Historically, October is actually the most dangerous month of the year when it comes to wildfires.
Some of the most devastating fires in California’s history have happened in October. But it seems a little counter intuitive to be talking about fire weather while much of the U.S. transitions into a cooler, wetter pattern.
California has wet, cool winters and dry, hot summers. The Golden State sees most of the moisture of the entire year over the course of just a few months.
Typically starting in late October and running through early April.
The changing weather pattern, which brings in the state’s moisture, also brings in seasonal winds.
Southern California’s famous Santa Ana winds are just half the story. The hot, dry winds have a northern counterpart responsible for this year’s devastation.
In addition to the seasonal winds, October is also the month in which vegetation is the driest. Making for perfect fuel of the fire.
Why Has This Year Been So Bad?
This year has been exceptionally bad when it comes to California wildfires.
This past rainy season dumped incredible amounts of moisture across the Golden State. All of that moisture fed vegetation; and coming out of a 6-year drought plants blossomed, bloomed, and grew in ways they haven’t in years.
Unfortunately, as the rain ended, this summer proved to be as hot and dry as ever. Temperatures soared to record highs while the rain stayed far away. This allowed all of the flourished vegetation to die and become fuel for the fires.
The WeatherNation website is filled additional articles and stories on the California wildfires.
For WeatherNation — Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo