In Jackson County, residents are able to experience all four seasons to their fullest. Although our weather is usually fairly moderate, temperatures can bump into triple digits in the summer and fall well below freezing in the winter. Additionally, summers can bring severe thunderstorms and winters can bring severe winds.
Heat kills by taxing the body beyond its capabilities. Under normal conditions, the body produces perspiration that evaporates and cools you. In extreme heat or high humidity, evaporation is slowed and your body has to work harder to cool itself. In a normal year, an average of 175 Americans die from extreme heat. Young children, the elderly and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to become victims. Animals can also become victims of extreme heat.
Most common from October through April, snowstorms and windstorms can disrupt the region's utilities, telecommunications and roadway systems. Damage from windstorms is typically related to the toppling of trees and limbs, and consequent downing of utility infrastructure. Significant storms have sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts of 55 mph for more than two hours.
Particularly threatening are wintertime winds from the Cascades that funnel through the Rogue Valley at 50 mph. The region's outstanding historic windstorm, the 1962 "Columbus Day" storm, had winds gusting to 104 miles per hour and was described by meteorologists as a cyclone.
Snowfalls of 6-12 inches in a 24-hour period over the Siskiyou Mountains cause closures of Interstate 5 at the Siskiyou Summit each winter, disrupting the flow of interstate freight and traffic. The American Red Cross opens shelters for stranded travelers several times a year. At times, hailstorms with hail larger than ¼ of an inch may cause property damage in Jackson County.
Know your weather terminology
The following definitions have been provided by the National Weather Service:
Highlights special weather conditions that are less serious than a warning. They are for events that may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.
A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.
Visit the National Weather Service local forecast office website to stay up to date on the current weather and forecasts:
Know before you go!
Call the Oregon Department of Transportation's Trip Check hotline or visit their website to find out about road conditions if you plan to travel:
511 - Toll free within Oregon
1-800-977-ODOT (6368) - Toll free within Oregon
(503) 588-2941 - Outside Oregon