Typical early autumn conditions prevail; some thoughts on La Niña

Filed in Uncategorized by on October 5, 2017 2,837 Comments

A pretty typical early start to autumn across California

Warmer than average conditions have persisted near the immediate coast, but temperatures have cooled over inland areas (and the Sierra Nevada in particular). (WRCC)

For the first time in many months, California has been experiencing weather conditions pretty close to the climatological norm for the time of year. After a summer of searing, record-breaking heat, the past few weeks have featured temperatures relatively close to typical early autumn values across much of the state (temperatures have actually been somewhat below average across interior portions of the state, particularly across the Sierra Nevada, where the season’s first dusting of snow fell last week). In a welcome reversal from the relentless inland heat this summer, conditions have been warmer than average only along the immediate coastline–not an unusual fall set-up in California.

Generalized statewide warming will occur over the next few days, and some late-season heat will occur over near-coastal portions of central and southern California this weekend as offshore flow develops. In fact, gusty hilltop winds and very low humidity will lead to fire weather concerns this weekend in the Bay Area and Southern California coastal hills. But a gradual cool-down back toward typical values is expected once again later next week, and perhaps even a bit below average after that. These relatively mild temperature swings–with occasionally breezy conditions–are the product of “inside slider” type low pressure systems dropping southward over the Great Basin. These systems are unlikely to bring any significant precipitation to California over the next 1-2 weeks, and conditions look dry for the foreseeable future across most of the state.

An Pacific ridge plus increasing offshore pressure gradients will lead to warm, dry, and gusty conditions this weekend across coastal California. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

 

What’s up with October precipitation in California?

There’s often much consternation on the part of California weather watchers when dry conditions persist during the month of October. It’s certainly true that October is often the transition month between California’s long, dry summers and (usually) wet winters, and almost always brings cooler nights, milder days, and a general sense that winter is coming. However, autumn in California is also characterized by dramatic year-to-year swings that ultimately have little bearing on conditions during the rainy season that follows. (A quick analysis using data from NOAA confirms that the correlation between October and December-February statewide precipitation is a minuscule, and not statistically meaningful, 0.09).

October precipitation in California is usually quite low, except for occasional very wet years. (NOAA data; graphic by Daniel Swain)

Why, then, is there so much excitement over what happens during the month of October? My best guess is that our collective perception of what constitutes a “typical October” is strongly shaped by a quirk of California climatology. The historical precipitation distribution during this month exhibits a strong “rightward skew”–in other words, there are many more dry Octobers than wet ones overall, but when October is wet, it can be quite wet indeed. The more general statement that there are “more dry years than wet years” holds true across California, but this effect seems to be particularly pronounced in early autumn. The reason? October tends to be dominated by essentially “summer-like” high pressure during most years, with relatively modest precipitation outside of the northernmost part of the state. Every 5-10 years, however, October can become very wet month indeed–and some notably powerful early-season storms have affected Northern California in recent years. Anecdotally, there does seem to be a link between “recurving” West Pacific super typhoons and California’s occasional very wet Octobers, but that’s a discussion for another day.

 

La Niña now developing in Pacific; what can we say about upcoming winter?

The Multi-Model Ensemble suggests rather classic La Nina conditions this winter, plus very warm conditions in the subtropical Pacific. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

A substantial La Niña event now appears to be developing in the tropical Pacific Ocean. There were hints of this in the coupled ocean-atmosphere models this summer, though the magnitude appears to have been underestimated. In any case, there is now a general consensus that the now-established cool ocean temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific will persist through most of the upcoming winter. Concurrently warm temperatures in the far western Pacific (and a much broader area of anomalous warmth in the subtropical North Pacific) have the potential to reinforce a fairly classic “La Niña-like” atmospheric response this winter by further strengthening the west-east tropical temperature differential.

What does all of this mean for California? Well, that’s a bit of a loaded question in the wake of two very conspicuous seasonal forecast failures over the past two winters in California. The very powerful El Niño event in 2015-2016 yielded a dry winter in southern California, and the ENSO-neutral winter just last year was one of the wettest on record across northern portions of the state. Both of these outcomes were contrary to expectations, and there has recently been a surge in scientific inquiry regarding why this might have happened.

Current multi-model forecasts suggest an slightly increased likelihood of dry conditions later this winter in/near California. (CPC)

While the jury is still out (and analyses are still underway–peer reviewed science tends to proceed slowly relative to shifting weather patterns!), leading contenders are 1) the unusually broad pattern of ocean warming in recent winters and 2) just plain old “bad luck.” In other words: it is possible that the atmospheric response to ocean temperature variations caused by El Niño/La Niña is now different than it would have been if the subtropical Pacific hadn’t been so warm in recent years. But scientists have also known for a long time that ENSO, despite being the single strongest indicator regarding California precipitation on the seasonal scale, is far from the only game in town. It may well be that other influences were simply more important in recent years, essentially drowning out the ENSO influence.

Nevertheless, there is still very strong theoretical and observational evidence that El Niño and La Niña do indeed exert a substantial and somewhat predictable influence upon California winter precipitation. In practice, this influence is large enough to influence seasonal forecasts only during moderate to strong El Niño/La Niña events, and that influence is strongest 1) in Southern California and 2) during the second half of winter (especially late January, February, and March).

Warm conditions likely this fall, per NMME forecasts. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

Cooler conditions may edge toward California later this winter. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

So what about this year? Well, it looks like La Niña may indeed reach at least moderate strength over the next couple of months and will have a rather “classic” presentation across the tropical Pacific, suggesting that there may be an elevated risk of drier than average conditions during the second half of winter, particularly across Southern California. This is a conclusion supported by current seasonal model forecasts, but only weakly. Temperature wise, there is near unanimity that the autumn will be quite warm on average across California (apparently a product of very warm ocean temperatures over the subtropical Pacific Ocean). Later in the winter, however, there is also agreement regarding a trend toward a more La Niña-like temperature pattern–with below average temperatures across the Pacific Northwest possibly extending into California. (Interestingly, seasonal temperature forecasts tend to do much better than precipitation forecasts in the presence of a significant La Niña event. The presence of persistent North Pacific high pressure is the classic atmospheric response to La Niña, which reliably allows cold air to spill southward from Alaska/Canada but only sometimes blocks the Pacific storm track sufficiently to prevent rain to California).

So, to sum it all up: a moderately strong La Niña event this winter will tilt the odds slightly in favor of a dry second half of winter, especially in the south. Autumn temperatures will likely be above average, but winter temperatures may trend back toward or below average.

 

“Climate Change Cliff Notes” interactive discussion on Thursday, October 5

I’ll be having a free-form conversation on climate change (with a California focus) with Sarah Feakins and Michael Mann tonight at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. The (free) tickets for this event sold out weeks ago, but there will be some limited availability for those who show up at the door. If you are interested but can’t attend (or make it in the door), the event will also be livestreamed via the web on the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability’s Facebook page starting at 7pm.

 

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Winds are shifting, can see fingers of smoke now over the Sierra. Radio traffic still reporting structures being threatened, asking for any available engines to respond for defense.

    A report a few hours ago said the Charles Schultz museum was still safe…id imagine this is one place they’d throw everything at to defend due to its local significance and also the importance many people have for Peants/Snoopy.

    • Pfirman

      Luther Burbank no slouch either.

  • V-Ville

    CALFIRE sky crane passed a few hundred feet overhead on it’s way to Nut Tree airport. That thing is HUGE. Several fuel tankers on taxiway and 4 basket water helicopters just arrived. Guessing they are fueling and spending the night. Airport silent all day except for CALFIRE helo’s. Eerie!

    • I saw it fly by in Orinda here several hours ago, I heard a very distinctly different noise thinking that’s no Chinook but that’s blades sound big! Ran outside just in time to grab this, it was going south to north on
      a it’s way to you. httpsploads.disquscdn.com/images/273892b98e3b307b3e61917732cf772692882c6dc94ea51a9b42c55680d9e5a4.jpg

      • Bombillo1

        Crash, Can I send you those 2 Alison Krauss tickets? They’re not high end ( can’t get those, the damn re-sellers took them all) I’d be happy to send them to you (530 337-6917). I hate just throwing them out.

        • DayHoe Herald

          Alison is one fine musician

  • Nathan

    Anyone know the urban extent of the Tubbs fire? I have relatives who live about a half mile west of the Charles Schultz museum but no way of knowing if their house was spared. I think it is, based on the fact that I haven’t seen their neighborhood mentioned at all, but still haven’t got actual confirmation.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Wind is dying down and should be lower tomorrow w/ higher dew points in SoCal
    87/ 63
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/812697be1752d38259ed8067e21e7ee11bd49ee5b5f8484550c047b6570aecc0.jpg

    • Dan the Weatherman

      This fire has really put out quite a plume of smoke from the looks of the visible satellite pic you posted. It almost looks as if there may be another fire in L.A. County, but I think that it is just the smoke spreading from the Canyon Fire 2, as I haven’t heard about any more fires in Socal.

      This fire has been really close to my area, and I have been under the smoke plume all day and a very strong smell of smoke has been in the air all day as well.

  • Boiio

    Took this just south of Glen Ellen on hey 12. Roadblocks everywhere! Fortunately winds felt like they were shifting to more onshore. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d4a2d1c2128e61b14235c45c0c3d9174a181bc2b7f9c2570008be0429eb67e0.jpg

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That is certainly a good sign if the winds are shifting onshore. The fire may then be able to burn back upon itself and burn out.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    I just stepped outside here in Orange and for the first time today the wind was NOT blowing from the NE. It has shifted to the S and SE and SW, and it is just a breeze, nothing strong ATTM. Hopefully the winds stay relaxed so that firefighters can gain the upper hand on many of these hot spots that are burning in various areas.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      The wind may shift the smoke up into the San Gabriel valley tonight. If so, I will close up house and turn AC on.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Picture from Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat…the Safeway Open stage abandoned today at Silverado CC.

    https://twitter.com/skinny_post/status/917580129496268800

  • Tuolumne

    Really poor communication from NOAA:

    https://twitter.com/NOAASatellites/status/917518150773755904/photo/1

    Sure, the cities are annotated with white labels and the fires with colored labels, but both are in very small type. To the casual viewer skimming over tweets, it looks like all the white areas are fires. The responses seem to bear this out in some cases.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    New evacuation orders now for Solano County in the Green Valley and Twin Sisters Area. Expecting the wind shift from the Atlas Fire to push it East towards the unincorporated ares of Fairfield.

    • John

      Where did you get that info from? We have friends in the area, and would like to know if they are affected/evacuated.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        FF police are updating via Nixle.
        http://www.nixle.us/9MKQD

        • John

          Thanks, they’re outside that zone. It looks like places mostly to the north part of that valley, and on the west side. At least, for now. It’s a pretty part of Solano County.

    • inclinejj

      The area around Fairfield Costco off Green Valley was evacuated last night,

  • redlands

    Redlands, Ca humidity ranged from 8% to 98% big range — Today 10/9/2017

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I’ll bet that the 98% took place at midnight last night when there was still a solid marine layer in place. It was totally overcast here in Orange last night well past midnight as the flow was onshore, before clearing overnight.

      • Matt.B Salt Creek

        Hi Dan I’m a Big fan of your posts. I’m currently living in Laguna Niguel and it’s completely clear out, warm and no wind at all. Surfline predicts east winds in the morning switching to light northwest winds by tomorrow afternoon. Normally surfline is somewhat inaccurate with there wind and air temp predictions. They are excellent with swell prediction. Do you think the offshores will last through the day tomorrow or will the sea breeze come back and cool things off?

        • Matt.B Salt Creek

          It was also overcast here last night. I am surprised that the marine layer got all the way to Orange though

        • Dan the Weatherman

          Thanks for the compliment! As far as temperatures tomorrow are concerned, I believe that areas closer to the coast and possibly your area will see cooler temperatures as the onshore flow kicks in tomorrow afternoon. Areas more inland such as where I live in Orange will likely be fairly warm tomorrow, but will be cooler by Wednesday.

  • DayHoe Herald

    Two friends of mine have lost their houses in Kenwood — hoping alanstorm is ok up north

    • alanstorm

      Hey thanks. Just got WiFi briefly in town. Cell towers burned up, so no network for most of the county.
      My mountain neighborhood (SW of Willits on the ridge) so far has been SPARED, power is out, most are evacuated or packed & ready.
      What happened? The big winds DIDNT materialize today!
      Unfortunately, 80+ homes destroyed nearby & 1 fatality.
      Redwood Fire Complex is visible from my lucky spot, with big occasional flare ups when big trees burn.
      Pic is when we left around 6am, pretty sure it would be consumed by that wall of red-yellow.
      Went around & said goodbye to the redwoods I planted 17 yrs ago, realising I valued those more than my assorted piles of stuff.
      My heart is really heavy for those parked in town with all their stuff. No answers for them, really no way to get info.
      So much tragedy since the Eclipse!

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d700e7ef587870e11806219376b5c90e62f4eb80237cd45be80afe72bb7ef5be.jpg

      • Huff (Anaheim Hills)

        Glad to hear that you are ok. I had a similar experience here in Anaheim Hills today. My street was spared but it was literally burning across the street. Just got a little lucky with wind direction. Fire is an awesome and scary thing.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          This was the scariest fire I have experienced in the 22 years of living in this location here in Orange. It was unbelievable how much this fire spread from the 241 / 91 interchange all the way down into Peters Canyon Regional Park. My area wasn’t under any evacuation, but the areas that were were close by. It is so fortunate that the wind died down when it did, or it could have been much worse.

          Right now the main portion of active fire appears to be confined east of the 241. The forecast is for the Santa Anas to come up again tomorrow morning, but not nearly as strong as they were today and completely die down by the early afternoon at the latest. Maybe the firefighters will get the upper hand on the active portion of the fire, or when the wind does come up, the fire will burn back upon itself and burn out.

          I am glad to hear your area didn’t suffer any damage!

          • alanstorm

            Close is too close!
            Really lucky, pretty sure I was toast for awhile. It burned our direction, all the way up the Willits grade to the base of our mtn, then shifted.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            You were very fortunate that the winds shifted before the fire reached your area!

        • alanstorm

          Thx. They had the Anaheim fire on TV a few hours ago

      • Craig Matthews

        I’m so glad to hear you are okay. When I got back to wifi and checked the satellite I saw the major smoke plumes nw of clear lake and thought oh no that’s your area! It’s like being in a nightmare going through that. I just hope the weather cooperates for a long enough time for the ff to get a good handle on these fires before the next wind events.

        • alanstorm

          I think it is, except now my wife informed me her friend in Fairfield just posted on FB that they are evacuating from the Atlas Fire

  • Brad Broadbeck

    So last night at 4 am the fire alarm went off in my house in concord…. we are over 50 miles away from Napa… crazy

    • AntiochWx

      Any other cases? That is impressive if true.

  • weathergeek100

    How is it that there’s still zero % containment in the fires?? They started last night and have been going all day. I know the winds are a problem but you’d think that maybe there would be a few percent of containment? I don’t know much about firefighting but I’d guess they’d be….uhhh, fighting it all day. Is it that their spread is exceeding the amount that a firefighter can put out over a period of time? What am I missing here?

    • Nathan

      I think it’s more just that “containment” is kind of meaningless in an urban setting. I think it’s a term for when a fire is formally mapped and lines are set around a perimeter. Since these fires moved so fast as to outrun any mapping (and certainly most firefighting efforts), FF’s are focused on lifesaving ops and putting out critical structure fires before concerning themselves with putting numbers to percentage containment. Just my 2c.

      • Admode (Susanville)

        Also fires that are driven by wind are very hard to contain directly. Desert fires are a good example of that. Sometimes fighting fire means watching it, seeing where it’s going and waiting for an opportunity to strike. Access to them might be restricted too due to terrain, etc.

    • Admode (Susanville)

      3 words: Rate of spread.

    • thebigweasel

      They spread with fantastic speed between the initial outbreak at 10pm, and by dawn, when they were already 55,000 acres. Worse, the winds changed direction constantly, fanning the flames in all directions.
      The winds have let up, resources are pouring in, and firefighters, who had been rescuing those stranded in evacuation zones now have the luxury of being able to fight the fires.

  • weathergeek100
  • Matt.B Salt Creek

    Hey everyone I’m a huge fan of weatherwest. I served in Iraq, Afghanistan, And in Africa in the 75th Rangers. Im planning on applying for Cal Fire when the application process opens for the 2018 fire season. my main question is if anyone knows of any ways i can volunteer to fight the current fires? going on all over the state. I especially feel guilty Being a life long surfer for 28 of my 31 years I always pray for Santa Anas because offshore winds makes surfing so much better compared to Californias prevailing Northwest sea breeze. I remember getting great waves in San Diego during the 07 fire and again today I was reminded of that. Then I get done surfing and see the destruction caused. I would like to help in any way possible and i have some fire training from the military. If anyone knows of anything I can do to help before the fire season is over I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for such a awesome site. I have followed this site since 2013 and i get better info on here than the surfline site for helping me choose where I want to surf, approaching storms, epac hurricanes, and SST (by the way mid Oct and the water temp is 70 degrees in OC). More importantly my thoughts and prayers go out to all those being affected by the current fires.

    • Craig Matthews

      Thank you for your service already. I think you are going to be a great firefighter when you get hired. For now the best way to support the firefighters and the people who have been affected by these fires is to find a way to donate. There are going to be sights on the internet where you can donate. I don’t have the sights offhand at the moment but I am sure someone on the blog here would know.

      • Matt.B Salt Creek

        Craig and Crashing you are both exactly right. The best thing I can do now would be to donate some money to a good charity. And your right about the training my military background was combat support for Delta Force, Seals, and even Recon Marines when I went to Afhghanistan after the Recon became part of JSOC. Prior to that we were in Fallujah just busting in doors with other Army and Marine units. So not much fire experience other then stuff blowing up.I would love to be a smoke jumper because I had to pass airborne school before Ranger testing. So I do have airborne experience, as well as fire fighting experience(not wildfire experience) and medical training. I read the qualifications on the Cal Fire web site for the entry level firefighter 1 position basically you just need to be in shape, pass a drug test , and some sort of aptitude test. The application period is between Nov 1st and 30th. If I get hired then I assume I would have classes and training between December and May or whenever the fire season starts. So I’m definitely going to do that. I will also find a wildfire/forestry class at Miramar junior college to maybe get a leg up on other applicants even though I wouldn’t be done with the class when I apply for the job. it might look good that I’m taking some initiative. If I do get the job I will do the emt classes so I can hopefully make myself more valuable to Cal Fire. I appreciate your guys help. I have really been missing the adrenaline rush and feeling like I’m doing something good. Right now I am a journeyman carpenter in the union but work has been slow. Thanks again guys.

        • Craig Matthews

          Wow. You are bad arse seriously! I have 2 bros who are smoke jumpers in Alaska and both had a military background much like yours. If you have maintained your shape, you should have no problem though keep in mind their training is tough. It would also be very helpful to take those classes you mentioned like wildland firefighter and forestry classes. But the experience you had in the military will be your big foot in the door as it was for my bros. welcome to the blog, hope you stick around.

          • Matt.B Salt Creek

            It’s actually funny for me to be talking to you guys because I have been reading weatherwest religiously since 2013 when I stumbled upon it by accident. I pretty much only read the comments on here too I was just always a bit intimidated to make a account and talk to you guys. I thought I knew everything about the weather till I read the comments on here it was quite humbling but I have learned tons from everyone. I specifically remember when the remnants of hurricane Dolores came though So Cal and being called out of the water by the lifeguards because of the lightning and then seeing some amazing pictures posted on here. I’m glad I finally made a comment and i won’t be a stranger. You guys can consider me your SST expert haha

        • RanDog

          It’s a little harder to get on as a smokejumper without a few seasons worth of experience. But you should be able to get on with the Hotshot crew if you select multiple locations

          • Matt.B Salt Creek

            Thats exactly what I was thinking too that’s why I’m just going to start at the bottom and after a few years try and become a smoke jumper. Before I became a Ranger my goal was just to get into a Army Airborne division like the 101st. So I did pass airborne school and then they let you sign up for ranger testing and if you pass that you will either get deployed or go to the Ranger Academy in Fort Benning Georgia. I honestly just wanted to be in any airborne division when I enlisted and had no intention to become a Ranger lol. I’m 31 now and i just hope my body holds up to still want to jump when I’m 35 if not I have no problem just being on a ground crew.

    • Hey man I know how you feel, you want to serve but you aren’t allocated, felt the same way with Maria and Irma as I’m waiting to hear back from FEMA. My brother is trying to do exactly what you’re doing and he’s had a similarly hard time. The pipeline for getting into fire is way longer than any shore line pipelines you will ever find sadly – I am getting the impression it’s in vogue now. I wish you the best, you might be able to find out if your local agency needs volunteers however short of apocalypse I don’t think they will let you close to lead Pulaski – do you have any ems or medical training? That will get their attention, lots of people be hurt from this incident. I work with a SAR agency and we have a fairly short lead in time for a committed individual however we chiefly fly, and not for USFS/Calfire, so I don’t think you would be very interested in our services.

      • Matt.B Salt Creek

        I might take you up the beer lol. Do you guys fly to drop water or fire retardant? Or drop in smoke jumpers. I’m not familiar with what a SAR agency is

        • We fly search and rescue – I did missions on the Valley and Butte fire last year, but they were photo intelligence missions, we don’t drop people or anything larger than 5lbs, although I wish we did 🙂
          We chiefly look for missing aircraft+people, and a number of other missions pertinent to FEMA, USAF, DHS, and others.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Wow, what a selfless post and thank you for your service, I am in the middle of trying to join the service as we speak & I am also looking into wildland firefighting when & if I get out (if all goes planned accordingly). Growing up with my firefighting family it has been a privilege to know what I already know, and I look forward to using those tools along with my own knowledge of weather for the California fire defense as well. I hope to see you on the lines one day and hats off to you good sir.

      • Matt.B Salt Creek

        Thats awesome. That would be ironic if we ended up working together. Best of luck to you.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          We could talk up a storm if we ever do, Godspeed on your journey through the process!

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      Taking any fire related classes is a plus. Stop by your nearest Calfire station when you see them there and bend some of the crews ears and see how they got in. I spent 31 years in the fire service and sat on a few interview panels and those who took the initiative to get more fire related education definitely moved closer to the top. And if you get to a interview, definitely go by the station and do a mock oral…they are usually tougher on you than the actual interview !!
      Think about finding a Firefighter 1 Academy in the area as well…that would be a big plus.
      Good luck. I have some friends with Calfire and I’ll see if I can find out anything else that might help you.

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        Great advice!

      • Matt.B Salt Creek

        You just answered my question I asked above about going in person. Thank you for your years of service. If you dont mind I might bug you with some questions after I go to Fresno to apply in November

    • RanDog

      There is also federal fire fighting such the Forest Service. Veterans preference in hiring is definitely a benefit for you

      • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

        This^.

      • Matt.B Salt Creek

        Thank you

    • Arnold Weather Fanatic

      Good luck, Matt. I noticed the Cal Fire guys and gals jogging by our house yesterday for their daily PT. Get in shape while you are preparing for your new career. 🙂 .

      • Matt.B Salt Creek

        Thank you. Being in good shape is the only thing I don’t have to worry about. It’s all the bureaucratic red tape that worries me. If something disqualifies me this year I will just find out what it is and take whatever classes I need to. Then try again the next year. I’m just incredibly bored with my current tilt up wall construction jobs. I really miss the adrenaline from being in the military. If I didn’t have a baby boy on the way i would even contemplate reenlisting. Lol

    • Admode (Susanville)

      Your first step would be taking basic 32 which you can do through an agency if they pick you up, or through most community colleges. This is the theoretical end of the fire season, so finding this class this time of year would be tough. Once you have that class under your belt you will only need to take the refresher class and pack test yearly. Basic 32 is a 32 hour class. The annual refresher is usually 8ish hours. The pack test is 3 miles with a 45 lb vest and has to be done under 45 min. The Forest Service hiring process is dumb, and you have to apply during an open period called fire hire, which is usually around spring time. Have you created an account on USA Jobs? That is where you apply for fed jobs. I’m not sure about Calfire. If you need any help creating a profile or would like to talk to any forest service fire fighter let me know.

      • Matt.B Salt Creek

        Yea I did create my profile/ resume with USA jobs. It was incredibly annoying lol but that’s how the world is now a days. I really appreciate the info thank you. Do you recommend I try to take the basic32 before I apply with cal fire if I can? Since the hiring period is only open the month of November. Also on the Cal Fire web site they say you can turn in your application online or go to the main office in Fresno and apply in person. I have been planning on just making the drive up to Fresno because I have never had much luck with online applications even though I have a honorable discharge, silver star, and did my 4 year apprenticeship in the carpenter’s union it’s seems like I’m just a number online. For example I have never gotten a job in the union by just calling or filling out a online app for the company I go to the union hall and get a current job list and show up before work and talk to the Foreman or superintendent on the job. I’m hoping it will be similar with Cal Fire if I show up in person shake some hands maybe it will give me a edge on someone who just fills out the online app. I know if I were looking for employees I would prefer seeing someone in good shape and some initiative as opposed to just a name on the computer.

