Cold air heralds arrival of weekend
September 01, 2000
By BILL KETTLER
Pack a sweater and a slicker if you’re heading outdoors for the long holiday weekend.
Unseasonably cool temperatures were expected to hit Southern Oregon today, and rain showers could dampen campers and picnickers Saturday and Sunday.
A cold front that rolled out of the Gulf of Alaska at midweek was expected to reach Southern Oregon today. Temperatures may not rise much above 70 degrees as the front settles in, and forecasters don’t expect things to warm up again before Labor Day.
“Monday might be the best day,” said Chuck Glaser, of the National Weather Service’s Medford station.
Cool air announced the front’s arrival Thursday afternoon. The temperature at the Medford airport stood at 80 degrees at noon and 69 degrees at 7 p.m.
The surge of cool, moist air reminded Glaser of the chilly damp weather two months ago on the Fourth of July, when the thermometer topped out at 65 degrees.
“That was the coolest Fourth of July on record,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll be quite that bad this weekend.”
The normal average high for Sept. 4 (this year’s Labor Day) is 88 degrees. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Medford for Sept. 4 is 107 degrees, in 1955. The lowest high temperature ever recorded on a Sept. 4 came in 1978, when the thermometer crept up to 58 degrees.
Glaser said plenty of clouds will roll in with the front, so there won’t be much sunshine. There may not be much rain, either, but showers are likely, especially on Saturday.
Heading east of the Cascades or south to California may not help you avoid a gray holiday. Glaser said forecasts for Central Oregon and Northern California also called for clouds, showers and temperatures at least 15 degrees below normal seasonal averages. Snow levels could drop low enough to bring snow showers to the rim of Crater Lake National Park.
Threatening weather might keep some people home on the long weekend that traditionally marks summer’s end.
“It all depends on the weather,” said Dan Dixon, who works at the marina at Lake of the Woods Resort. “It’s been pretty cool lately. When the wind picks up, people don’t like to be out on the water.”
By Thursday, all but one of the 26 Oregon state park campgrounds that accept reservations were full for Sept. 1-3. Unreserved campgrounds in Jackson County parks and National Forests traditionally fill by early Friday on long holiday weekends. The few local Forest Service sites that require reservations filled a long time ago, said Paul Davidson, of the Applegate Ranger District.
“Our Squaw Lake reservation list is booked full,” Davidson said.
He suggested last-minute campers look for sites far removed from main roads.
“The ones closest to the roads fill up first,” he said.