The heat is here

Flip on the fans and drink a lot of water. A period of triple-digit temperatures is expected to continue today and possibly into Wednesday.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory Monday because of the spike in temperature. That advisory runs through 11 p.m. today, with a high temperature of 104 degrees predicted.

There won't be much of a reprieve from the heat Wednesday or Thursday, either, with temperatures expected to reach up to 100 and 96 degrees, respectively.

"(That's) not heat-advisory territory for us, but still hot," said Ryan Sandler, meteorologist with the weather service's Medford office.

High temperatures reached 101 degrees Monday and climbed to 102 on Sunday, the first time the Rogue Valley experienced triple-digit temperatures this year, weather service officials said. Overnight, low temperatures will drop down to about the mid-60s.

The predicted highs won't break or tie any records, but they'll be close. Medford's July 1 temperature to beat reached 108 degrees in 1942. Today's record setter is also 108 degrees, set in 1922.

A heat advisory is issued during extended periods of hot weather, when risks for heat exhaustion and heat stroke increase.

The advisory is in effect for Jackson, Josephine and Modoc counties, with north central and southeast Siskiyou County and eastern Curry County included.

A slight chance of thunderstorms is also predicted Wednesday and Thursday because of some monsoon moisture that's pushing up through California.

"A few could sneak over the Siskiyous and into the valley," Sandler said.

Additionally, the dew point has been well above normal the last few days, reaching nearly 60 degrees Monday, up from its normal spot in the mid 40s, likely causing haze in the Rogue Valley, weather officials said.

The high temperatures are part of a heat wave affecting much of the western United States, centered over the Four Corners region.

"Think of it as a huge bubble of heat, and the high pressure is the center of the bubble," Sandler said. "It's a huge area of high pressure, and it covers most of the western United States from the Rockies west."

Weather officials are encouraging Rogue Valley residents to beat the heat by staying out of the sun during the afternoon hours and drinking plenty of water.

"The main thing is just staying out of the sun and not exerting," Sandler said.

Workers who spend a majority of their workday outside are at increased risk for heat-related illnesses. Officials at Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration are encouraging those workers to watch for symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can include extreme fatigue, nausea, lightheadedness and a headache. Clammy, moist skin, a pale complexion and a slightly elevated body temperature are also potential signs.

"Workers in Oregon aren't acclimated to working in this type of heat," Oregon OSHA health enforcement manager Penny Wolf-McCormick said in a news release. "It's important to drink water, seek shade during the day, and recognize the signs of trouble."

Workers who do exhibit signs of heat exhaustion should be moved to a cool, shaded area, have their clothing loosened, be given water and have their skin cooled with a wet cloth.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at

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