A 97-year record high temperature in Medford could get bumped off its perch today.
The National Weather Service predicts a high of 106 to 108 degrees, possibly tying or beating the record for July 15 of 107 degrees, set in 1917.
"It'll be close," says meteorologist Chuck Glaser.
The average in Medford for today is 91 degrees, 15 to 17 degrees cooler.
A high pressure ridge building over the region is responsible for the abnormal heat. Ashland's temperature is forecast to climb to 101, within a degree of its record of 102 set in 1987. Grants Pass is expected to tie its long-standing July 15 record of 108, set in 1911. Klamath Falls' 96-degree record, in place since 1972, could be broken by 1 degree Tuesday, according to the weather service.
The good news for fire officials is that no thunderstorms are forecast for today, though there will be the usual afternoon winds of 10 to 15 mph, meteorologist John Lovegrove says.
Temperatures are expected to cool slightly the rest of the week, though hardly noticeable at first. Wednesday's high is expected to reach 103 degrees, with anticipated highs of 97 and 94 for Thursday and Friday.
A high of 93 degrees is expected for Saturday, Glaser says, "which is fairly close to normal by then."
Even with the triple-digit heat, meteorologists say Medford still has seen hotter days. The mercury hit 115 degrees on July 20, 1946. In August 1981, there were four days straight of 110 degrees or higher, peaking at 114 on Aug. 8.
Jackson County Health and Human Services officials have encouraged area residents to beat the heat by staying hydrated and wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. If possible, limit exposure to sunlight and stay in cooler, shaded areas.