        • Admode (Susanville)

          Yes, as with everything else contracted out by the federal gov USA jobs got the low bid contract for our hiring system so it pretty much sucks. It has gotten better than it used to be though. I would take basic 32 as soon as possible. If you take it at a college you will have to enroll, even just for the one week long class, which is a hassle but you need it. You will never have to take it again unless you have any 3 year period where you let your red card lapse. I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to introduce yourself. I don’t know anything about Calfire’s hiring (only forest service) but they do emphasize image. I think it’s a smart idea to show your face. With forest service hiring it’s just about impossible to ever show your face, but I always still recommend that people do because you never know.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Type 2 hand crew is the best way in.

    • Cap’n

      Great post and thank you. The replies below are informative. Lifelong Creek surfer? I had some good sessions there many moons ago.

      • Matt.B Salt Creek

        I was actually a lifelong ocean beach surfer but made lots of summer camping trips to San Clemente as a kid with my family and friends. To me as kid coming from the freezing cold water and constant SF fog. I thought So Cal was Hawaii haha. I couldn’t believe there were actually girls in bikinis at the beach. Any ways after the service I split time between Baja Sur and San Diego. Baja in the winter and San Diego in the summers. Then I met my current fiancee and settled down in Laguna Niguel so Salt creek has just been my local beach since 2013. November 1st I’m moving back to San Diego. I will miss surfing Creek, lower trestles, and cotton point the most. But it’s only a hour drive with no traffic so i will be back up during the South swells.

    • CHeden

      Great vibe from your post, and one I (in addition to many other WW’ers apparently) share!
      I strongly suggest you (and others) consider something that may have more of a direct impact on you and your family and friends: Become/participate as a Neighborhood Disaster Coordinator (or similar acronym) or as a Volunteer Emergency Response Team member.
      Here is a pamphlet explaining the various programs available in the Peninsula to give you an idea.
      http://www.ca-ilg.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/emergency_preparedness_report_final_4-23-09.pdf
      Following the Linda Mar flood in ’82, I signed up, got some training, and became a communications focal point between my neighborhood and the authorities (plus media) in cases of threats to life and property. Part of the job was to develop a reliable communication network for my immediate area (and from the experiences others have written about, cell contact is not assured). You additionally help with disaster preparedness planning and possible execution of the various disaster plan(s)-depending on the emergency.
      In my area for instance, we were a few feet below sea level, and being adjacent to the ocean, flooding was always a possibility..whether by precipitation or tsunami. For example, we identified several boats/canoes within Pacifica that were made accessible by their owners should a mass evacuation become necessary (there’s now been four? flooding events down there). Another example was we also set up volunteer patrol teams to monitor for possible looters and how they can alert/advise the authorities…which we actually activated during a 36hr power failure.
      Lastly, you are/can be put in contact with other emergency agencies to find out exactly what resources and support is needed, and how your neighborhood network can assist.
      I cannot stress enough how important a local disaster program/preparedness plan is… considering that here in California we live with not only fires, but earthquakes, tsunami, floods, long-term facility failures/blackout and extreme weather events on a near everyday basis, the biggest bang for the buck is to work at the local level, and use that experience to identify how best to assist in what’s needed at the time.

    • Huff (Anaheim Hills)

      Welcome to the blog. Good group of people and an informative and sharing atmosphere. Glad to have another surfer / OC weather rat here. Thank you for your service.

    • Phil Johnson

      As an AF vet, I salute you, sir. Your volunteerism is outstanding. I live in Boulder Creek, and am unashamedly using your message to reply to the site, as it won’t, for some obscure reason, allow me to sign in under my account address. I am also following up on your message to say that our neck of the woods (NE of Santa Cruz) has an ongoing fire that has been with us for five days now; 900 firefighters are tackling a 330-acre blaze that is about 15% contained in steep terrain; six men have been injured already. A good sign is that we got about .35″ last night because of the SCz mountain ranges. Thanks again for your service in these days of off-putting conversational pique emanating from the top and the MSM.

  • jstrahl

    Death toll is at 10 — 7 in Sonoma County, 2 in Napa, 1 in Mendocino. Fire called one of five worst in state history.

    • Bringing supplies to Sonoma tomorrow morning, the latest news of 100 missing is truly worrisome – how many of those missing were sleeping and didn’t wake up because of the immense smoke and late night hours of fire activity, truly sobering moment for the potential future of our state, this came at the worst time possible, and from preventable causes.

      Is there a discussion that can be had? I would assume it is too expensive to bury all transmission lines, but is there a better way forward here?

      • Craig Matthews

        5 years of drought then a heavy winter caused a lot of stress on trees among many other things across the state this last year and imo more workers should have been brought in to help with the maintenance because this was going to happen at some point. Preventative measures could have been done just by limbing trees that were threatening power lines, along with better clearance and maintenance around power poles. We practically had to pull the county’s teeth to get them to come out and limb a tree that was threatening a power line where we live. It took them 6 months to take action, and the day before the county came out, a limb resting on the power line and was causing the lines to spark so we called it in as a fire just to get the ball rolling, and it was 108 that day. I don’t know the cause of all these fires but seams at least some of them could have been prevented with proper maintenance of surrounding hazard trees that were threatening the power lines along with proper clearance around power poles. But I think there are more ways like what you are talking about that would be better as far as preventing these fires because if you think about it we’re saving lives and that is much more important than the almighty dollar.

        • CHeden

          I think prudent power line maintenance is a good preparedness measure, for sure. But the wipeout of whole neighborhoods in Santa Rosa were from an extraordinary weather event which helped drive what essentially was an urban fire-storm…and not something we haven’t seen since the Oakland Hills disaster.
          Not much (IMHO) could have prevented the fire-storm given the flat terrain and lack of continuous vegetation (other than
          not building there in the beginning).

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            Last nite, Bill Martin on KTVU said it was incredibly windy Sunday night in the Napa area. And once the fire got going, it contributed its own energy to the mix. Hell on earth…. So f’in sad!

          • Craig Matthews

            Absolutely. Once those fires were started, the conditions were ripe for a firestorm. What I am talking about is preventing the ignition of some, of these fires by creating better clearance around power lines, by cutting out hazard trees and limbs that are a threat to the power lines.

          • Nathan

            Another interesting thing to me, and I’m not really sure what to make of it, just an observation, is that if you look at the “after” photos of the Santa Rosa neighborhoods, the houses are reduced to ash, but most of the neighborhood trees are standing! Speaks to the unbelievable flammability of homes under the right set of conditions.

          • Pfirman

            Lower flash point?

          • alanstorm

            Saw that too. Maybe the ember-blast comes in at ground level & gets under wooden porches, flammable junk piled around houses.
            I think those are redwoods in that neighborhood, not nearly as flammable as pine or fir

      • Bombillo1

        Reason # 1001 for everyone to be self sufficient electricity-wise. The next gen batteries and perovskites solar panel will do it. Good for carbon issue, less susceptible to system wide failures, purge the hegemony of PG&E Saudi Arabia Venezuela et al, no more transmission lines. All out assault on this solves a number of problems, puts us on the path of sustainability. Nah, when’s that next rate increase from PG&E?

        • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

          Yep. The “grid” is just an archaic system of control. Plenty of technologies to have every household self contained. Freedom from corporate utilities (water, electricity, gas) should be a right to every American. But unfortunately the same companies former CEOs are in many government positions…

      • alanstorm

        I was farting around on this blog when someone posted about a fire. That sent me checking fire info, then heard about evacuations in Lake Co.
        I posted a comment when the phone network died.
        That got me thinking: because the big tower complex that controls the area is fairly close, maybe there was a fire in my area.
        Oh crap!
        Went outside, was greeted by smoke & ash. Then the freak-out phase of going up to the top of the property seeing the red glow over the next ridge.
        Having no internet or phone meant absolutely no warning for residents, so I admit I was frozen with a bit of disbelief of what to do, sitting in my car watching that glow increase, muttering “oh shit”over & over.
        Everyone in the 20-30 homes on my ridge were asleep.
        What set me into motion was seeing someone driving up & down the road on an adjacent ridge, honking & blinking his lights.
        That’s when I pretty well gave in to the realisation it was coming, & took off stockcar style to load cats & valuables, then off to neighbors to beat on doors.
        Fortunately, enough of a wind shift around 4am spared us.
        Point being, when the networks go down, there is virtually no way to warn residents, especially that late at night.
        Also, checking the WW blog regularly is good weather safety

        • DayHoe Herald

          That’s an important story all the way around — and glad you got bonus of a non-destructive ending.

        • Jason Jackson Willamette

          A good man never truly sleeps. Bless you Alan, glad you were spared!

        • Craig Matthews

          What a nightmare. So glad you made it through. We have a network of folks with Wilkie talkies throughout the cachagua valley and down in big sur that worked well for communication during the wildfires here. Even with the rugged terrain in the area. Might work for communication in your rural area.

          • alanstorm

            Great suggestion. I’m going to propose that at the next road association meeting

          • Craig Matthews

            We were fortunate to have them donated. Because the radios are very expensive. I would seriously consider them.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          That’s as bad as it gets man, glad you guys were spared, I was trying to tell people that down here in SoCal, because there was conflicting reports that authorities were not conveying the messages correctly. Loads of BS because I know they sure as hell were :(. Tough situation and still keeping in contact with friends up there who are still near evacs at the moment and possibly have to leave again.

    • alanstorm

      2 confirmed fatalities by sheriff in Mendocino Co now.
      100 missing person reports in SR, (some could be duplicates).

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • Rainmaker (San Jose)

      the big one, it is coming

  • Cap’n

    At least its Something to keep an eye on…

    For the end of next week, GFS and EC are showing a potent system for
    the Pacific Northwest which would bring at least gusty winds to the
    area. The ensembles are in good support so this system is high
    confidence for a 9-10 day forecast. That said, there is the
    possibility it could drop a little further south and bring some
    rain/snowfall as far south as I-80. The latest EC hints at this, but
    it`s too far out to get into the details just yet. Wallmann

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Please!!! We need rain bad. The smoke is back with a vengeance this morning in the east bay hills. I can’t even imagine how awful it must be for those in the thick of it.

      It that low comes in with strong wind but no rain, not good.

      • B_R

        The purpleair.org readings for the East Bay and SF are bad right now — are others in the East Bay also noticing worse air than yesterday? It seemed better late last night but looks like the wind changed? Any idea of what we’re in for over the day today?

        • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

          Yesi it is absolutley brutal…Orinda was awful, SF just as bad. I can barkely see the bay bridge from the office and its about 500 ft away! I have posted picutres of it here before, and usually its amazingly clear and beautiful.

      • Cap’n

        That’s what I was thinking, if it’s another brush-by just to the north the winds could be bad.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Getting rainfall in October is a very iffy proposition I am afraid.

        • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

          Not in Nor Cal, from about the bay area north, its pretty usual to get at least something in OCt. Defintely by the end of the month / halloween I recall it usually rains on or around then.

          So cal is different of course.

          • Bombillo1

            It is quite normal for us to get 3/4 inch in September and at least 2 systems at 1″ each for October. 55 mi N. of Redding, 2500′. I’m not liking the looks of our Fall set-up at all. Average annual 70+ here.

        • RunningSprings6250

          Average is one storm, kinda average is no storms or two storms…

          …3 storms or negative storms is almost unheard of…. nothing like getting precip sucked right out of ya…

          • Cap’n

            The negative storms are nuts, I think I saw a special about them on the Weather Channel.

    • Bombillo1

      WU has us getting close to an inch starting the 18th. Crescent City is the real sentry and should be first, then us then maybe Rag Dump. However, I have seen 2 of these disappear in the past 3 weeks.

      • jstrahl

        “Us” being NorCal? Tahoe?

        • Pfirman

          Pitt River.

        • Bombillo1

          About 55 mi N of Redding, on the run up to Mt. Shasta. 2500′

  • V-Ville

    Smoke so thick in Vacaville I can’t see the Nut Tree airport but it sounds like helicopters are taking off. Was concerned they would be grounded by smoke.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Listening to radio traffic last night many of the “heavy” copters were sent to the nut tree airport last night. The VLAT were sent back to McCellan in Sac. I am sure by now the air show has begun again.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Northern California is especially sad. I have family in Chico; grandparents buried in Napa. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/db7f28851d356bd707a85dbae4972442c371041eed9f2e4494cab4920e08b33f.jpg

    • Fairweathercactus

      That fall weather everyone loves is right on time.

  • jstrahl

    Some info i got from a friend’s FB page, reposting per her request.

    COMCAST has removed all restrictions and opened their wifi for all to communicate.

    Login as Guest – will be reassessed on Friday!

    Napa – Sonoma County Fires

    Use this to make wifi calls and posts if you have no cell service.

    Queen of the Valley hospital in Napa is trying to reach all on call physicians and nurses. Just saw a notice on the news due to the cell service being down. Landline for the Queen is 707-252-4411 ext:2911. Also, get up to date info by texting 888-777 and put in the relevant zip code for the sheriff info. It is really helpful, will tell the evacuations and road closures and more.

