INTERAGENCY FIRE WEATHER CENTER – PREDICTIVE SERVICES UNIT
SATURDAY, JULY 23, 2016
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GEOGRAPHICAL AREA COORDINATION CENTER
***Gusty winds, hot temperatures and low RH in Santa Barbara and northern Los Angeles County today ***
High pressure aloft coupled with a north to south pressure gradient will allow strong, downsloping winds to continue over portions of Southern California today. Early this morning, wind gusts over 25 mph are occurring in the Santa Ynez Range and in the Canyon Country area of northern Los Angeles County. Temperatures in these areas were close to 90 degrees at dawn with RH in the teens. Expect winds of 15-25 mph with gusts to 40 mph throughout the day in Santa Barbara and northern Los Angeles County. Winds may slacken a bit this afternoon, but a renewed burst of winds may occur this evening. Other areas, including the Kern County Mountains will see northwest winds of 15-25 mph with gusts to 35 mph this afternoon. All winds should decrease this evening and much lighter winds are expected Sunday through the first half next week. Widespread single digit RH is expected across the district today at elevations below 6,000 feet. RH recovery tonight should be better overall, but Santa Barbara and northern Los Angeles County may see just enough mixing to keep RH in the 20% range overnight. Temperatures will continue to be 10-20 degrees above normal today with highs up to 108 in the valleys and foothills of Southern California. The coast will see temperatures dip a bit as onshore flow develops this afternoon. Sunday through Tuesday, expect a cooling trend as the high pressure area overhead buckles and moves eastward. Highs will still be a bit above normal, but by Monday, most valleys will see highs back in the 90s with RH minimums generally in the teens. All long range models indicate south and southeasterly flow will transport monsoonal moisture into the area during the middle of next week. Expect scattered wet thunderstorms over the desert Wednesday with the possibility of storms reaching the San Bernardino and Cleveland National Forest by next Thursday. RH will be much higher by the middle of next week. Highs will begin to climb toward 100 again in the valleys by Wednesday and hot, humid weather can be expected to continue into next weekend.
A high risk day is in effect today for the south coast, specifically the Santa Barbara County Mountains and the I-5 Corridor including the rest of northern Los Angeles County. Extreme fire weather conditions, including low RH, hot temperatures and gusty winds are expected in these areas well before noon. Fuels in these areas are at, or very close to, record low fuel moisture levels in the dead fuels. Live fuels are close to critical thresholds and all fuel types will burn easily with near total consumption. Any new start in the foothills will be able to make rapid uphill runs into heavier timber. Expect extreme fire behavior in the windy areas with long range spotting. Lower IA is expected Sunday through Tuesday due to cooler temperatures and less wind, but a return of thunderstorms may lead to a surge in IA next Thursday. The storms are expected to produce rainfall at this point, but the extremely dry fuels may allow for new starts despite the moisture. IA and resource demand may be heavy today and again next Thursday and Friday.
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