Dangerous Wildfires Burn Across Southern California (Credit: NWS Los Angeles/Oxnard, Los Angeles County Fire Department. Photo Credit: NASA Earth)
Discussion: Dangerous Wildfires have spread across parts of Southern California due to Santa Ana winds, low humidity and dry ground conditions. Strong Santa Ana winds across Los Angeles and Ventura counties have caused two large wildfires to break out. Currently the Thomas Fire, Creek Fire and Rye Fire are burning across these two counties. The Thomas Fire has burned 50,000 acres, the Creek fire has burned 11,000 acres and the Rye fire has burned 5,000 acres and is 5% contained. Due to these fires, mandatory and voluntary evacuations have been issued across Southern California. Strong winds are expected to continue in the region until Thursday, along with low humidity values ranging from 6 to 15%, which will keep the risk for fire breakouts high. This is the strongest and longest Santa Ana event of the year. Red Flag Warnings are in effect until Friday across Ventura and Los Angeles. It is important to take steps to protect yourself from the fires and the smoke and to follow the safety orders given by the authorities. It is also important in these weather conditions to exercise caution when using items that could ignite a fire i.e. cigarettes, campfires and brush clearing equipment, as any small fire could spread rapidly. In the photo above taken by NASA Earth, it shows the smoke plumes from the fires.
Santa Ana winds are most often characterized as being hot/dry winds which blow in from the desert towards the coast. These winds tend to occur during the following time frame (between September to May) when the desert is cooler than the Los Angeles basin. For more facts about Santa Ana winds click here! (http://people.atmos.ucla.edu/fovell/ASother/mm5/SantaAna/santa_ana_faq.html)
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© 2017 Meteorologist Shannon Scully