Heat, chance of thunderstorms coming this weekend

A heat wave is expected to push weekend temperatures in the Rogue Valley to heights not seen since 2010.

The National Weather Service office in Medford said in a special weather statement updated this morning that a strong area of high pressure will build today and Saturday, pushing temperatures here into the mid 90s today and to 104 on Saturday.

Temperatures last topped 100 in Medford on Aug. 25, 2010. The 709-day streak is the second longest on record, after a 732-day run that ended July 25, 1958.

The hot weather will coincide with the arrival of moisture aloft late Saturday into Sunday, which is likely to cause thunderstorms across the area, the statement said. Lightning will bring a risk of wildfires, reported the weather service, which has also issued a fire weather watch for the weekend.

The best chance for thunderstorms will be over the mountains of Northern California, particularly western Siskiyou County. The chance of such a storm will begin Saturday evening, then spread north over the Siskiyous, into the Cascades and Eastern Oregon on Sunday. Western valleys, including the Rogue Valley, could see thunderstorms during this time.

The first such storms will have gusty winds and little rain, but Sunday's storms should be wetter, the forecast says.

— Anita Burke

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