MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- Despite some rare August showers, Southern Oregon rainfall was 13 percent below average to mark the fourth straight year of below-average precipitation.

The Mail Tribune reported the region closed out its 2009 water year with rainfall measured at the Medford airport totaling 15.97 inches between Sept. 1, 2009 and Tuesday, the traditional end of the water year.

The National Weather Service's average annual rainfall total measured at the airport is 18.37 inches, pushing this year's tally 2.4 inches below normal.

Fall and winter remained extremely dry, leading to early fears of shortfalls in area reservoirs.

But a cool, wet spring and nearly an inch of rain in normally hot and dry August helped area farmers, ranchers and orchard growers.

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Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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