WILDFIRES RAGE ACROSS CALIFORNIA

Oct. 29, 2003 — The onshore westerly winds returned Wednesday to southern California along with increasing moisture and cooler temperatures, according to the NOAA National Weather Service. Although the moisture is slowly increasing in the area, westerly large-scale winds may approach speeds of 15 to 30 mph with higher gusts possible across many of the areas that are still burning, said forecasters from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., and NOAA National Weather Service forecast offices in Los Angeles and San Diego. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of wildfires across the state of California taken on Oct. 28, 2003, at 5:13 p.m. EST. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Click here for latest NOAA images. Please credit “NOAA.”)

In addition to southern California, fire risks exist for parts of the southwestern United States, as well as the southern and central Plains.

"Very strong and gusty west to southwest winds, along with very low humidity, are common Wednesday from the southern Rockies northeastward into southern Nebraska," said NOAA senior development meteorologist Phillip Bothwell. "As a strong surface low pressure system continues to develop from southern Nevada to the Four Corners area over the next two days, warm, dry and very strong and gusty west to southwest winds will prevail across much of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, and eastward into the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles."

Like California, most of these areas remain in severe to extreme drought with mostly scattered light precipitation during October.

NOAA meteorologists continue to provide minute-by-minute localized fire weather forecasts to the hundreds of firefighters battling the raging fire storms across California.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nationís coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Fire Weather Information Center

NOAA National Weather Service Western Region

NOAA National Fire Weather Page

NOAA Western Red Flag Warnings

NOAA Fire Graphics and Satellite Images

NOAA Provides Critical Support to Wildfire Management

High-tech Meteorology Helps NOAA Forecast Fire Weather

NOAA Fire Weather Services

Media Contact:
Marilu Trainor, NOAA National Weather Service Western Region, (801) 524-5692 ext. 226 or Keli Tarp, NOAA Storm Prediction Center, (405) 366-0451

 



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