As the year is coming to an end, it does not seem as though fire season is over. A Red Flag Warning and potential public safety power shutoffs continue to impact areas of Southern California. To many Southern California residents’ dismay, these unfavorable conditions could impact them during Christmas Eve.
Catastrophe struck Central America as two back-to-back Category 4 hurricanes came ashore this past month. Eta and Iota made landfall in the region on November 3rd and November 17th, with impacts stretching from Colombia to Mexico. RedZone previously covered the forecast of the storms, showing the center of the storms hitting Nicaragua. However, damage hit Honduras hardest.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and lasted until November 30. Atlantic hurricanes cover areas over the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. Although hurricane season has come to an end, it is still possible for tropical storms to form over these regions.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of the Southern California region from today around 1800 hours through Saturday around 2200 hours PST. A moderate to strong Santa Ana event will impact the area with winds gusting up to 65 mph and relative humidity as low as 5%. These conditions, combined with warm temperatures may contribute to extreme fire behavior.
The strongest winds are likely for Thursday between 0600 and 1500 PST, with the foothills and canyons most at risk. Santa Ana winds will weaken Thursday night and Friday, however single digit humidity values will remain. Poor overnight recoveries are expected, with the driest day on Friday.
The forecast predicts dry offshore wind at least through Tuesday. Therefore, Red Flag conditions could continue for the area heading into next week.
What conditions warrant the issuing of a Red Flag Warning? Read our previous blog here to find out.
Many “unprecedented” situations occurred throughout 2020, including wildfire season. In addition to the busy wildfire season, firefighters have also had to ensure their safety against COVID-19. Although crews took the necessary precautions, such as wearing masks and social distancing, during fire response, coronavirus cases still popped up.
Hurricane Iota tumbled into Central America late last night, where countries are still recovering from Hurricane Eta. The storm made landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane, near the town of Haulover, Nicaragua. This is just a mere 15 miles from Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua where slightly less powerful Eta made landfall on November 3rd. However, Hurricane Iota impacts will likely be much stronger. The storm’s maximum winds were just 2 mph shy of Category 5 at 155 mph at landfall.
Have you ever wondered how fires are spotted or quickly confirmed before crews even arrive? The state of California has over 600 cameras that help! Previously, fire tower lookouts provided a necessary function for identifying and fighting new fires. Now, with the growth of technology, cameras throughout wilderness areas have helped firefighters and communities react quicker and smarter when fire emerges.
With an unprecedented fire season, more people have seen or experienced the detrimental effects of wildfires. Smoke damage is frequently an overlooked consequence from these fires. Not only can smoke be damaging to homes, but it can also be harmful to wildlife and to one’s health. In August and September, extreme wildfire activity throughout the western states created an abundance of smoke that spread across the continental U.S. Unfortunately, the widespread smoke caused an increase in hazardous air quality across the country. RedZone decided to take a closer look at the effects of smoke on health and on local wildlife and pets. Read more
Zeta is set to make landfall sometime Wednesday and Louisiana is in its sights for the fifth time in the last couple months. As the Atlantic’s record-tying 27th named storm of the year, Tropical Storm Zeta is forecast to become Hurricane Zeta sometime in the next 36 hours. Just one more storm named in 2020 and there will be a new record in the Atlantic region for named storms in a season. Way past the list of alphabet names for the season, storm names have moved on to the Greek alphabet for only the second time in history.
Wednesday was two months and one day since the Cameron Peak Fire started. The fire had grown to over 134,000 acres since starting way back on August 13th . Before yesterday’s 30,000 acre run the fire was already the state’s third largest in their history. Now, sitting at a record-setting 164,140 acres, the fire surpassed this season’s Pine Gulch Fire which was contained in September at just over 139,000 acres. It is now the largest on record in Colorado State history.