    Can everyone share on their page by copying and pasting?

  • CHeden

    @MattB’s post below….
    Great vibe from your post, and one I (in addition to many other WW’ers apparently) share!
    I strongly suggest you (and others) consider something that may have more of a direct impact on you and your family and friends: Become/participate as a Neighborhood Disaster Coordinator (or similar acronym) or as a Volunteer Emergency Response Team member.
    Here is a pamphlet explaining the various programs available in the Peninsula to give you an idea.
    http://www.ca-ilg.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/emergency_preparedness_report_final_4-23-09.pdf
    Following the Linda Mar flood in ’82, I signed up, got some training, and became a communications focal point between my neighborhood and the authorities (plus media) in cases of threats to life and property. Part of the job was to develop a reliable communication network for my immediate area (and from the experiences others have written about, cell contact is not assured). You additionally help with disaster preparedness planning and possible execution of the various disaster plan(s)-depending on the emergency.
    In my area for instance, we were a few feet below sea level, and being adjacent to the ocean, flooding was always a possibility..whether by precipitation or tsunami. For example, we identified several boats/canoes within Pacifica that were made accessible by their owners should a mass evacuation become necessary (there’s now been four? flooding events down there). Another example was we also set up volunteer patrol teams to monitor for possible looters and how they can alert/advise the authorities…which we actually activated during a 36hr power failure.
    Lastly, you are/can be put in contact with other emergency agencies to find out exactly what resources and support is needed, and how your neighborhood network can assist.
    I cannot stress enough how important a local disaster program/preparedness plan is… considering that here in California we live with not only fires, but earthquakes, tsunami, floods, long-term facility failures/blackout and extreme weather events on a near everyday basis, the biggest bang for the buck is to work at the local level, and use that experience to identify how best to assist in what’s needed at the time.

    • Matt.B Salt Creek

      Thank you for the info. That’s a great idea. I’m currently getting ready to move to San Diego where I just bought my first home in between Pacific beach and LA Jolla. My fiancee and I are excepting our first kid in February(It’s a boy!!). So I definitely want to be involved with everything in my neighborhood from neighborhood watch to disaster prepardness program. Thank you for the info. I will also do what I can to get on with Cal Fire starting in November or possibly some of the other wildfire crews.

      • CHeden

        Congratulations on your Family! Certainly something worth protecting, fer sure.
        Good luck in whichever route you choose. We need more people like you in these times of extremes and the other tantrums of Mother Nature.

    • Matt.B Salt Creek

      Btw I was born and raised in San Francisco and actually surfed my first waves in Pacifica at Linda Mar when I was 3 years old because Ocean Beach was too rough for a kid. Although we always called Linda Mar “Pedro’s” I don’t know why. It’s funny because both my Dad and Grandfather are surfers too although my grandfather has now passed but they always talked about the giant waves during El Nino in 82. My Dad apparently snuck out on to the Sharp Park Pier during a massive swell and said he thought the pier was gonna go down. I wasnt born yet so my big El Nino was 97 I rember going to surf in Santa Cruz at cowells cove because the waves were so big everywhere else and seeing 20ft waves along the coast highway at places id never even seen waves before. even at cowells cove it was to big to surf but i tried and got ripped all the way to the pier and smashed into the pillions haha i was only 11 at the time but still remember it like it was yesterday.

      • CHeden

        The locals call it “Pedro” due to it’s next to Pedro Point.
        Linda Mar is actually the old name for one of the small bergs that preceded the time before Pacifica incorporated in 1957. Same for Vallemar, Sharp Park, Manor and Rockaway. Once the state made it a state beach, it “officially” became Linda Mar….but to the locals it will always be Pedro.

        • Matt.B Salt Creek

          Good to know I have always been calling it the real name haha. Once I got older a became a better all around waterman Rockaway became my go to spot on rainy days in the winter when the South winds would wreck the surf at Ocean Beach it was perfect for Rockaway and Pedro’s.

  • CHeden

    Back in Cottonwood from my whirlwind (no pun intended) trip down to the Bay Area. As I was writing about before I left on Saturday (before the fires started), I caught up with the heaviest winds just south of Corning and rode them all the way down I-5 buried in what seemed like a Haboob from all the blowing dust/dirt coming off the farmlands. At times, visibility was down to less than 1/4 mile with 40+ mph winds. Definitely a knuckle-buster watching the big-rigs getting buffeted across lanes with cars whizzing by. Not very smart. Interesting that ca 505 and the 680 extension was not that bad, as the hills were blocking the winds at the surface. On the ridges though, it was obviously a different story.
    This morning, the wind shift has produced a mostly overcast sky under heavy smoke around 8-10K’, so here at the surface the smoke isn’t that bad (fortunately).
    Also, like much of NorCal, temps have plummeted, and we’re now only 58F @ 1100 a.m…..which is 15 degrees cooler than when I left Saturday morning at 0900.

    • Craig Matthews

      Glad you made it safely. Nothing like having to dodge fishtailing big rigs down 5 but even worse the speedy nut jobs flying down the middle to keep ya wide awake

      • CHeden

        Exactly.
        Like the black BMW with tinted windows doing 85 and seats all the way back…..and green smoke coming out the rear.

        • Craig Matthews

          Hey, So you’ve seen that guy too, lol

          • CHeden

            Ya, he gets around.

  • Hollow Scene (Riverside)
    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Wow… so odd to see the trees still green.

      The speed this must have come through must have been terrifying. People did not have any time to water down their roofs or do anything to help slow the blaze.

    • CHeden

      It’s being characterized as an “urban fire-storm”. Almost unheard of in California (or elsewhere, for that matter).

      • Pfirman

        One fairly recent instance is the firestorm that burnt out a good portion of Weed. That was the shot across the bow for a new dangerous form of fire where a fire blows into a town and really takes off.

        • CHeden

          Good point….but that was a bit different.
          The firestorm that hit this subdivision didn’t have a forest to help fuel it. Seems like it was entirely self-sustaining. The only other example I can think of may be the Oakland Hills firestorm?

          • Pfirman

            I don’t know that there were that many trees from the pictures I remember, so maybe we should both look more closely. It definitely was on a smaller scale, but it is a smaller town, much smaller. It is the paradigm I am after.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        They really had it right when they were saying early on it was going to be like the ’03 & ’07 fires. Absolutely destructive part of mother nature taking back what’s hers.

  • Fairweathercactus

    The GFS shows nearly zero help today for most of the state. It has even been trending with another ridge in the long range.

  • AntiochWx

    Ok, quick precip chance map for the next 2 weeks. If we don’t get any precip with these next couple of cold lows, it may be a little while longer until we get much of anything. Dark blue has the greatest chance, Light blue marginal chance, and everyone else is looking at a long shot. Hang in there WW crew. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c1915bfd4dfc3d4dae872a2258858477a24d29527a0af6da62c8279e0712a3ee.png

    • Fairweathercactus

      That map is looking way to patriotic for these California moonbeans.

      • AntiochWx

        Don’t want to be in the redzone, looking fairly bleak for sometime.

  • CHeden

    As expected, blocking continues in the EPac with all appreciable energy being directed into B.C.
    However, changes are afoot, as the block appears to be weakening a bit, as the northern ridge start is starting to erode.
    This will usher in a more zonal flow as the high continues to flatten, and a powerful NPac jet sets up. Here’s the 300mb wind forecast in about 10 days…however keep in mind the jet would already have been in place for several days beforehand. There is some suggestion of a trough driving down off the coast in about 8 days with good jet support/forcing, but how much moisture will be carried east in the middle layers is still quite uncertain ATTM. I think once the jet more firmly takes hold, our rain chances will improve….but that could change to an earlier precip onset should the jet sag a bit further south, with EPac high pressure getting squashed to south of ~37N. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/82ef02640f92c7352dcbfb44f42de3c586daaf866127cacb7de363929fd30d53.gif

    • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

      Looks promising. Hoping some of that rain gets to Northern California. Santa Rosa and other communities need it badly more than the Central Coast does.

    • CHeden

      Here’s the possible trough that will be preceding the consolidated jet. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f7ffb5a13ace58155ac537096f699ea4ebe8795adfceffaa1507d2e76e925df1.gif

      • tomocean

        It seems like we’ve had an extended period of ridiculously low humidity this fall. It seems more extreme than most years…or am I wrong? Would this be because of the consistent offshore winds? Or simply because we’re at a time of year when the landscape is parched?

        • AntiochWx

          The record warm summer didn’t help, plus a very dry atmospheric pattern, where DPs have been quite low.

          • tomocean

            That’s a good point. The summer heat seems like it certainly would have had an impact.

        • CHeden

          The dryness is due to continental air drying out as it downslopes off the Great Basin…and goes hand-in-hand with the typical offshore (Indian Summer) weather we usually get in Sept./October. IMHO, I think it just seems drier than recent years because the offshore(s) events have been rather limited as compared to “normal” years, which we seem to be currently experiencing.

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            Agreeing with you on this one. Great points!

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I hope Socal can get in on some of this rain if and when the pattern changes.

  • Chris

    I have a comment and I’d like anyone’s input on this.
    Agree or disagree;

    “They” say we were in a FIVE year drought. (2011/12-2015/16)

    I say it was a four year drought measured differently by these two examples;

    The vegetation was in a FOUR year drought from 2011/12-2014/15.
    There was near to above rainfall in the Bay Area in 2015-2016 especially in the spring. Moisture was plentiful for vegetation that year going into summer.

    Water supply was also in a FOUR year drought but this time (IMO) from 2012/13-2015/16.
    There was plenty of water underground and in the reservoirs (and even left over snow in the Sierras!) in 2011-2012 that there was no water restrictions in the summer of 2012.
    As mentioned above, precipitation was near or above average in 2015/16 but not enough to restore water supply.

    I’ve just been hearing so much on the news that we’ve suffered through a FIVE year drought especially in reference to the north bay fires.

    I just disagree.

    Any thoughts on this?

    • BRP (Ventura)

      I’m with you Chris, your date calculations of our recent years of drought are on point. Winter of 2010/2011 was excellent state wide. But starting in October 2012 and lasting until October 2016, we here in VTA Country never made it above 60% of normal precip. In my humble opinion, the “media” saying FIVE years of drought, is just a nice simple “big” number to use in describing our drought. The masses are not geeks like us here on WW…..

      • Chris

        Agree! And I would say so cal is the exception to what I wrote above.
        They had 5 years of Real drought.

    • Shane Ritter

      I’d fully agree. It was a very severe 4 tear drought tho. But I’d say the 5 year line starts at central California south.

      • Chris

        Agree

    • Craig Matthews

      In the North Bay was 4 year drought. On the coast it was a 5 year drought south of Monterey, as 2011-12 thru 2015-16 were dryer than average winters.

      • Chris

        Agree!

      • CHeden

        ’15-’16 was above average for the north state and northern Sierra. Not so for Cent and SoCal, though. That means we only had 4 years below normal up here…so it is a matter of location as to how long the drought really was.

        • Craig Matthews

          Agree as well.

    • Pfirman

      What’s a year among friends?

      • RunningSprings6250

        Touché

    • Patrick from Stockton

      I totally agree with you here

    • Tuolumne

      I’m tempted to agree but in the end I have to differ. The four years of precipitation drought were so severe (including in part greater moisture loss due to high temperatures) that soil moisture and the shallow aquifers that feed surface streams were still somewhat depleted in my area after the 2015-16 winter.

      During the 2015-16 winter there were lots of reports of streams going dry fairly quickly after rains stopped, when in the past they would have kept flowing a lot longer. Vegetation partly bounced back, but we didn’t really return to normal overall.

      It took the 2016-17 winter to really make up for the drought, with the exception of the deeper aquifers that are drained by wells and which may never recover in some cases.

      This description is for most of the Bay Area and probably a lot of other areas between the far north and the southern half of the state. The central coast southward was drier and the north coast wetter, so conditions in those areas surely varied a lot.

      One other thing worth noting is the highly unusual nature of the 2014-15 winter. Total precipitation in a lot of places wasn’t all that bad and might lead the casual observer to think it was an almost normal winter. However, between rain and almost no snow, the rain coming mostly in only a few days over the winter, dry/sunny/low humidity weather during almost all winter days, and winter temperatures 6 degrees above normal, it was a very poor winter. Only the north coast and far northwest of the state made good headway against the drought.

      • Chris

        Excellent points!
        I think what makes vegaation suffer the most in the summer is how wet the soils are in the spring.
        We had a super wet December in 2014.
        Even if that December alone was far greater than the annual precipitation, the dry January onward would have dried out the vegetation prematurely.
        Case in point in during the floods of 1997.
        February onward was bone dry. Hills were brown by mid March.
        Tree rings would show that to be a dry year.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Crazy scary story from the SF Chronicle about Barry Bonds and other athletes evacuating from the fire zone.
    https://twitter.com/susanslusser/status/917623080826028032

  • Thunderstorm

    Infrared satellite shows 2 hot spots probably on the Tubbs fire. Visible satellite shows 2 plumes also headed to the NW. More winds due from the north tonight and Thursday night from the NWS forecast. Thursday the strongest with possible warnings again.

