All have a role in getting through fire season

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Some undoubtedly are acts of man and not acts of God, but it’s too soon to start chronicling what went wrong or to start figuring out what we can do to protect ourselves and our fragile environment. At this time, with so many fires still blazing, we all can see for ourselves the great job thousands of firefighters are doing in the face of tremendous danger. Firefighters have the biggest, most important jobs of fighting fires. And over the weekend and Monday, crews did an admirable job of beating back the flames driven by 80 mph winds. But all of us can help make Earth seem less hellish. For one, just by helping others. More than a quarter-million people have been displaced from their homes, from San Diego to Santa Clarita. They need places to stay and some tolerance as people crowd the roads getting somewhere else. EVERY fall when the hot dry Santa Ana winds start to blow strongly through Southern California, residents brace for the inevitable: wildfires that bring a taste of hell to Earth. Sometimes the conflagrations are minor, focused in a small area. Sometimes they are not. But one thing is for sure: They always come. And sometimes they are like nothing we’ve ever experienced, such as that terrible 10 days in the fall of 2003, in which 10 major wildfires in five Southern California counties killed 22 people and burned nearly 750,000 acres, 3,626 homes and 1,184 outbuildings. Today, in the midst of what could be another record-breaking fire season, more than a dozen blazes are threatening homes and lives. Traffic on Monday was nightmarish for many. Evacuations and road closures all over Southern California are bound to make the next few days hard ones. Those who can help by staying away from freeways during high-traffic times should do so. And, most important, everyone can make sure no new fires get a chance to begin. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere to spot potential arsonists or people who are careless. Southern California might smell like brimstone and look like a view of Hades for the next few days, but there’s no reason it has to lack humanity.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Low sea ice and warm water to drive autumn weather

first_imgEl Nino has transitioned to below normal sea surface temperatures in the mid latitude Pacific. If that persists, the condition known as La Nina, typically results in a colder than normal winter for Alaska, but National Weather Service climate science and services manager Rick Thoman said low sea ice and remaining warm water around Alaska, will be primary drivers of the state’s autumn weather.Listen now“The Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea on up into the Chukchi Sea… much warmer than normal,” Thoman said. “That heat will take a while to dissipate.Sea surface temperatures don’t typically reach their maximum until the end of August or even early September so that’s kinda locked in.”Thoman said warmer seas provide more, potentially rain and snow yielding, moisture to the air.“That’s one part of the equation,” Thoman said. “The other part of the equation is we had to have the atmospheric conditions. We need storms to be able to turn that moisture into precipitation. Typically in the autumn, that’s not so hard to do.”Thoman stressed that ocean temperatures and moisture most directly impact coastal weather.“Once we move inland a little bit, then it becomes more complicated. For instance, across the Interior, if our dominant flow during the fall is out of, say the East or the Northeast from Canada, well… it won’t matter very much that the oceans around us are warm, cause that’s not where our air’s coming from. So it can have a potential effect, but away from the coast, there’s other factors involved.”Thoman cautions that while the overall fall outlook for Alaska is for warmer than normal, there can still be below normal days, weeks or even a month.last_img read more