What Dry Winter Weather in California Can Tell Us

By Marie Tae McDermott.

Good morning.

This week, over a quarter of a million people were without power as powerful Santa Ana winds roared through parts of Central and Southern California. The winds were possibly the strongest that the state has seen in 20 years.

Coming off the worst wildfire season in history and in the midst of a dry winter, parts of the Santa Cruz mountains where the CZU Lightning Complex Fire burned over the summer reignited and over a hundred residents were evacuated.

The powerful winds also forced a two-day closure of the Disneyland vaccination site in Orange County and damaged roads and buildings at Yosemite National Park.

A warming climate has caused wildfire season, which typically peaks in late summer, to become a year-round affair in recent years. Wildfires in January just may be the new normal. Here’s what the unusual weather means and what it might portend for the coming months.

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