As the heat hung heavy over Ashland on Tuesday, the National Weather Service's thermometer registered the second hottest July 28 since it began recording temperatures here in 1895.
Temperatures peaked at 104 degrees in the city, two degrees short of the record, set in 1998, said Mike Petrucelli, meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Medford Office.
It was the hottest day of the year so far here, according to the National Weather Service.
"We came pretty close to the all time hottest temperature in Ashland, which was 108 in 1981," Petrucelli said.
Forecasts call for the heat wave to persist today, bringing a high of 102 degrees.
"I think today we're going to be very similar to what we saw yesterday, maybe a few degrees cooler," Petrucelli said this morning.
"It's still going to be really hot. We'll be right near triple-digit temperatures again," he said.
As clouds move over the Siskiyou Mountains and continue east, temperatures should cool slightly, Petrucelli said.
The ridge of high pressure that has settled over Southern Oregon, causing the hot weather, should also begin to move eastward later this week, he said.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 99 degrees on Thursday. Temperatures on Friday and Saturday should peak in the mid-90s — still well above the region's normal July temperature of 88 degrees, according to meteorologists.
Thunderstorms could erupt over Ashland this weekend, as a storm system moves east from the Pacific Ocean, Petrucelli said.
The National Weather Service is urging people to stay hydrated and avoid exercising outside in the afternoon and early evening.
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