It was hotter than Phoenix, Arizona.
It was hotter than Death Valley, California.
And at 108 degrees, Thursday’s high temperature was the hottest Aug. 3 on record in Roseburg, according to the National Weather Service in Medford. That record was 102 degrees, set in 1952.
But it didn’t quite reach the hottest it’s ever been in town. That mark was set at one degree higher on July 20, 1943.
The heat wave scorched the region Thursday, with triple-digit temperatures from Portland to Redding. Redding hit 111 degrees, making it officially the hottest place in the country Thursday. Medford hit 109, and Grants Pass 108.
National Weather Service meteorologist Sven Nelaimischkies said there’s a reason this was the hottest region in the country Thursday.
“We’re in an offshore flow pattern, with a large upper ridge sitting over the top of us, and the rest of the country isn’t,” he said. The heat wave is expected to gradually decrease, with high temperatures returning to double digits today. A high of 99 degrees was predicted for Roseburg this afternoon, Nelaimischkies said.
"Not real comfortable, but better than 108,” he said.
The low is predicted to drop to 58 tonight. The high temperatures are expected to hover in the mid to upper 90s each day through the weekend and into Monday. That probably won’t break any records, though it’s above the normal 86-degree temperatures for the first week of August.
Heavy smoke in Roseburg was coming primarily from a large fire at Crater Lake Thursday, and that’s expected to continue, producing unhealthy air. The Environmental Protection Agency ranked the air unhealthy for sensitive groups Thursday, and cautioned that people with lung disease such as asthma should remain indoors. Nelaimischkies said thunderstorms could enter the area west of the Cascades on Monday, creating a risk of more fires.