Nice Weekend and LA Fires

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This weekend will be better than average. There are some clouds and a few sprinkles over the northern portion of the state, but they will slowly push northward later today (see computer model precip forecast for 1 PM today). The showers and clouds will be even further north tomorrow as high pressure builds--so for most of western Washington we will see partly sunny skies and temps in the 50s.

In LA there are major wildfires associate with Santa Anna conditions...strong offshore flow that is prevalent this time of the year. Why? In the fall, cool, high pressure systems often push down into the intermountain west. This produces an offshore-directed pressure change (lower pressure offshore) that accelerates winds to the east (see surface pressure graphic). The winds are particularly strong in canyons and gaps. Take a look at the visible satellite image from this can see the plume of smoke from the fires.
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