March wildfires; dry and hot weather ahead

And our July-like March continues. Highs the next few days will be in the upper 80s through the 90s in SoCal…geniunely hot in some places. With some gusty winds in canyons and dry vegetation resulting from a winter with little/no rain, there will be a serious threat of wildfires during the coming week. Even in the northernmost coastal parts of the state…highs from 65-75 will be common this week. In the Bay Area and Central Valley, highs will generally range from 75-85, locally higher in the southern Valley. In the Sierras, 70 degree weather will be possible on some of the lower northern peaks, and even the really high mountains (9000-10000 feet) at the southern end of the chain could crack the 60 degree mark. There will be a lot of snowmelt, needless to say, but although rivers will be running swift, deep, and cold there probably not be any flooding in the Valley (partly due to the fact that there’s not a whole lot of snow up there to melt). The long range models are in strong agreement with respect to the dry and warm/hot late “winter” pattern continuing for at least the next 10 days, and very probably longer. At this point…we’re not going to be able to salvage this rain season. Between now and the end of spring, there will probably be several cutoff lows that affect CA, some of which could bring the potential for convective activity and the associated hazards associated with that type of weather. For the most part, however, most places will not see too much more rain this season, especially given the rapidly developing La Nina conditions in the Pacific. I am curious to know what the state of the vegetation is in CentCal and SoCal–are the hillsides “greening up,” or has there not been enough precip for this to even occur? NorCal is currently seeing a profusion of grass and brush growth, which does not bode well for the upcoming fire season (the early snowmelt is not a good sign, either). Let me know what conditions are like down south…

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