Heat and Fire Danger to Return to California
It may feel like winter in some parts of the country, but Southern Californians will be baking in summer-like heat soon. Starting Wednesday afternoon, highs in places like Los Angeles and the Inland Empire could rocket into the upper 80s and lower 90s.
What’s causing this seasonal flip?
Well, a typical setup — with a strong high pressure over the Intermountain West — will produce warm, westerly winds. Those winds will then move down-slope and through the San Bernadino Mountains, causing compressional warming. This compressional warming produces very dry, hot air. These hot, westerly winds are known as Santa Ana Winds and they’re notorious for creating excessive heat and stoking large wildfires in Southern California.
So, along with the rise in temperatures, the threat for fire-related activity also goes up. And National Weather Service offices in Southern California have issued Red Flag Warnings from Santa Barbara to near San Diego.
Officials are warning residents not to do any outdoor burning in the coming days, to avoid the onset of wildfires. CALFIRE, the state’s main wildfire-fighting entity, released a statement that read in part, “During heightened fire danger, CAL FIRE will place additional firefighters on duty, staff more fire engines and keep more equipment on 24 hours a day to be able to respond to any new fires. CAL FIRE urges Californians to be extremely cautious, especially during periods of high fire danger. It’s important all residents and vistors take steps to prevent wildfires. One less spark could mean one less wildfire.”
CALFIRE was instrumental in fighting massive wildfires that ravaged parts of Northern California, earlier this year.
Weather patterns aren’t likely to change until early next week. So, the fire danger will linger in the coming days.