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Rain Won’t Dampen Wildfire Threat As Santa Ana Wind Season Approaches

The first storm of the season has arrived to San Diego, bringing scattered thunder showers and significantly cooler temperatures. But the rain likely won’t be enough to impact the critical fire fuel levels in trees and vegetation as we approach the peak season for Santa Ana winds, according to Cal Fire Chief Mike Mohler.

Doppler Radar map shows the low pressure system approaching San Diego on October 11, 2012.
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Above: Doppler Radar map shows the low pressure system approaching San Diego on October 11, 2012.

If we see a high pressure as soon as Monday, you can see within a 12 hour period -- with high pressure and low humidities, these fuels lose those moistures within, again, less than a day –- especially if we have an offshore wind.

The system began moving south along the California coast Wednesday night and will move inland across Southern California late tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

General rainfall amounts from the system are expected to be less than a half-inch along the coast, and up to an inch in the mountains.

The current 7,000-feet snow level will drop to around 6,500 feet this evening, according to the weather service.

Temperatures are expected to return to the mid-to-upper 80s in the inland valleys by the weekend.

City News Service contributed to the information in this report.

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