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California faces critical fire weather through the weekend

Dr. Mario Picazo
Meteorologist, PhD

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 17:08 - After a short 24 hour break, dry, gusty Santa Ana Winds have slowly taken over the weather pattern again and are expected to continue blowing over the weekend across several areas of the state of California.

Saturday: Sunshine is expected across most of the state, that is, if the smoke from the more than twenty wildfires still burning does not obscure the sky. Unfortunately gusty north and northeast winds of 20 to 40 mph are expected across many areas of the state with the greatest impact from these very dry warm winds in the northern half. Red Flag warnings are likely to continue across most of the interior northern counties where thousands structures have already been affected. Despite the gusty winds, we are expecting the wind speeds to be lower than those experienced earlier this week. 

STUDY: 'The Big One' puts California at risk of significant sinking

Click play to watch below: Wind Forecast


Daytime temperatures in many interior areas of the state are expected to reach the high 70s to mid 80s, although the main concern is the low humidity in some areas, which could drop to 5 or 10%. Some coastal areas of the south and the southern deserts could see temperatures rise into the lower 90s as a result of the Santa Winds blowing in the region.

Sunday: Dry Santa Ana winds are expected to continue blowing with gusts occasionally reaching 50 mph in canyon and foothill areas. Daytime temperatures are expected to rise even more, with values ranging anywhere from the mid 80s to low 90s across much of the western half of the state. This heat, combined with the wind and low humidity will not help with the many uncontrolled wild fires across the state.

Los Angeles Sunday forecast via The Weather Network

Los Angeles is in for a hot sunny weather with daytime highs above the 90oF degree mark on Sunday. San Francisco on the other hand, will enjoy a sunny but much cooler weekend with highs in the high 60s to low 70s.

Watch below: Santa Ana Winds could fuel wildfires this weekend. California weather outlook with meteorologst Jaclyn Whittal.

Weekend Weather Across the Country

Across the US expect a fairly active cold front associated with a low pressure center moving over the Great Lakes to bring showers and thunderstorms on Saturday anywhere from the northern Plains and Great lakes, across the central Mississippi River Valley down into Texas. On Sunday showers along the front will move into sections of the northeast affecting coastal areas of New York and New England during the nighttime hours. Out West, expect high pressure to continue dominating the weather pattern although some shower activity is expected across areas of Washington and Oregon.

Click play to watch below: U.S. Long Range Forecast

Photos, videos show scope of California wildfire devastation
Deadly California wildfires burn area nearly the size of NYC
Western wildfires are bigger, more frequent since the 80s
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