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San Diego Rain Storm Won't Decrease Fire Danger By Much

San Diego Rain Storm Won't Decrease Fire Danger By Much
While a mid-May rain storm is unusual for San Diego, the downpour will only temporarily decrease the risk of wildfires, according to the National Weather Service.

While a mid-May rain storm is unusual for San Diego, the downpour will only temporarily decrease the risk of wildfires, said Alex Tardy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

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"It might buy you seven to 10 days, where it really moistens things up, but for the long term outlook it's not going to be that big of an impact," he said. "It buys us a little bit of time, but the next time we go into a long stretch of heat or Santa Ana winds with low humidity, the fuels will go right back to where they were before the rain."

Related: Rain Drenches San Diego As Storm Moves Through

Enough rain to cause flooding, gusty wind, cold weather and mountain snow struck parts of San Diego County Friday.

Tardy said the rain dampens fine fire fuels like grass and brush, but doesn't impact older fuels like logs, so it does little to decrease long term wildfire risk.

"You're going to go right back to where conditions are exactly the same in a few weeks," he said.

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Tardy said a mid-May storm is "on the rare side" for San Diego County, and that the region hasn't seen heavy rains in May since 2011.

"It is unusual to have this much rain and this cold a storm with snow at 4,000, 5,000 feet," he said.

The region will dry out and warm up, but not significantly, in the next few weeks, Tardy said.

"Just a gradual warm up and dry periods next week," he said.

He said there could be a marine layer next week, and temperatures will be just above normal.

Last May, strong Santa Ana winds and high temperatures made conditions ripe for the wildfires that spread across the region.