The dry and windy weather early this week has led to the development of severe major wildfires in Southern California. The Thomas Fire just outside of Los Angeles, the largest active fire in the US, has grown nearly 31,000 acres in 9 hours. A new fire also formed early Wednesday morning, and lead to scenes like this along the 405 Freeway:
The wildfires can also be scene on satellite imagery. This image from NOAA Satellites shows the before and after images of Southern California. Notice all of the smoke from the fires moving over the ocean. The direction of the winds also highlights that these wildfires are being driven by the offshore Santa Ana winds.
On Sunday, the Storm Prediction Center is highlighting a ‘Critical’ risk for wildfires from downtown Los Angles to the US-Mexico border just east of San Diego. Relative humidities will be between 5 and 15%. The combination of the gusty winds and dry air makes conditions very conducive for the fires.
The risk for wildfires will continue into the new week but winds will be calmer in comparison to last week, making for a lower threat.