Southern California is heading into a third year of La Niña, which means drier, hotter, and windier conditions are ahead. It’s rare to see this happen three years consecutively, says National Weather Service Meteorologist Eric Boldt.
But what about all that rain SoCal got from the remnants of Hurricane Kay? Boldt says it helped the few places where precipitation hit, with some desert areas getting as much as four to five inches, but don’t hold out too much hope.
“It maybe puts a temporary delay in the fire season that's coming up quickly on us now,” Boldt notes.
With Santa Ana wind season fast approaching and vegetation at its driest point in the year, Boldt says, “Any fires that start could happen rather quickly. And then if we fan that with a bunch of Santa Ana winds and really dry hot conditions, that can lead to some major fires.”
He worries about what will happen with so little rain. “We are getting into the thick of that as we get into October and even November if we don't see any significant rainfall during those two months.”
Is this a new normal for SoCal? He says he’s given the same forecast for the past 22 years, and that involves above-normal temperatures. Residents should expect drier, hotter, windier winters until La Niña dissipates.