Fire Danger to Follow Record Warmth Across Southwestern U.S.
Fire danger across southern California is on the rise following record warmth over this past week.
Southern California shattered heat records for three consecutive days this week further drying out vegetation.
A weather pattern unique to southern California, known as the Santa Ana winds, is responsible for the warm dry weather.
The Santa Ana winds happen frequently during the fall and winter months as high pressure sets up over the Great Basin. It results in an easterly wind leading to air flowing off the mountains and into the valleys. This process is known as downsloping winds and it results in a warm, dry air mass. The higher the pressure over the Great Basin, the warmer the temperature is in the valleys.
Given the current pattern, mild temperatures will continue next week across southern California. The Santa Ana winds will kick up a few times into next week leading to breezy conditions at times. This will result in an elevated fire threat across southern California. Although there may be some rain chances in southern California early next week, it will not be enough to soak vegetation to rid the fire danger.
Temperatures are forecast to be seasonable through next week.
The combination of dry weather, warm temperatures and gusty winds will lead to an elevated fire risk through much of the upcoming week.