    So whats causing this localized weather? Tahoe got crazy weather this summer. Is there something going on in the upper atmosphere everyone is missing? Is cold air dropping down somehow causing this?

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    The latest 8-14 day forecast looks good for West Coasters. After the heat wave at the end of the seven day outlook, October 17-23 shows cooler than average and wetter than average for much of the Northwest/NorCal.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      After the offshore flow events this week and all the fires that occurred during this time, I would expect a change in the pattern within 1-2 weeks that would bring some rain to the region.

    • I’d think the record summer heat affected the vegetation moisture as well. Kinda surprised the record summer heat wasn’t mentioned as well as record or near record high MINIMUMS

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        I am sure that played a part for sure but like 91 Oakland Hills and 03 San Diego there was no stopping this freight train. Hot dry winds plus multiple starts and night flying restrictions made this an impossible fight. Seeing homes made of stucco and clay tile roofs go up in flames within minutes showed these fires intense heat. When big box stores explode in flames and their sprinklers are of little help you know this thing is in control.

        If it hade been daytime it’d help to have retardant and water drops to direct the fire but even that I don’t think would have helped a lot.

        • Jim (Watsonville)

          Likely not…they might have been grounded due to winds anyway…

  • Cap’n

    Definitely windier today here in the mountains, hope that isn’t happening down in the fire areas as well.

    • alanstorm

      Yep. Getting some unwelcome wind here in Willits.
      Was thinking of going back, but maybe I’ll stay evacuated.
      Will only get worse by the afternoon.
      Not good

      • Telegraph Hill

        Friend in Potter Valley lost her home already. Second friend is staying put and not evacuating just yet, but there’s only one road in and out of there.

        • alanstorm

          Geez.
          They finally opened 101 between Ukiah & Willits.
          I know of 2 different friends who lost homes, one in Potter Valley where it originated, & my brother in law’s brother in SR.
          Hopefully they are insured

        • inclinejj

          One of my brothers best friends, brother family lost their home in Santa Rosa. 2 minutes to gather everything up and cut and run. The whole neighborhood was an inferno as they were leaving.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Just a quick nite, we are far from done with these fires…Santa Rosa Pd s evacuating the Oakmont area currently. Here is the Red Flag for the North and East Bays…
    NWS SF Bay Area – 1114 AM PDT Tue Oct 10

    …RED FLAG WARNING FOR WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY
    AFTERNOON FOR NORTH AND EAST BAY HILLS/MOUNTAINS…

    .Increasing northerly winds and drying conditions are forecast to
    return to the region late Wednesday and persist through Thursday
    afternoon in wake of a weak, dry frontal passage. Low humidity and
    gusty northerly winds will combine with dry fuels to produce
    critical fire weather conditions, especially in higher elevations
    of the North and East Bay Hills/Mountains.
    HIGHEST THREAT…In the Napa County hills as well as around
    Mount Saint Helena and the hills of Marin around Mount
    Tamalpais.
    HIGHEST THREAT…Around Mount Diablo and the East Bay Hills
    between Interstate 880 and 680.

    • Thunderstorm

      Round No. 2

  • Cap’n
    • AlTahoe

      Winds have picked up here in Incline Village and the Temps have sky rocketed compared to the last few days. Hopefully those aren’t working down the mountain.

      • Cap’n

        Getting a little hazy/smoky here now too.

    • Thunderstorm

      Not a good sign if that is smoke. Looks like mammatus clouds. Pyro mammatus. Not a good sign for Wednesday night.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    There hasn’t been any wind except for a bit of a breeze today here in my part of Orange since the Santa Ana winds completely stopped just before sundown yesterday. It is still smoky in the area, but the visibility has improved quite a bit and can see the Santa Ana Mountains from here. I am not seeing any large smoke plumes anywhere right now. No more offshore winds are forecast for Socal at least until this weekend.

    It is now the matter of extinguishing the numerous hot spots, but it is looking 100% better than it did at this time yesterday.

    • Huff (Anaheim Hills)

      Certainly a much better scenario today vs yesterday. I didn’t have any SA wind here at all either. Some light onshore breeze from the west has cleared much of the smoke that was so heavy last night and this morning. Lots of smoldering hot spots near me off of Serrano with fire crews deployed and residents only allowed up most or all of Serrano. Fire crews and air crews did a hell of a job yesterday. My best to our Northern Cal friends and fire crews!

      • Dan the Weatherman

        It wasn’t very smoky here around midnight or so last night, but the smoke really increased around 2 a.m. or so and I could smell it in my house again like I did earlier in the day. The winds were still calm and temps were cool when the smoke increased, so it must have been a subtle shift in something that caused that to happen.

  • Jim (Watsonville)

    Listening to a online scanner for the Napa area fires, unfortunately fire activity is picking up pretty dramatically…with possible red flag warnings possible in the next couple days, I’m sure hoping they can gain some significant ground before then
    http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/20854/web

    • jstrahl

      DAMN!

  • Thunderstorm

    The fires are definitely hungry this afternoon big plumes visible on all fires as they move towards the NW.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Didn’t go on 101 today, 4 fires including the one in Santa Rosa that are very close to the highway, looks like their blowing up again today

  • TheNothing
    • Cap’n

      We’re only allowed to take the bipolar GFS seriously around here.

      • TheNothing

        I’ll take anything at this point, everything is crispy and covered in dust around here.

        • Cap’n

          I hear you. If that thing skirts to the north which it very well might and only delivers wind things will get uglier.

          • DayHoe Herald

            Breaking point

          • Pfirman

            Yep, red flag warnings starting midday tomorrow or so. I grew up in California from 4th. grade on and there were always fires, but never like this.

      • CHeden

        Schizo is more like it.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        And the CFS which I must add 🙂

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      You must have paid a lot of money for that graphic

      • Nate

        It’s free now:

        http://wx.graphics

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          No precip graphics though on that site!

  • CHeden

    SSW winds have come up in the North Valley within the last hour. The winds are light (so far), so the expected return of northerlies hasn’t reached here yet. Still mostly overcast with smoke/haze, with higher clouds drifting across from a dry front that’s just now pushing through.

  • matt

    welding &cutting building blew up. north of where i live Lancaster area. its already out.
    https://twitter.com/epn409/status/917900666013544449

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Something really flammable was in that building from the looks of that smoke. Good thing that the winds weren’t very strong, as the relatively vertical movement of the smoke indicated.

      • Nathan

        acetylene

    • RunningSprings6250

      Someone was breaking bad…

      • matthew

        Welding, cutting, cooking…

  • V-Ville

    We have some light ash falling in Vacaville

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Just came up 80 east, saw strike teams of engines heard WB including a team of engines from NV saw Reno and am NDF engine in the formation. The FFs that went on the initial attack have to be physically and mentally exhausted.

    • Cap’n

      Any news about a fire near GrassValley? I heard of homes lost?

  • RunningSprings6250

    The gap is closing!! Getting closer guys!!

    I think we’ll get our SoCal token Halloween storm we use to always get…Give or take a couple days. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cb2944b332e3192fa58263233140eda6b22f9cd2b1da4f5a313cea04b5eb29d0.png

    • jstrahl

      I wonder why the dry “panhandle” right off the California coast extending NW-SE.

    • Craig Matthews

      Had a significant storm on Halloween 2014 that dropped over 2.5 inches of rain in Big Sur. First significant storm of that season, a season of which unfortunately lasted only up until last week of December 2014.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        That year in Socal had a wet fall period from Halloween to December like you mentioned, followed by a drier than average January to April period including a blowtorch of a March, and finished with a wetter than normal May.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    California State Parks announced due to high fire danger they are closing Mt. Diablo State Park until further notice.

    Also for those that know the Lake Berryessa area, reports after 6pm the fire was inching down towards Steele Park on the Southern end of the lake. They felt at night fall it could be at the park if the lines don’t hold.

  • Jim (Watsonville)

    Heard the airtac recommend evacuation of ALL of the Lake Berryessa area…he had a very concerned tone in his voice…

    • tomocean

      Just heard CHP report that the fire has crossed SR128 right near SR121. School was threatened.

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    has Portugal ever been hit by a hurricane?!?! I find it hard to believe that this storm can maintain hurricane strength for quite the distance as shown below. So far away from the Gulf of Mexico and especially this late into the hurricane season.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbcfe2035a1a9348f66fbc9dcb63a1cb356578d706e91827b7f43829d4a5795b.png

    • tomocean

      October 11, 2005 – Tropical Depression Vince made landfall near Huelva, Spain and dissipated shortly thereafter, making it the first tropical cyclone on record to reach the Iberian Peninsula. Vince previously formed near Madeira, and intensified into a hurricane before weakening.

    • RandomTreeInSB

      White dot means post-tropical…it may still have hurricane winds but it’ll no longer have the characteristics of a tropical cyclone.

      • Rainmaker (San Jose)

        ah! didn’t notice that before. Guess it makes sense to degrade sooner since the ocean current flows in the opposite direction and contains much colder waters from up north.

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      That’s the same idea as an ex huriicane getting caught up in the jet and turning backward in s low, like in Ca. Portugal is essentially ca in terms of weather, so it’s the classic oct setup we see here from time to time.

      If you all have never been to Portugal…. highly recommomemded!!!!

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Looks like Atlas Fire is making runs into Solano County at sunset. It’s at Wooden Valley Road in areas and expected it may cross Suisun Valley Rd. I believe CHP air ops is over the area to assist with evacuations if needed.
    https://twitter.com/cafirescanner/status/917939491100278784

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Also according to media they are st least partially evacuating the Veterans home in Youtville…that’s a huge building in a beautiful setting.
      https://twitter.com/adamhousley/status/917943452234432512

      • Charlie B

        At least they have their priorities right. Thomas Keller is worried.

    • Thunderstorm

      Just looked at a road map and starting to look like its closing in on Fairfield.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        Sounds like CHP and Cal Fire checking on and rescuing people in the affected areas…like Sunday night possibly via helicopter.

  • Thunderstorm

    I assume there is no plan to fight the fire on the NW side because the winds reverse 180 tomorrow. 30mph starting in the morning then over 50mph Wednesday night. NOBODY SLEEPS UP THERE WEDNESDAY NIGHT. People have plenty of time to pack it up and get moving.

    • Pfirman

      Which fire? There are about 37 and counting.

      • tomocean

        No joke! They keep popping up in new places as well. I assume from spotting. I have no idea how fire crews are staying on top of them.

      • Thunderstorm

        One fire fighter said that by Friday it may be all one fire. From yountville to Fairfield.

        • Pfirman

          So it’s the One Fire, with only one fire fighter. I think I see the problem here.

      • Thunderstorm

        Anyone that is south west of a fire should not sleep tomorrow night!

  • jstrahl

    Red flag for North Bay Wed 5PM to Thursday 5PM, East Bay hills Wed 11PM to Thursday 5PM.
    http://m.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bad-news-weather-forecast-for-Wine-Country-High-12267147.php?utm_source=related-inline

    • jstrahl

      This interesting note from the article:

      “It’s unusual to have such extreme fire weather at night, said UC Berkeley Professor Scott Stephens, who specializes in fire science. Temperatures typically drop after sunset. That makes the land more moist, because cold air holds less water.

      But that has changed somewhat in California over the past 15 years, Stephens said. Overnight lows are rising, so the air stays drier after dusk. One result, he said, is that night fires are much more common.”

      • Craig Matthews

        The 2012-13 winter was the real notable changeover time to more night time fires along the coast amongst the overall increase in the last 15 years imo. Big Sur began having fires in January after that winter. which was unheard of before.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          That happens to be the same time period that the dreaded RRR (or the Ridge that Shall Not Be Named) reared its ugly head. I am wondering if the Arctic sea ice reached a low extent tipping point during that period that caused a major change in the circulation patterns in the north Pacific, affecting the weather patterns in CA.

