For those of you who have been wondering what happened to the weather discussions that Alan and I have been writing, we are going to this new blog format which will also include Travis and Nick on a more regular basis. Feel free to add your comments/suggestions/etc., and we will do our best to address them.
As far as the weather itself goes, there are several issues that we will be dealing with. First is the lack of rainfall which has been a trend through October and so far into November. Notice the statewide rainfall map to the right. The dry soils and the low dew point air together with brisk northerly winds today and again on Thursday will lead to an enhanced fire danger situation. Fortunately, the winds will be much lighter on Friday, but a return to gusty southerly winds over the weekend and into next week will create an enhanced fire danger situation once again.
This dryness of the soil and air will also result in a quick cool-down as soon as the sun sets. A re-enforcing surge of cool, dry air is also coming our way which should keep our daytime temperatures in the 60s for Thursday and only in the 50s to near 60 on Friday. Many locations have already had a frost or freeze, but in case you still have some tender plants outside, Friday and Saturday morning will likely be close to the freezing mark for most of us.
The gusty southerly winds for the weekend and into early next week will produce a warming trend and will eventually bring higher dew point air over the state resulting in higher humidity levels and perhaps some relief from the fire danger. But, what we really need is a good rain and the next chance of that is not expected till the middle of next week. As is often the case, the extended guidance products go their separate ways along about then leading to a great deal of uncertainty regarding the placement, timing, and amount of rain we might get from this next system. The GFS has a much wetter solution whereas the European has a much more progressive and drier solution. It will probably take at least another day or two of model initialization and numerical solutions before a more consistent prognosis is realized.
In the meantime, enjoy what will be some fine fall weather and be careful with the outdoor activities as the vegetation is going dormant and it would not take much for a fire to get out of hand. Also, stay tuned and check back for updates.