautions, possibly rescheduling more strenuous activities for early morning or evening and wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing when possible, the Weather Service advised.

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanPfeil.

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