          • Craig Matthews

            Interesting. Have heard of that link with that specific winter 2012-13 to record low sea ice. IMHO I do believe that less sea ice contributed to the dreaded RRR, but there were other factors working in tandem with that forcing as well that contributed even more. Pollution coming off China aiding in deeper storms and increasing lower pressure anomalies overall in the NW Pacific is another interesting possible link, which you originally brought up here on the blog, that may have contributed. I am in the party that a big transition in the NPac circulatory regime initiated by a shift in tropical forcing along with a tropical wave that initiated a huge SSW event sometime late December early January 2013, along with a bit of “bad luck”….all contributed to a shift in NPac regime and also dreaded RRR for those following years leading up to the big El Nino of 2015-16. If you look at the state of the NPac, both circulatory regime and ssta spatial pattern coupled…taken a whole, it is much different post 2013 up to even now, then it was pre 2013, which makes me wonder if the bigger influence to this change here was from a large scale transition/shift in NPac circulatory regime- lagged PDO response to a shift in tropical forcing in a warming climate combined with lack of sea ice among others ie pollution from China all worked together to help form the RRR while the aforementioned pattern was in transition. These types of transitions have been associated with severe droughts before. Check out both winters 1923-24 and 1976-77, both of which occurred during a major shift in NPac atmospheric circulatio and oceanic regimes….ie PDO shift. It is interesting how much our weather has changed on the coast since 2012-13, even now, and I’m talking sensible weather.

  • matt

    Current fire info for fires burning in California. http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents

  • Thunderstorm

    Just finished looking at the vegetation maps of where the fire that is SE of Napa will go with N to NE winds. The fire is now in dry grass lands and Oak trees all the way SE to Susuin Valley Road. SW of where the fire is now are the cities of Cordellia, American Canyon and Vacaville.

    • V-Ville

      Yup, watching this closely.

      • Thunderstorm

        I remember watching a grass fire in the hills east of Fremont many years ago with a group of maybe 200 people in the evening around 8 or 9PM. Fire was slowly burning along for about 15 minutes and then all of a sudden just took off and covered half a mile in 10 seconds. Big loud WHOA from everyone. Gigantic mushroom cloud of smoke went up. Then the fire settled down again hit a wide dirt road and was gone. There could be so much smoke tomorrow night from the grass people won’t be able to see anything. Stay Safe!

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    http://wx.graphics/models/ecmwf/2017101012/noram/ecmwf_mslp_noram_192.png Wow Euro, 963 MB equivalent low slamming into BC 200 h+.

    • Craig Matthews

      There was a time, even in October, when those Lows would drop se down the coast of CA. But the ongoing expanded sub tropical ridging wont allow that to happen anymore. Hopefully that will change this winter, or even better yet, this month.

      • CHeden

        Right on the money, CM. While we still see the NW-SE track on rare occasion, (IMHO) the change-over in the primary EPac stormtrack occurred after the drought of ’75-’77.

        • Craig Matthews

          There is just something about that 1975-77 shift that was more then just a correlation to the NPac circulatory’PDO shift that caused incoming storms across the NPac to “act” differently then they have ever before that time period. Even in my lifetime, I remember as a kid, that incoming goa Lows would spin off the CA coast for days. We rarely see that anymore, if at all.

          • jstrahl

            Not sure what you mean, i certainly remember such multiple day -off-coast spinning many times in the ’80s and ’90s, in Jan-Feb ’98 it seemed continuos the whole time.

          • Craig Matthews

            Yes I remember Lows spinning for multiple days off the ca coast in the 1980s and 1990s. But it was noticeably less frequent then the winters pre 1975-77.

          • jstrahl

            And there were also a bunch of these in the 2004-5 and 2005-6 seasons. Yes, it’s been very dry since then, aside from the unusual ’10-11 and of course this past season.

  • SacWx

    CMC looks good for late next week. Hope it holds for the sake of the https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95692f9e6b6d9ec74403a9f2a449192bafbaa05c5c8baf130a26db44bf69e7b9.png fire situation.

    • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

      I wish it would be happening now instead of next week.

  • alanstorm

    Spent an anxious day with neighbors watching the Redwood Complex fire burn north over the Willits/Ukiah Summit, just behind the Calfire Howard helitack emergency command command center, just 1 mile due east of me. (pic below)
    Once Willits & the Howard hospital seemed threatened, the bombers were able to tamp it down.
    This was what I observed because there is absolutely NO current information available here since land lines/cell/internet are still down. WiFi thru Hughesnet satalite is the only thing working. Gas stations cash only.
    101 to Ukiah was reopened, so we were able to get info on what’s going only from what we saw: the entire drive from Willits to Ukiah was totally scorched & smoking on the east side (Laughlin Range) & jumped 101 to the West further down & climbed to the next ridge West (2 pics) all scorched & smouldering. The part of the fire that still appears to be burning is north over the summit towards Willits Pine Mtn, with many nicer homes, evacuated last night.
    I have no idea what’s going on there, old info says
    21,000 acres & now hearing report of 3 fatalities in the county.
    County officials held a town meeting at the library at 2, many frustrated residence with no info, not much given since the Sheriffs office network is down . The emergency temporary cell service that
    I was supposed to happen today hasn’t (I’m on Hughesnet)
    Mendocino County is pretty much ignored because if the massive devastation in Napa/Sanoma Counties, & understandably so.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2bf073a876193fdd442e1db3de90c246a02ef7bd9117fbd76832c3b674824d06.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9647450b40aa3b27b5574e610b54a5d6dccc7e03f14b73d263018f79ae8e6ae4.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/be3fe37685db94a52dd8ca9a1250545a52d475b5141d790a4189b1e7599ad9b0.jpg

    • mogden

      The scary thing is a lot of these huge fires only have 400-500 personnel assigned. What are 500 firemen going to do in 32 square miles of fire area?

      There was a small lighting caused fire above Woodside a couple weeks ago that had 250 people assigned for 50 acres, and it still took several days to go out.

      • alanstorm

        We’re still at 0% containment. Steep country here, same as above Woodside.
        Just simply not enough resources for such a big state.

      • Bombillo1

        Correcto… 120 acre fire here burned for 10 days with Blackhawks, Skycrains and 500 firefighters a month ago. Containment=1 st rain storm.

    • jstrahl

      Thanks a lot for this report.

    • Craig Matthews

      Love the top of that grade where 101 drops down into the pines and doug firs before reaching the town of Willits. I really hope that area didn’t burn up too.

      • alanstorm

        That’s my area. East side behind the Calfire HQ, burned, west side Ridgwood & Shafer Ranch where we’re at, not burned

        • Craig Matthews

          Crap I didn’t know that’s where you are. That particular spot has been in my sights for years as far as looking for property. don’t know why but I really love that particular spot more then most other places along 101 in Mendocino co. From the pics you posted doesn’t look like the trees burned up too bad in that area. Which I assume would mean the fire wasn’t spreading as fast there near that grade as it was elsewhere?

          • alanstorm

            Please move here! The property above me is for sale. I’d love to have u as a neighbor: “Hey Craig, what’s the weather synopsis?”
            Hope chainsaws & cursing doesn’t bother u

    • Bombillo1

      With Hughesnet’s generous data limit you should consider setting up a chain of drums, for superior communication.

      • alanstorm

        4am update: cell network is up & running (for me at least)

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Thanks for the update! one interesting thing I read about the info or lack there of coming out mostly with maps….could be that Law Enforcement is asking them to be somewhat vague. I idea is this would help keep looters out of the area. If they don’t know what areas have been hit and what areas are OK but evacuated they’d have an easy map to use. Add to that fact many of the LEO currently working in the area come from departments that most likely are not familiar with the area. Seem to make sense to me…

    • CHeden

      We’re pulling for you. Hopefully today/tonight’s wind doesn’t change the fire’s direction back towards you.

  • weathergeek100

    Looks like there’s finally some sort of containment for the north bay fires. 1%-3%….woopdie doo.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/CAL_FIRE

  • jstrahl

    Death toll is up to 17, some 180 “unaccounted for.”

    • Craig Matthews

      Latest report is that they, whoever they are, are finding a lot of those people unaccounted for due to the lack of communication that happened during the chaos of those fires. I have heard varying numbers per news outlets so wont post the number here, but at least some good news coming in as far as finding those lost people.

  • Fairweathercactus

    I said it before but CA motto should change to In ridge we trust. One ugly 0z tonight for So Cal.

  • Craig Matthews

    In Oroville now with dad helping with the end of the walnut harvest in the Gridley area . Fires here both north and south of town have calmed down as weak south flow has returned with cool temps and higher dewpoints. Temp in upper 40s now at 1am. Smoke in the air but not too bad. Tomorrow will be another story as north winds increase once again. Getting tired of these dry inside sliders. The hunt for wet October has begun.

    • alanstorm

      Haha good one: “The Hunt for Wet October”.

  • matthew

    I have not been keeping meticulous track of the temps lately, but it feels like it is about 20 degrees warmer this morning than the past week (40’s vs. 20’s). The wind is already kicking up too. East of the crest in Truckee.

    • Cap’n

      Agreed, it’s blowing hard over here and raining aspen leaves. 42F right now, a change from a long stretch of mornings in the low 30s, high 20s, and even a few teens. I’ve probably burned close to 1/2 a cord of wood already which is impressive for October 11th.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        I am in Al’s area of employment today, white caps were on Tahoe. Winds were blowing pretty good early at my area in TD.

    • AlTahoe

      South lake has been below freezing for the first 10 days this month and this morning it was 48F and very windy.

  • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)
  • CHeden
    • Dan the Weatherman

      That is a sign that we are heading toward Solar Minimum.

  • CHeden

    So why is the Sun so interesting?
    Here’s a nice paper on possible Solar Wind vs.QBO interactions.
    Craig M. in particular should find this interesting!
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011JD017390/full

    • Craig Matthews

      The tropospheric response to Solar-QBO interactions has become a real interest to me. This link looks very interesting….thanks.

  • thebigweasel

    MSNBC, describing the worsening weather conditions firefighters are dreading in the Santa Rosa infernos (17 dead, at least 2,500 structures destroyed) went on to say that making things worse, Santa Barbara and Ventura would be facing the same “perfect storm” of fire weather conditions tomorrow.
    And we are under a fire weather watch, winds 30-45 with single digit humidity:

    …Critical Fire Weather Conditions possible Thursday night
    through Saturday morning due to gusty northerly winds and low
    humidities across Southern Santa Barbara County and the Los
    Angeles and Ventura County mountains near the I-5 corridor…

    Bob down and hope for the best. Now is not the time to play with fire.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That must be a Sundowner forecast for Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties for that period. Santa Anas aren’t in the forecast until the weekend.

      • thebigweasel

        I’m certain you’re correct, but sundowners can be even worse than Santa Anas.

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    Don’t know if this was posted yet. This is Howard’s update for the upcoming winter. The SSTs in Eastern Pacific have really cooled this past week. There was that persistent stretch of warm SSTs that ran northeast of Hawaii that has cooled. Will be interesting to see how that shapes up.

    http://mammothweather.com/2017/10/10/periods-of-warming-and-cooling-expected-for-the-next-two-weeks-overall-pattern-for-the-central-sierra-is-dry-with-cooler-than-normal-temps/

    • Bartshe

      Going to be a classically dry winter for CA

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Why do you think that?

        • Bartshe

          Odds. Fact is that more winters are dry than wet, especially in the last 20 years.

      • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

        Classic Bartshe

    • Craig Matthews

      They’ve(sstas) have really cooled the last 7 days. Nice to see cooling in that stretch between the area around Hawaii ne ward toward the West Coast for a change. I am wondering if the cooling across a large portion of that area is due to the increasing strength of anticyclonic flow in the NPac strengthening the trades in the northern sub tropics, along with cut off Lows retrograding across that area, that are mixing up the ssts? 2Pluvious may have some insight on that…

      • Craig Matthews
        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          The gradient we have been talking about so often is shifting south. IMHO opinion that in itself is a new pattern shift for that region.

          • Craig Matthews

            I agree. Good idea would be to check the surface wind data to see what’s changed there the last few weeks. I’ll try to get to it today if you or 2Pluvious doesn’t beat me to it.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Yes he might. He stated sometime ago he was hoping that area would cool by winter.

  • jstrahl

    Sorry if already posted, but this is an excellent discussion of the relationship between global warming and increasingly frequent and more intense wildfires, Daniel is quite prominently mentioned.
    http://mashable.com/2017/10/10/what-caused-the-california-wildfires-firestorm-climate-change/#1Z8toZ4CVkqP

  • gray whale

    I would love to know what percentage of the population knows what a “Red Flag Warning” is. My wager would be less than 10%, and even among those who knew, I doubt many realize how potentially serious a RFW-inducing event is in mid October when it hasn’t rained yet.

    Craig and others have mentioned frustration at the apathy on the part of power companies toward trees in the power lines. Imagine if the companies were actually afraid of losing their license for not cleaning up? PG&E, if I’m not mistaken, is essentially granted monopoly status to provide public power, but as a shareholder-traded company they answer to investors, not customers. Why can’t we, the public, hold them responsible if their lines cause a fire? (not saying they did in these specific cases, just an example.)

    As I posted the other day, I’ve been frustrated that so many people seem blissfully ignorant of predicted weather hazards, only to be surprised when they occur (though I’m NOT saying that there’s always a way to act preventatively). We all, right, left, center, whatever, complain about the news, and how it’s more tabloid than informative. But we own the airwaves! Before Reagan abandoned enforcement of the Sherman antitrust act, news corporations were held accountable for their license by a metric of how well they informed the public. Imagine that! The NWS, I’ve realized, is doing their job providing the information, but it’s not being communicated by for-profit media the way it needs to.

