SOURCE: Weather Underground
DATE: November 8, 2018
SNIP: Fire weather typically peaks during the autumn in California’s Mediterranean climate. The state’s precipitation occurs mainly during the months from late autumn through spring. The landscape then dries out in the typically rain-free heat of summer, leaving it primed to burn at times when strong, dry autumn winds push through the area. The most dangerous setup is when east or northeast winds prevail, as the air warms and the relative humidity drops when these winds push downslope into the state’s extensive wildland-urban interface.
In keeping with recent years, California has just come off yet another scorching summer. State temperatures from July through September were the hottest for any July-to-Sept. period in 124 years of record keeping, according to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.
Making matters worse, there has been very little rain so far this autumn. Paradise, CA, has received just 0.14” of total precipitation since October 1, which is a mere 3% of the long-term average of 4.49” for the period Oct. 1 – Nov. 7. Just to the south, Sacramento is having one of the ten driest starts to the wet season in its history, receiving a meager 0.04” on the only day of rain since October 1.
Between the summer heat and the lack of autumn rain, the amount of moisture held in soils and vegetation over parts of California is close to record-low levels.