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A dry February could increase wildfire danger in Northern California

February has been dry, so far. Some fire crews in the state are already getting ready for fire danger.

Posted: Feb 13, 2020 8:58 AM

CALIFORNIA - February has been dry, so far. Some fire crews in the state are already getting ready for fire danger.

At the National Weather Service, satellite imagery shows a strong ridge of high pressure that has built up over the western states. This pattern, typically seen in the summer, is forcing storms well to the north.

What's more, the long-range 14-day outlook shows that this pattern is likely to continue. And if it does, CAL FIRE said it's a mixed bag for increased fire danger.

"There is some growth happening, but without any more rain, you're not going to see a large grass crop," CAL FIRE, Mike Marcucci said. "But it does dry out our brush and our timber models to critical levels a lot earlier than we normally see, sometime around July or August."

A weekly report from the U.S. Drought Monitor designates just over 9.5% of the state, including the central and southern Sierra Nevada and adjacent areas of the Central Valley, as being in moderate drought.

California had been drought-free since early December.

The Drought Monitor also expanded a designation of “abnormally dry” into San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties, and parts of northeastern California.

A week earlier the abnormally dry status applied to the Central Valley and a swath from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Sierra, as well as parts of the California-Oregon border.

The National Weather Service office for the Los Angeles region said no change in the dry pattern is expected in the next two weeks and if there’s no rain many locations will be nearing the driest combined January and February on record.

State water authorities have noted that, fortunately, reservoirs are either at or above historical averages due to a wet 2019.

The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources reported that February 2019 had a total of 15 days in the month with rain.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 284012

Reported Deaths: 6573
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1207643582
Riverside21101506
Orange18892369
San Diego17578399
San Bernardino15932272
Imperial7343121
Alameda6925140
Fresno692481
San Joaquin560058
Kern554384
Santa Clara5478165
Tulare5175139
Sacramento456676
Contra Costa409286
San Francisco402050
Ventura385850
Santa Barbara374230
San Mateo3692111
Marin298926
Stanislaus288945
Kings275537
Monterey223917
Solano182627
Merced162311
Sonoma146612
Placer93811
San Luis Obispo8082
Yolo72326
Madera7137
Santa Cruz5013
Napa4484
San Benito2922
Butte2753
Sutter2753
Lassen2670
El Dorado2640
Shasta1635
Humboldt1544
Nevada1511
Glenn1460
Yuba1392
Lake981
Tehama941
Mendocino920
Colusa860
Calaveras610
Del Norte581
Tuolumne570
Mono481
Amador340
Inyo341
Siskiyou320
Mariposa311
Plumas130
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Scattered Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 93°
Oroville
Clear
97° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 97°
Paradise
Scattered Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 93°
Chester
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 82°
Red Bluff
Clear
97° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 97°
Willows
Scattered Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 93°
Sunny skies and hotter temperatures are ahead for today. We'll be very dry and winds will be a little stronger out of the Northwest this afternoon. Fire danger will be elevated for some areas later today.
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