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Wednesday was record dry day for Medford

Minimal rain in Medford’s weekend forecast, and more clear skies in the extended forecast

The Rogue Valley has gone three weeks without rain, and for the National Weather Service in Medford, Wednesday will be a day for the almanac.

At 4 a.m. Wednesday, the weather balloon near the Medford airport took a reading of 0.16 inches of precipitable water, which is the driest reading for the date of Jan. 26 since readings began in 1948.

The reading is part of a dry spell that’s going into its third week. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Brien Nieuwenhuis, only faint precipitation is in the forecast for this weekend.

“We’re not expecting a whole lot,” Nieuwenhuis said. “We’re not even calling for five-hundredths (of an inch of rain) here in the valley.”

“It gets dry again — we don’t have anything after that,” Nieuwenhuis said of the extended forecast that goes out two weeks.

The Rogue Valley’s water year, which began Oct. 1, is at 8.52 inches — 1.12 inches below the normal water year of 9.64 inches.

“An inch below is not unheard of,” Nieuwenhuis said. “Right now things are pretty dry for an extended period of time.”

Since about Jan. 12, the Rogue Valley has been stuck in a high pressure system that’s kept earlier concerns of La Nina-related heavy rains and flash flooding at bay.

“When we’re stuck under high pressure like this, that all goes out the window,” Nieuwenhuis said.

Those flash flooding concerns from earlier this winter have not entirely evaporated. According to Nieuwenhuis, meteorologists see some potential signs of storm systems returning in mid February, but it’s too soon to say with any certainty.

“There’s some noise out there, but nothing we have any confidence in,” Nieuwenhuis said.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.