SAN DIEGO — Parts of Southern California were hit by strong winds Friday from a tropical storm that brought high humidity, rain and potential flooding to a dry region, but also promised cooler temperatures after a 10-day heat wave that devastated the state. Almost hit the power. Net.
Firefighters feared powerful winds that were above 100 mph (161 kph) could extend to the huge Fairview Fire, burning about 75 miles (121 kph) southeast of Los Angeles, but its Instead the crew made significant progress and saw Monday as a day when they should have complete control. More than 10,000 homes and other structures remain at risk and evacuation orders are still in place.
Hurricane Kay made landfall in Baja California Sur state on Thursday near Bahia Asuncion, Mexico, but it quickly weakened to a tropical storm by the time it reached Southern California. Winds still were brutal in places, the National Weather Service said – speeds reached 109 mph (175 kph) at Cuyamaca Peak in San Diego County.
Tropical conditions added to the heat wave, with temperatures rising by more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in many parts of California this week. Even places like San Diego, which is famous for its temperate climate, are ripe in the heat.
It rained incessantly in downtown San Diego until late Friday, as Charles Jenkins shoveled puddles away from the wire of his temporary home.
“The heat was the killer, so for now it feels good,” Jenkins said. “I hope not to water too much. But I’ll rough it up. I have pallets I can put down to keep out the rain.”
As the rain continued around 1 p.m., a Navy-contracted, twin-engined aircraft carrying two civilian pilots slammed off the end of a runway when it touched down at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado and hit a spit of sand. I stood up. Naval Base Coronado spokesman Kevin Dixon said the nose of the plane was damaged, but the pilots left on their own and were taken to hospital for observation.
Although it rained normally throughout Southern California on Friday, isolated thunderstorms and heavy rain were expected on Saturday. Anticipating the potential for flooding, officials in coastal cities posted warning signs in low-lying areas and provided sandbags for the public.
September has already produced one of the hottest and longest heat waves on record for California and some other western states. About 54 million people across the region were subject to heat warnings and advisories this week as temperature records were broken in many regions.
California’s state capital Sacramento broke a 97-year-old record on Tuesday by reaching an all-time high of 116 degrees (46.7 degrees Celsius). Salt Lake City on Wednesday tied its all-time high of 107 degrees (41.6 C).
On Tuesday, when air conditioners made noise amid the scorching heat, California set a record for electricity consumption and officials set off a near-rolling blackout, when electrical grid capacity was at its breaking point.
Scientists say climate change has made the West hotter and drier over the past three decades and will make the weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive. Over the past five years, California has experienced the largest and most devastating fire in the state’s history.
While firefighters made progress against the Fairview Fire, the fast-moving Mosquito fire in the foothills east of Sacramento doubled in size to at least 46 square miles (119 square kilometers) on Friday and covered 3,600 homes in Placer and El Dorado counties. area in blanket smoke while threatened.
Flames leapt down the American River, burning structures in the mountain village of Volcano and home to about 1,500 people, and moving closer to the Forresthill towns of Georgetown, a population of 3,000. Placer County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Josh Barnhart said more than 5,700 people had been evacuated in the area.
David Haines was asleep on the porch of his mother’s Forresthill mobile home when he awoke to a bright red sky on Wednesday morning and was ordered to evacuate.
“It was really terrifying, because they say, ‘Oh yeah, it’s getting closer,'” he said. “It was like sunset in the middle of the night.”
Hans left behind most of his electronic gear, all his clothes and family photos and fled to Auburn, where he found his mother, Linda Hans, who said the biggest stressor is wondering: “Is my house still there? “
Tour de Tahoe organizers announced Friday that they are canceling the annual 72-mile (115-km) bicycle ride, scheduled for Sunday around Lake Tahoe, because of heavy smoke from the fire – 50 miles (80 km) km) – and noted that cycling is a “heavy cardio activity that doesn’t pair well with terrible air quality.” Last year’s ride was canceled due to smoke from another large fire south of Tahoe.
The cause of the mosquito fire is being investigated. Pacific Gas & Electric said unspecified “electrical activity” occurred near the time of the fire’s report on Tuesday.