    This post is probably already too political, but I think we’re in a confused time, where we’ve lost sight of the “public” good. One aspect of the fires is that they show us that, for better or for worse, we’re all part of a community together, not just a collection of isolated individuals. I think we have more power, even against destructive wildfires, than we realize.

    Sorry for the soapbox — just needed to get it out.

    • Craig Matthews

      Political? lol. Your last comment that we are all part of a community, and not just a collection of individuals speaks loud volumes. Part of preventative measures as far as deaths in fires, floods, earthquakes, etc, or even prowlers on the loose, can be made by just getting to know your neighbors and setting up a strategy of communication that works even when cell towers go out

      • Keiko the Sleddog (Mammoth)

        https://www.beartooth.com/ great solution to when cell towers are down btw…no idea where they are in production, like most crowdfunded ideas.

        I have made it a point to talk to neighbors about scenarios such as these. Regardless of our politics, we are first neighbors and survival means sticking together and helping one another.

        • Craig Matthews

          Looks like a very useful device. Like the fact that it reaches up to 10 miles when used like a hand held radio. I live in a very rural mountainous community where we’ve had to deal with 2 major wildfires, one last summer and the other one the summer before. In our rural community we have gotten to know each other well especially after the Soberanes Fire that burned down into part of our community last summer. We have a system of hand held radios set up with our neighbors strategically throughout our area that allows us to talk to one another when the phones and power goes out We had to use them many times this last winter during the storms and they worked very well.

    • matthew

      While we are on our soapboxes, the cluelessness of the average human amazes me. This past August during month 3 of our summer-long heat wave I was behind a truck of one of Truckee’s local heating/cooling contractors. The guy in the passenger seat had his hand dangling out the window with a lit cigarette blowing sparks along the road. This would presumably be a local laborer since he was working for a local contractor. Caused my blood to boil.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        I see that happening on Hwy 5 on vehicles heading south in my area. Those cigarette sparks bouncing on the freeway in the middle of the summer with dry brown fields adjacent to the freeway

    • Thunderstorm

      I will add this. GET AHEAD OF THE FUTURE! Tonight the fire will close interstate 80 and evacuating the areas around 80 will be impossible. The fire will haul butt threw the rolling grassland hills. Are people unaware of this? Yes.

  • Fairweathercactus

    The 12z has had some strange cutoff low bias that no other GFS model has had.

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Howards Mammoth update, which I and other posted today, seems to say that the forecast is going to be tricky in the extended (10 days out) because the MOJO is getting active and there may be some EPAC hurricanes, and may seem some capture of them to a slingshot back into CA, which happens in OCT sometimes (like dicussed with Portugal yesterday).

      Anyways, I dont buy anything until its in the 5 day window, but at least there are some signs in the tea leaves, and so far the ridge that shall not be named is not here, and patters are transient / not stagnant.

      Im not expert, but that is how I see things right now.

      • It’s getting late in the season for EPAC TC. Also there isn’t the temp gradient near the ITCZ for anything that would get started to amount to much now, IMO.

      • Craig Matthews

        MOJO is getting active, hell yeah!!

      • Jim (Watsonville)

        Smart not to mention the name of that thing…

  • Chowpow

    Surprise moderate/heavy rain near Arcata. What in the what?

    • Craig Matthews

      Noticed the narrow band of moderate to heavy echoes moving through the northwest coast of ca this morning….I was thinking… man, wish that would make it down to the fires but the upper level support is moving the wrong way and there’s just too many mountains blocking that moisture between the nwca coast and north bay. But glad at least you had a nice surprise rain this morning….nothing like a surprise slap from mother nature like that…

  • justsomeguy

    Interesting article on the 1964 Wine Country fires. Acreages somewhat comparable to present, but only a fraction of the damage. Lot more people and things in the way of fire today.

    http://www.sfgate.com/thetake/article/Wine-Country-fire-of-1964-Eerie-similarities-to-12267643.php?t=7bdc5987e4#photo-14317557

    • PRCountyNative

      A fire off in the woods is ecology in action. Build a house there suddenly it’s a disaster.

  • Craig Matthews

    Wind has switched from a light sw breeze to a strong gusty nw wind in the last 15 minutes in Oroville. Possibly a dry coldfront is moving down the Sacramento Valley now, as Sutter Buttes RAWS about 20mi to the sw of me is still showing a sse wind right now.

    • tomocean

      Ugh. Hope it blows this nasty, smoky air somewhere else (sorry, people to the south east of me.)

    • saw1979

      Here in Merced air quality has rapidly deteriorated & as a result our school is keeping all students inside for recess.

      • Jim (Watsonville)

        My daughter in Atwater said the same…very smokey

      • Craig Matthews

        All the nasty smoke in the Sacramento Valley is being pushed down your way….sorry.

    • PRCountyNative

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d30cd5d7c944cae0be8636adbf8d023ad958cbc7718677e4f4c52faa7ec275a.png

      Filling in from the north? Humidity dropping. 1 pm, last 12 hrs. data.

      • Craig Matthews

        Hopland seeing wind gust outta the north,northwest at 30mph…..not as strong as before at the moment, but still not a good trend.

    • PRCountyNative

      Quiet day in The Village. A pall hanging over everything, literally and figuratively. And they closed the road this AM. Beautiful autumn day, but with stuff in the air. Heading for the woods, the world of people not so good right now.

      Wind picking up.

      • Craig Matthews

        Thanks for the report. Hope they won’t keep that route closed for too long for your sake.

  • matthew

    Had my dog at the vet this morning (dealing with the aftermath of Monday’s great bear chase) and caught a wiff of smoke in the air. I cannot see any reference to anything local, so I am hoping this is just from one of the valley fires.

    • Cap’n

      Smoke has just made it into west Truckee, not sure from where either.

      • matthew

        Just got hold of some friends in Novato (south, near 37). They have go-bags packed but have not had to evacuate yet. They live at the end of a box canyon – one way in/out – with nothing but grass and oak trees so they are particularly vulnerable if the winds shift.

      • matthew

        Just got a nixle alert – not a local fire. Smoke is blowing in from elsewhere.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Truckee FD posted on twitter and Nixle all drift smoke. But still high fire danger.

    • thebigweasel

      Am I correct in assuming your dog caught the bear?

      • matthew

        Honestly do not know since most of the action happened outside of our vision. We were hiking up Mt Rose when a momma bear and a cub (bad combination) crashed through the trees about 15 yards from us. The six of us (me, wife, my two dogs, Yogi & BooBoo) all saw each other at the same time. The bears turned around and started running. The dogs did what they were bred to do and took off in pursuit. We were screaming at the top of our lungs for the dogs to come back. No way! Too much fun!!! I took off after them with a can of bear spray in case things got ugly, but the dogs found their way back about 10 minutes later. If dogs can smile then these two had the biggest grins on their faces that I have ever seen. Our male ended up with a scratched cornea (thus the trip to the vet) and tore off one of his claws during the chase. The female also had a bloody leg that did not require a vet visit. But it made for a long 5 mile hike back to the car. Other than that, just a good story to tell!

        • thebigweasel

          Had a dog in Kings Canyon many years ago, saw a bear and gave chase. Three hours later she reappeared, none the worse for wear. Wasn’t sure I was going to see that dog again…

          • Pfirman

            What kind of dog, if I may ask?

          • Tuolumne

            The answer will be unbearable.

          • thebigweasel

            Terrier mix. My present dog is a terrier, and his sire once chased–and cornered–a mountain lion. Incredibly one-sided fight, but the dog, aptly named “Winston” escaped with four deep slashes on his right flank. He lived to tell the tale.

          • Pfirman

            Fearless little guys. My Jack Russell just died at ten years from liver cancer. I think he got it from swimming in ag ditches. Faulkner has some good stories about terriers. He kept Jacks.

    • Chris

      I’m assumijg thIs is in reference to the north bay fires and not the combined “effort” of both N Bay and So cal fires?

      • Reference is to most/all the fires in the wine country as a whole and not by the name given a particular fire. The Southern LNU Complex (Atlas, Patrick and Nuns formerly Adobe) with the Central Complex (Tubbs and Pocket).

    • thebigweasel

      The Tubbs fire alone is now the second-worst fire in the past century in CA in terms of property damage and deaths.
      The worst, by a large margin, was the SF quake in ’06.

      • Pfirman

        Knock on wood.

    • Nathan

      670?! Holy shit.

      edit: I know that’s probably “high” but if it’s even 1/10th of that…..!

    • molbiol

      I hope this is breaking news just released —Mainstream media coverage of this event has been a bit disappointing as I’m getting more info from this message board than from those sources (case in point, the top stories for today are total B.S. drama). I also read thru the comments of one particular mainstream website that reported on the fires and was appalled by the outright hatred and apathy that many with opposing political views have toward California. Very troubled at the direction we are going. Also, if these climate trends continue, I am deeply fearful of what Summers and Fire seasons will be like 30 years from now…

      • PRCountyNative

        The times are troubling.

        I read that there would be tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of refugees, out there in the world (not here!) in the 2080’s or maybe 2100, when climate change happened.

        Briefly: The mainstream media is in the business of making money, selling you to advertisers. Maybe it’s time that other avenues – chat boards (NOT Facebook! not rapacious corporations) or bulletin boards – other media have their day. The MM print what attracts eyeballs, not ‘news’. They are no longer equipped for times like this.

        It used to be different, it’s not that way anymore.

        Why would out of town, non-local reporters, have any clue as to the situation? Over worked under supplied under paid poorly supported corporate (yes that again – it’s the way we organize things here…) peons. We’ve ceded our power to folks who don’t care, by design.

        WeatherWest is a primary source, this is a new world, we are the people reporting the news. And hopefully pitching in to help fund it. Let’s embrace it.

        • thebigweasel

          “I read that there would be tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of
          refugees, out there in the world (not here!) in the 2080’s or maybe
          2100, when climate change happened.”

          There’s already three million refugees caused by climate change NOW.

          • PRCountyNative

            My point, exactly.

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        The vitriol toward Californians will not go away, especially as long as parts of the country demonize science and fact based decisions.

        I was surprised Monday that the fires in NorCal were barely mentioned (if at all). We are on our own.

        • JGold

          What parts of the country do you speak of? Republican parts? Why don’t you just say it and stop beating around the bush. you think you are right as a democrat and republicans are idiots because they don’t believe what you do.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            That’s not what I said. There are plenty of Republicans in and out of California that do not demonize science and fact based decisions.

        • BRP (Ventura)

          Easy there Candleman….we live in a BIG country, approaching 350 Million human beings, with 40 Million here in CA. As a 4th Gen CA resident, I understand and I think CA deserves a lot of the demonization that the other 49 states throw our way…Hell, there’s talk of seceding from the Union here in CA! Obviously being thrown around by folks who don’t understand our Constitution. On my travels around the country for work and pleasure, I no longer am proud to call myself a CA Native….

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            I’m proud to call myself a Californian just like I’m proud to call myself an American. There are so many great things about our state, obviously it is not perfect.

            The main proponent of the seceding speak defected to Russia.

            Our governor and our state should not have to beg for federal assistance for emergencies like these fires when we pay more than our fair share simply because a majority of Californian’s did not vote a certain way. Part of the reason is because we are seen as evil Californians because we have different values.

          • matthew

            “The main proponent of the seceding speak defected to Russia.”

            Much of the secession chat (and hate from both the left and the right) is coming from Russia. There was a facebook group exposed recently that was promoting Texas secession. Turns out it traced back to a troll farm in Russia.

            Be careful what you read – our own social media is being used to divide us.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            That’s exactly my point. It was not Californians that were leading that discussion.

          • BRP (Ventura)

            Understood. Please don’t take my comment as any type of direct insult and or demeaning vibe to you. My frustration with our home state is the bulging population of 40 million. Why some of us propose more development, more immigration, more of everything with the state that we are in environmentally, ie water shortage and droughts, it just baffles my mind…Cheers.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            I’m all about smart development. It has become too expensive for younger people to own or rent a home. High density units these days use significantly less water than suburban homes. Homes shouldn’t be an investment, but that’s what we’ve been taught. The water shortage conversation is used by many (not all) as a way to limit growth knowing that will also increase the value of their nest egg (home). This is my anecdotal opinion from interactions with people in Santa Barbara. I only find current home owners are the ones arguing for a no growth policy.

            We have a 40 million population because of how great it is to live here.

