It’s only a few days from November, and we’re still looking at forecasts breaking the 100-degree mark. This is not the autumn weather we were promised. Our social media feeds are flowing with photos from friends outside of SoCal, posting changing leaves, snug scarves, and cider doughnuts, and here we are, just hoping this current heatwave isn’t so severe that everything catches on fire.
Sure, Los Angeles is more known for year-round sunny days than crisp fall feels, but this is unusual even by local standards. Monday’s heat broke long-standing records, and it’s unlikely to cool off soon. By this point in the year, historic data suggests we should be looking at high temperatures 20 to 30 degrees lower than what we’re currently experiencing.
“Any time we break record temperatures like we did on Monday and likely today, it is very unusual, as records go back to about 1877,” says Eric Boldt of the National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard office.
So, Is It Ever Going to Cool Down?
According to Boldt, “Hot, record-breaking temperatures will continue today followed by a few degrees of “cooler” conditions on Wednesday. We won’t really see a bigger relief from the heat wave until Thursday or Friday.” Hot Santa Ana winds are expected to keep blowing around the area for the coming days and, Boldt says, “As long as we have Santa Anas, October can be very warm.”
These conditions can also quickly turn from uncomfortable to dangerous. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for fire danger in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. “Hot conditions tend to lead to more wildfires,” Boldt says. Right now, the area hasn’t seen significant rain since April, which, combined with extreme heat, leaves plants parched and easy to burn. “Fire agencies call it ‘critical fuel moisture levels’ near 60 percent—and we are at or below this value. In the winter time those levels would normally be well over 100 percent.”
Looking ahead, “We should start to see more seasonal temperatures as we get into November,” Boldt says, but you probably won’t need to invest heavily in mittens this year. “The overall forecast for the winter is for above normal temperatures.”
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