This week, a ridge of high pressure will prevail along the West Coast, causing the weather to continue to be warmer than normal and dry as a bone. There will continue to be Santa Ana winds flowing southwestward into coastal Southern California these next few days, making firefighting difficult. The Santa Ana winds are caused by cooler air and high pressure entrenched over the Great Basin and warmer air/lower pressure over the SoCal coast. The pressure difference accelerates the wind southwestward and further acceleration occurs as the airflow descends downslope into the coastal areas, driving wildfires through the parched shrubbery and brush.
A weak trough will move from northwest to southeast through the Great Basin during the latter part of the week, bringing some breezes and high clouds to Arizona but likely reversing the wind in SoCal to a southwesterly direction (toward the northeast) by Thursday. This could help firefighting efforts.
Some of the long range forecasts are hinting to the possibility of weather systems on the week of Christmas (Dec. 25-29). It’s too early to get excited about these uncertain long-range forecasts, but we can still hope for some much-needed rain/snow in Southern California and Arizona that week.
Met Mail is an unofficial weather discussion and forecast transmitted once or twice a week via e-mail by the Embry-Riddle Department of Meteorology (http://meteo.pr.erau.edu/). Embry-Riddle offers an undergraduate bachelor-of-science degree program in Applied Meteorology. Please spread the word to all potential qualified candidates!
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Official National Weather Service forecast