RECORDS FALL UNDER HIGH HEAT

May 22, 2001 11:00 pm

By RICK OSBORN

The mission of Brookings residents during the past few days has been to stay cool .

The heat wave, however, is over, said State Climatologist George Taylor.

?We?re breaking records up here,? Taylor said from his office in Corvallis on Tuesday.

Monday?s sizzling 90-degree temperature in Brookings-Harbor smashed the old record of 82 degrees set May 21, 1941.

Brookings-Harbor also experienced a record setting 88-degree day Sunday. The previous record for May 20 was 86 degrees, which had stood since 1983.

In Crescent City, it reached 74 degrees Monday at McNamara Field, well above the previous record set there of 66 degrees on May 21, 1988.

North Bend?s record of 75 degrees was also broken on Monday when that city experienced an 80-degree day, Taylor said.

Roseburg and Medford also experienced record temperatures Monday at 96 degrees and 98 degrees, respectively.

As the temperature in Brookings cools down, areas further inland are experiencing even more of the phenomenally hot weather, Taylor said.

?It?s widespread today,? he said. ?Today looks like the hottest in most places.?

The warm weather inland is causing the coastal areas to cool off, Taylor said.

He said that when the interior areas heat up, they suck in the sea breeze, causing lower temperatures as a result of the cool ocean air being pulled in.

?When there are high temperatures building inland is when it starts to pull in marine air,? Taylor said.

With the influx of sun and hot weather, Brookings-Harbor residents found many ways to cool off. This included just driving around with the window down.

?I definitely noticed some increase in the amount of traffic,? said Brookings police officer Donny Dotson, ?but nothing out of the ordinary.?

Dotson said when the weather heats up the amount of out-of-town traffic seems to go up.

Another draw that had people out and about during the hot weather over the weekend was the opening weekend of the saltwater salmon season, but Tony Kronemeyer at Sporthaven Marina said it was primarily just visitors.

?We had a good weekend,? Kronemeyer said. ?There were a lot of tourists.?

Kronemeyer said the extreme heat on Monday dampened fishing and said things slowed down as a result.

?It was too hot,? Kronemeyer said. ?There was nobody out.?

Temperatures today are expected to drop by about 10 degrees and be much closer to normal for this time of year, the National Weather Service reported.