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Fire Weather Warnings Issued For California Again

18 Oct 2018, 2:18 pm

The risk for wildfires to spread quickly (if ignited) will exist on Friday, October 19 for much of southern California.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect on Friday from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m. (October 19) for strong, gusty winds.

A Red Flag Warning means that weather conditions will be dry and windy, allowing for any ignited fires to spread quickly.

In this case Friday, the relative humidity is forecast to be between 10 and 20 percent while the winds may gust up to 45 miles per hour!

The surface wind forecast early Friday morning, October 19 where green shows the highest projected winds.
The forecast winds by midday Friday, October 19 where yellows indicate highest winds.

The gusty wind is going to be due to a combination of high pressure across the Four Corners and lower pressure in the Gulf of California. This is called the ‘pressure gradient.’ Think of it like this: The pressure gradient can be visualized when you put your thumb over over a water hose and the water shoots out faster and farther.

Dry, downsloping winds are expected to become gusty on Friday, increasing the fire danger.

What can you do?

  • Check for local burn bans and avoid outdoor burns
  • Report any wildfire you may see
  • Avoid using equipment that causes sparks
  • Properly dispose of cigarettes and anything lit

Earlier this week, some utility companies shut off power to avoid downed power lines from sparking new wildfires. This may happen again in advance of these winds, so check in with your local utility company to see if that’s the case. Be prepared for power outages, if necessary!

For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier