Just how hot was it? Depends on who you ask

When I checked my iPhone today, it said the high temperature was going to be 91 degrees for Medford. The Mail Tribune said the high would be 98 degrees. Why do the forecasts on these (and other) outlets vary so wildly? Sometimes by as much as 10 degrees?

— D.M., Medford

Getting a little hot under the collar there, D.M.? Don't worry, it's cool — well at least our information is.

According to meteorologist Ryan Sandler of the National Weather Service, there are several different sources of weather information in the U.S., and many private companies that employ their own meteorologists, so it's not surprising they would put out different forecasts.

Forecasts also could vary because of the wide variety of terrain and elevations in Southern Oregon, he theorized.

"The weather forecast could be very general, such as referring to the overall Willamette Valley," he said. "Or it could be for a different city or elevation that is 1,000 feet higher than the city you're looking for."

He said the forecasts shouldn't vary by 10 degrees, though.

"It's possible that some of the apps on the iPhone put in a ZIP code, so you could be getting the weather for Eugene," he said.

If you're looking for the correct forecast, Sandler has some entirely (ahem) impartial advice for you, D.M.

"The National Weather Service is the one that's always right," he said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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