          • ThomTissy

            That’s very true, but one problem is, though they use less water, they do not reduce the need for water overall. As an example, we have all seen the 1 acre vacant lot be developed into 40 townhomes in recent years. In the past, that may be 4 single family homes. Instead we are dealing with 40 occupied units. No matter how much lower they are in terms of water per capita, they still amount to more water use. Furthermore, the single family neighborhoods/lots will never be rezoned or developed into any other than what they are due to their value. The high density lowers water use per capita, but demand will increase nonetheless. In short, California is screwed either way.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            Fair points, I don’t know how we solve population growth globally, it is not a California only problem.

          • molbiol

            I agree that population growth is out of control and more needs to be done to somehow encourage “reproductive responsibility” , but in a humane way. Much of the problems we are having simply boils down to that and frankly, I am frustrated with both the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ on this issue. That being said, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, education and delayed gratification are key here. Unfortunately, I don’t see people learning that anytime soon. It drives me crazy when I see people who can barely raise one child, continue to pop-out multiple children..but that is a topic for another board

          • BRP (Ventura)

            Don’t know how old you are, but growing up in the 80’s, it was “punk rock” to voice anger at population explosion! Remember the song by Bad Religion “10 in 2010”? Referring to a song they wrote in the 80’s about there being 10 Billion people on the planet in 2010! They were obviously wrong, but still, my teenage kids don’t and can’t talk about overpopulation and birth control in High School due to it being politically incorrect, due to large segments of our CA population who are not averaging 1.8 children per woman…Freaking frustrating to say the least!

          • ThomTissy

            I agree, the responsible people dont have kids and the ones that should be sterilized have too many kids and then demand free lunches because apparently they can’t afford to feed them but can afford a flat screen and iphone.

          • Pfirman

            Did you just say ‘sterilized’? Go away. Go away now, please.

          • Pfirman

            How do you propose to stop it?
            I found the following comforting after a visit to Great Britain in the seventies. I had wondered how it compared to California. It turned out that even then they had roughly three times the population on one third the land.
            It seemed pretty civil and quite rustically beautiful over there then. My signature event was standing on a corner in London and a black guy in dreads addressed me thusly as I stood on a street corner…’Allo, guv’.

          • Cap’n

            This really is a bizarre time, but on a somewhat lighter note, the mental image that pops in my brain when hearing the term troll farm makes me laugh. Something tells me there’s a shed on that farm.

          • Pfirman

            So nice to know there is a commonality in the stupidity, but I fear that is always the case.

        • thebigweasel

          Well, we are competing with an immediate threat of nuclear war, far greater disasters in Puerto Rico (remember Puerto Rico? They had a hurricane), another mass shooting, a movie mogul’s fall from grace, footballers kneeling, Houston, Florida, all conveyed by commercial media that has the attention span of a goldfish.
          Oh, yeah: Mexico had an earthquake, too.

          • TheNothing

            That my friend is the reply of the day ?

      • ThomTissy

        I believe this fire was started by downed power lines. In fact, this article in Nat Geo states that almost all fires are started by humans (95%). http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140517-san-marcos-wildfires-california-weather/

        I wonder how much impact our overpopulation is having on the frequency and intensity of fires. California’s population has doubled since 1970 and continues to grow by 10% each decade.

        With humans as the primary problem, it seems a public awareness campaign is in order.

      • ben

        Russian trolls, posing as family men or your typical grandma, have dozens of their bots “like” their comment to get it elevated.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Fairfield police just posted new evacuations.
    http://www.nixle.us/9MP6R

    • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

      Eastridge Hills is very, very close to 80. I’m astounded.

  • Nathan

    EC digging the low more southerly and entraining a subtropical low to SoCal for next weekend while GFS keeps the parent low further north and no subtropical moisture. Will be interesting to see what happens. I think the EC solution would have more moisture.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/30ee59390d7f4dfba781a9434d80f48eb3334f27ef9f175afca6a483260654e1.jpg

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Yep, pattern is unchanged & further exhibiting the possibility of deep trough swinging down the entire west coast in an “old-fashioned” style. 500 mb vorticity on both models suggest quite the potential…

  • Bombillo1

    Friend with 2 restaurants in Santa Rosa. The restaurants have survived but 11 employees have lost their homes. Having to temporarily close until the human toll gets abated.

    • Pfirman

      Crap.

  • weathergeek100

    Smoke has filled the skies over SF city. Sun nearly completely obscured. Most smoke I’ve ever seen in the bay area. Definitely beats the smokey skies of the record heat wave last month.

    Looks like fire containment has gone from a whopping 1% to 2% for various fires such as the Nuns fire. Making progress. Only 98% to go…..

  • alanstorm

    The fight continues just southeast of Willits, east side of 101 at the bypass & Calfire HQ.
    Willits reservoir is to the right. 3 big choppers, 2 huge air tankers.
    Renewed frenzy because NE WINDS ARE RAMPING UP
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6aa9b7f430d5e4379f1175ad14d2e342049d5658e1bf7e3ed380a00bc5e12642.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5fa3d0c8ab6724aca50f5754c2bb4027deff0fd46c254ea244fbfcbd13ac868e.jpg

  • Seems like winds are picking up in the fire area as we head into the afternoon.

    Right now many WU stations at 5-ish mph, but others showing growing wind and higher gusts, Geyserville at 10mph. This wind event supposed to be more northerly? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec1a9c4d5fa7fbcc6bec147de742729b9dad2299d76ee258d75cf6144113bbfd.jpg

    • thebigweasel

      A good friend is living on the NNW corner of the evacuation zone. I know it’s selfish to feel relief, but…

    • BRP (Ventura)

      Damn, humidity down to 18%, wind gusts up to 24mph, that’s the same nightmare scenario that we here in the Southland deal with in the fall.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Incredibly to my surprise the Weather Channel has people on the ground doing live coverage in the Napa area. They are trying to digest the local & regional weather that is going on causing these fires (even mentioning the Diablo winds which I don’t think they ever have, because I saw several people trying to debunk what they were when flames really roared through SR), and it’s going to be interesting watching their take since we are generally more educated on the microclimates here in the state especially if you are a member of this board & the CA meteorology community on Twitter… Take note at the coverage of this event, because it’s generally all second-hand info to them & other media outlets. Glad it’s getting more attention regardless, but there is still a frustrating shrug off going on the topic by the public that needs a real kick in the a**… Doing my part by educating people after I talk their freaking ears off that we need to be more neighborly as @graywhale:disqus was pointing out in the comments below. Get into gear here folks, it’s also good to remember we are a close knitted community regardless of how big the state is. Especially with another upcoming wind event about to occur here in SoCal, times are telling.

    • alanstorm

      Just met an evacuee at the Ukiah Coop from Potter Valley, his blue Prius jammed with stuff.
      “Hate to say it, but my property was ground zero where the fire started..” (Redwood Complex)
      He basically said winds blew an oak into powerlines, sparks ingnited grass, hit the neighbors hay barn, barn “exploded”, that house went up, half hour later it hit Redwood Valley.
      His house was spared, but he remains evacuated

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        That last sentence is not what I was expecting, but that is just an incredible description. Hope you’re still good as well. Keeping my friends updated constantly who are still up there, my friend just told me the home decor store she works at in SR is actually open today… & they’ve made about $39 in sales, however people are coming in constantly to return things.

        • alanstorm

          Originated in his back yard, so it spread into his neighbour’s

      • DayHoe Herald

        Wow, incredible — if you ever give up carving, heavy metal and stock car racing, you’ve got the right stuff to be a hella journalist.

        I guess I’m glad it wasn’t a criminal act that started the thing, though that’s little solace for the many folks suffering loss of property and loved ones.

    • Hollow Scene (Riverside)

      I hope everyone is prepared. Dry Santa Ana’s are almost a guarantee in SoCal fall most years. I hope these recent fires aren’t a prelude to when the real Santa Ana’s arrive…

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        That’s my worry and people are barely even thinking about this upcoming period of high winds (late tomorrow-Saturday)…

  • Boiio

    Was able to make it passed police roadblocks on Arnold Drive west of highway 12 in Sonoma. Got all the way to Glen Ellen to check on the parent’s house. By some miracle the fire burned 100′ onto the property and stopped 20′ from the back porch. Warm Springs Road, Henno Road, and Dunbar Road looked to have sustained heavy damage. Downtown Glen Ellen is OK. Pretty surreal. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f9388b260c31011b26e5b174ae1aff83c50f113fb6646c17cb90357e3f44e405.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/00d964f1757c3f6be5feb8f8e347fa0fd4baa8199875e4faa80895d0179d3680.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f9388b260c31011b26e5b174ae1aff83c50f113fb6646c17cb90357e3f44e405.jpg

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Wow…

    • Pfirman

      Happy for you and downtown Glen Ellen. Was wondering.

  • tomocean

    Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said at a Wednesday news conference that the fires were driven by a “critically dry fuel bed” across the state. “We are still impacted by five years of drought,” he said. The recent wet season that brought California out of the drought was ineffective in tempering dry, explosive conditions, Pimlott said.

    I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem right. How would it be possible for record rains to not have had an impact on alleviating dry fuels from the drought? I get it that this extremely hot summer and the current low humidity and high winds would have dried out fuels more than usual, but I’m not seeing how the drought would have had anything to do with fuels? Unless he is talking about more dead stuff left standing from the drought?

    • Nathan

      IMO the rain-borne overgrowth followed by a hot, dry summer is much more of an effect than the previous 5 years.

      • tomocean

        That was my thinking as well.

    • It probably is the latter–there are still a lot of drought-stressed (and, in some cases, dead) tress out there. The fine fuels (grass and brush) grew like gangbusters after the wet winter, but dried out even more than usual with our record warm summer (and the Sept heat wave in particular).

      • ThomTissy

        Yeah, the spring allergy season made me well aware of the out of control grass growth.

      • molbiol

        I’ve been following weather my whole life and I don’t think I can recall ever seeing 600DM heights centered over Norcal for an extended period like they were during late August and Early September

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Was just about to say, if anything the new growth likely caused for a low-level canopy maybe 2-3 feet high amongst the already dead brush… Add in the heat & now this new growth drying out quickly throughout the summer especially since the climate data for this past season and even from memory this was one of those summers for the north state, there was the potential for explosive unprecedented fire behavior in areas that typically don’t ever burn in a 20-30 years period. Who remembers talks of the Firefighting Paradox mentioned briefly here on the blog? Welp. This may also be a prime example for these areas where new developments
        exacerbated the problem…

    • Bombillo1

      I read somewhere that while Redding receives something like 33.5 inches of rain per year, the evaporative loss is 72 inches. 5 months of searing heat and dryness trumps whatever happened in the winter.

      • tomocean

        I get that, but that would not be related to the previous years of drought.

        • Bombillo1

          I think that is the gist of my comment. My obtuse point, which may not be valid, is that after this kind of heat and dryness, just looking at our summer, may have been enough to make this firestorm happen regardless of the previous years of drought. Of course this reasoning implies that this kind of fire event may be much more frequent due to the ridiculous heat and dryness of our summers, which is now creating its own fuel annually.

          • Pfirman

            North wind can dry out a waterfall. I got it from a farmer.

    • Jeff

      We definitely had a massive increase of dead grasses and brush this year in San Diego as a result of the wet winter. I was fairly upset at how long it was taking to clear our protected area where I live – the risk at the beginning of September was pretty clear. Fortunately they came by last week but it seems pretty pointless to wait until the end of fire season to clear the area. Obviously in most areas that fuel is not going to be removed.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Ok, the weather is very conductive for large fires, but it’s still bizarre that several large fires are occurring in a relatively limited area (North Bay). Arsonist on the loose?

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    I have NEVER EVER seen so much dense smoke in the Bay Area ever with such an intense smell of smoke

  • Staggering, GWOF2017 you think it’s bad where you are, check this out: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d753cd146bc9172cf01c2800507734e1eaaaefd9750c30756f0d9a4df809af4.gif

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • Andrew (Berkeley)

      Was just about to post that. There is a wind from the north now. It could easily run down the entire valley if the wind gets bad.

    • inclinejj

      Sad spend a lot of time in the summer visiting my grandparents up there. They loved the hot springs.

  • AntiochWx

    It’s so smokey, I’m struggling to be able to see Mt Diablo from Antioch!! Air quality reminds me of New Delhi! It has to be near 300 or more.

    • jstrahl

      I’m wearing a handkerchief on my nose and mouth.

      • AntiochWx

        Don’t blame you one bit, I wonder how close these fires get to the Bay Area.

        • jstrahl

          Dreading. Already on the edge of Fairfield, could easily get to American Canyon, next stop would be … Vallejo.

          • AntiochWx

            You really think it could potentially get into Vallejo? That would be just as worse as Santa Rosa.

    • Eddie Garcia

      is there a air quality reading of 1000 cause that how it looks like here. In all my life of 19 years plus I have never seen it like this.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Can’t see the Bay from my house which is roughly 2 miles away:(

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • PRCountyNative

      Ouch!