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Driest Start To Year On Record

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MEDFORD, Ore. — The statistics and charts show it, through March 25th, this is the driest start to any year in Medford’s history.

“Statistics were kept back in 1850. 1.63 in those first 84 days of the year is the driest we’ve ever been in those 84 days,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Ottenweller.

The average is a little more than 5.25 inches and Ottenweller says the 4 inches the region is under stands out, especially after a very wet final few months of 2012.

“We were almost 1 to 2 inches above normal for each of those months and we ended up getting just under 13 inches of rain during that time period which put us well ahead for the water year.” said Ottenweller.

Oregon Department of Forestry officials say the weather has been dry, but the snow pack that built up is a sign there may be not impact from the lack of precipitation.

“Over the last couple of months we have had less rain, however snow pack is still pretty strong right now. Some fuels may start to be drying out as it starts to get warmer over the next couple of months, but right now we’re still pretty wet,” said Ashley Lara with the Oregon Department of Forestry.

O.D.F. officials say the past couple fire season have been mild in southern Oregon and it always depends on the weather as to when fire season begins.

“Each year is different depending on the weather, so we’re just monitoring that and our different fuels, we monitor very closely and that’s when we deem when fire season will go into affect as well,” said Lara.