Extreme fire weather results in more potential power shutoffs in California

Electricity could be shut off for millions of people

Red Flag Warnings October 29, 2019
Red Flag Warnings for extreme fire danger October 29, 2019. NWS.

Red Flag Warnings in northern and southern California include forecasts for very strong winds and single digit humidity that will make wildfires difficult or impossible to suppress until, 1) the weather changes, or 2) the fire runs out of fuel.

Conditions in the southern part of the state will be critical, especially in the greater Los Angeles area which should expect 30 to 55 mph winds gusting at 75 to 85 with humidity of 3 to 8 percent.

Below is the National Weather Service forecast for Santa Clarita, near last week’s Tick Fire north of Los Angeles: Tuesday night, winds 41 to 46 mph gusting out of the northeast at 61 to 68. The relative humidity will drop to the single digits by noon on Wednesday.

NWS forecast wind Santa Clarita, CA
NWS forecast for the Santa Clarita, CA area, beginning October 29, 2019. The wind barbs point to the direction the wind will be FROM.

Below is information about this weather event from Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel Tuesday morning:

red flag conditions southern california wind humidity
Jim Cantore, The Weather Channel.

The three large utility companies could potentially shut off the power to millions of people in California beginning Tuesday. The maps below were collected from the web sites of the power companies at 8:30 a.m. PDT October 29 and show areas that could potentially be affected by power shutoffs. The information could change.

areas risk power shutoffs SDG&E
San Diego Gas & Electric’s communities at risk of power shutoffs October 29, 2019. SDG&E.
areas risk power shutoffs SCE
Southern California Edison’s areas at risk of power shutoffs October 29, 2019. SCE.
Pacific Gas & Electric's areas risk power shutoffs
Pacific Gas & Electric’s areas at risk of power shutoffs October 29, 2019. PG&E.

(Red Flag Warnings can be modified throughout the day as NWS offices around the country update and revise their weather forecasts.)

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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