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California Wildfires Fanned By Winds; Hot, Dry Weather to Last Through the Week | The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel logoThe Weather Channel 9/29/2020 Jonathan Erdman

Fast-spreading wildfires have flared up yet again in California fanned by a weather pattern change over the weekend that will remain in place the rest of this week.

A dome of high pressure aloft intensified over the West, pushing the storm track well north into northwestern Canada.

More importantly, this pattern change also produced strong north to northeast winds through the high country of California beginning Sunday night.

These winds fanned a number of new and existing wildfires, prompting evacuations in Santa Rosa, west of Redding and in the northern Sierra not far from Paradise, near areas that had burned in 2017 or 2018.

(MORE: Tens of Thousands Flee New Wildfires in California)

Some residents in Santa Rosa reported ash and larger debris transported downstream from the Glass Fire by strong winds falling on city streets Monday.

Fortunately, the winds have died down in most of Northern California but they will switch directions which could potentially push fires in new directions.

However, some strong east to northeast winds may persist into Tuesday in parts of Southern California, particularly in San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, where red flag warnings remain in effect.

While the winds will diminish, the overall hot, dry pattern will last into much of the week in the West.

While not as hot as the Labor Day weekend record heat wave, some record highs are possible in California, western Oregon and Washington into late this week, according to the National Weather Service. Areas near the immediate coast, though, should see heat relief Tuesday, as winds turn lightly onshore.

Unfortunately, the slackening winds and persistence of high pressure aloft means areas of smoke may once again stagnate over California and migrate north and east into parts of western Oregon and western Nevada.

What's really needed is rain, and, unlike what we witnessed last week in the Pacific Northwest, there's little to no rain in sight at least through early next week for California and much of the West.

Late September into October is notorious for large, fast-spreading wildfires in California due to the overlap of vegetation at its driest at the end of the state's dry season with more frequent Santa Ana and Diablo wind events.

Typically, the rainy season doesn't start in the Bay Area and Southern California until November.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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