Why The Santa Ana Winds Fuel Wildfires

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Wildfires are pretty common in California and this year there has been no exception with the intense fires being fueled by the Santa Ana winds. These winds are strong winds that blow from the Great Basin through the Mojave Desert as it does so it speeds up and then as it the winds descend, they heat up. The result is fast moving, hot, dry, winds.

Santa Ana winds are pretty common this time of year and the strongest speed from Santa Ana’s usually peak around this time. The winds are usually most prevalent from October through March. That being said wind speeds have been sustained around 25 to 35 mph and there have been some gusts up to 60 mp. These high winds will continue into Tuesday. Wind speeds will decrease on Wednesday but it is still going to be gusty just not quite as strong.

The weather set up for Southern California is an area of high pressure will continue to dominate the forecast. Winds winds will stay dry through Tuesday with the strongest winds early Tuesday. Dewpoints are in the teens and that spells very dry conditions. The shades of pink are red flag warnings, meaning dangerous fire weather and in gold are high wind warnings. Gusts could be up to 55 mph.

By the weekend high pressure starts to break down and a weak cold front will approach. The flow will change to more of an onshore flow which will allow for a little more moisture and a small rain chances closer to Thanksgiving. Here’s to hoping that the rain will pan out.

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