Summer of 2014 among top 3 hottest

The summer of 2014 snagged bronze and silver medals, respectively, for the warmest average temperature in August and to date when compared with data recorded since 1911.{br class="hardreturn" /}
The National Weather Service reported Medford's average temperature for last month was 77 degrees, based on readings taken at the airport. That number knocks out the previous third-place winner, 2012's 76.3 degrees. It was just a 10th of a degree off the second hottest August recorded — 77.1 degrees in 1986 — and just under one degree from the gold — 1967's 77.9-degree average.{br class="hardreturn" /}
Weather Service officials said the average temperature factors in all the month's high and low temperatures.{br class="hardreturn" /}
"We had a lot of days over 90 degrees, 25 days out of 31," said meteorologist Mike Petrucelli. "That contributed."{br class="hardreturn" /}
Nights stayed warm, with only nine days dipping below 60 degrees. The month's coolest temperature fell to 54 degrees on Aug. 25.{br class="hardreturn" /}
"That's going to play into it as well," Petrucelli said.{br class="hardreturn" /}
July 2014 was crowned the new victor for that month with its 78.9-degree average that unseated the previous record of 77.9 degrees the year before.{br class="hardreturn" /}
The July and August averages contributed toward the second warmest year-to-date so far in Medford. The average of all high and low temperatures January through August equaled 60.3 degrees. That's only two-tenths of a degree off the warmest year to date for the first eight months, 60.5 degrees, set in 1992.{br class="hardreturn" /}
There are three months of temperature readings missing for 1911, when the records started being kept. If they were present, that year likely would be in second and push 2014 down to third, meteorologists say. As it stands, the third place warmest year to date for the first eight months still belongs to 2004, with an average temperature of 59.4 degrees.   {br class="hardreturn" /}
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or Follow him at{br class="hardreturn" /}

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