The 15 large wildfires burning in California can be largely attributed to the abundant moisture this area received this past winter and spring. Grasses and other plants that had a banner growing season are now very dry and excellent fuel for wildfires.
There is a pattern change in store that could bring more moisture to northern California by the end of the week including chances of showers and thunderstorms. While we hope for the rain and increased humidity the front will bring we do not welcome increased winds expected. Winds could be sustained 10-20 mph in parts of California impacted by ongoing fires Thursday into Friday this week. Of course increased winds are the last thing we would want in the volatile situation at hand.
We certainly will welcome the increased moisture but again we are dealing with a double edged sword as thunderstorm activity later this week could produce lightning and strong gusty winds.
Rain showers and increased humidity should have some positive impacts on the fires in northern California this week, however the overall impacts of the pattern change with increasing winds is still in question.
Meteorologist Mike Morrison