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April 30 high temperature record shattered

 Posted: 10:05 AM May 01, 2014

Medford clobbered a 33-year high temperature record Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported.

The 92-degree high broke the previous 86-degree record from 1981 — the hottest it's ever been in Medford on April 30.

Meteorologist Brian Nieuwenhuis said the agency knew early on the record was on its way to being broken. The temperature passed 80 degrees at 11 a.m. and just kept climbing.

"We were sitting there going, 'Well, let's see how warm it's going to get,'" Nieuwenhuis said.

About two hours later, the warmth surpassed the 86-degree mark. It peaked with the high of 92 degrees at 4:48 p.m., Nieuwenhuis said.

A mass of warm air under high pressure that shifted from the nearby south into parts of Jackson County brought the change.

"It was sort of sitting over us, but just to our west," Nieuwenhuis said. "Basically, hot air from California spread up north."

The change also brought 25 mph winds, which came into the Rogue Valley and caused the temperatures to heat up further as the air tumbled down from the nearby mountains and compressed.

Nieuwenhuis said there would have been numerous red flag fire watch warnings if such dry, windswept conditions had happened in July.

To the north, Roseburg also beat its old April 30 high temperature record, hitting 92 degrees to beat 2004's 86. In Montague, Calif., the high reached 86, just surpassing the previous April 30 record — 85 degrees — also set in 1981.

Nieuwenhuis said the mass of air has since shifted to the east, but Nieuwenhuis said the heat will continue today, with a forecast high of 91 for Medford. The city's May 1 record — 92 — hasn't been broken since 1946.

— Ryan Pfeil

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