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'Measurable' rain is just a smidgen

In a recent story you said the Rogue Valley hadn’t received any “measurable rain” for more than 80 days. What does that mean?

— Via email

Measurable rain is at least one-hundredth of an inch, according to the National Weather Service.

Anything less is considered a “trace” amount, meteorologist Misty Firmin said.

“That’s really the difference there,” Firmin said. “We don’t consider (less than that) measurable because it barely wets the ground.”

Firmin added that while much of the Rogue Valley hasn’t seen measurable rain in close to three months, there have been a couple times in that period when a trace amount fell over Medford. A trace amount fell July 9, Aug. 15 and Aug. 16, according to the Weather Service.

The fact that Medford hasn’t seen any measurable rain since June 16 was a notable factor in the Almeda and South Obenchain fires that sparked at opposite ends of the Rogue Valley last week, and they were fanned by freak winds that reached 40 to 45 mph.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.