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Following weeks of wildfires rampantly spreading throughout California, the weather may help firefighters get a leg up on the blazes prior to the end of this week.
Cal Fire officials recently stated that they expect the Tubbs Fire to be nearly contained by the end of the week. This is likely due to favorable weather conditions in the forecast for fire-stricken areas in the short term.
Experts warn that a contained fire is not an extinguished fire, and that poor air quality will continue to plague areas downwind of the blazes.
West to northwest winds are projected on Friday and Saturday.
There are also more factors involved in fire containment efforts than one might think.
“Fire containment is not only related to weather, but to manpower and resources, terrain the current fires are in and fuels available within that terrain,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark.
“The weather Sunday through Tuesday was very favorable in getting a handle on the current fires,” Clark said.
While a few periods of showers are in store for Northern California through Friday - mainly in coastal areas north of San Francisco - a widespread, fire-quenching rainfall is not expected.
Clark also pointed out that the system bringing drenching rain to the Northwest late this week will do little more than increase the humidity and cool down California.
AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said these factors play an important role as well.
“Rainfall is always helpful, but more so for the humidity increase than for the actual rainfall amounts,” Duffey said.
Into Friday, wind gusts could locally reach 15-30 mph in Northern California as the system passes through.
While these winds could interfere with firefighting and containment efforts, they are low compared to last week’s winds and will be largely offset by the otherwise cool and relatively damp conditions.
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“There is a high chance that hot weather returns to this area of California by Monday and Tuesday, with the potential for some wind as well,” Clark said.
Duffey pointed out that “this will mean increased smoke activity, a renewal of ash fall, and the possibility of new spot fires created by the transport of burning materials.”
It will be important for those in and around affected areas to stay up-to-date on wildfire activity, as well as local watches, warnings and air quality alerts, over the coming weeks.
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Tropical moisture will bring needed rainfall, but also a flood risk to the southwestern United States and southern High Plains during the second half of the week.
AccuWeather announces the winners of an Environmental Journalism Scholarship the company created for students at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).
Tornadoes touched down in Virginia on Monday afternoon with widespread damage and one fatality being reported across the state.
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Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina early Friday morning. The storm trekked west, dumping catastrophic flooding rainfall on those on its path.
Florence will unleash disruptive downpours and raise the risk of flash flooding in the northeastern United States through Tuesday.
When an extreme weather situation is forecast, getting the right information at the right time is paramount, whether it’s before, during or after the storm has occurred.
A monsoon low developing in the Bay of Bengal will bring another surge of rainfall to parts of eastern and northern India later this week.