There was concern on Friday that a tropical storm headed for Southern California would bring damaging winds that might fan wildfires and torrential rains that could cause flash floods, but the system would also bring welcome relief from the region’s harsh 10-day heat wave.
Strong winds from Tropical Storm Kay, which were predicted to reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, could have fanned the flames of the Fairview Fire, which has already burned through roughly 27,000 acres (10,926 hectares) in Riverside County, east of Los Angeles.
More than 35,000 people had to leave their homes because of the blaze, which was just 5% contained.
“After putting out a fire, we might have to deal with heavy downpours, water rescues, mudslides, and debris flows. There are difficult times ahead of us, “On Thursday night, Deputy Chief Jeff Veik of Cal Fire’s Riverside Unit addressed the neighborhood.
Cal Fire spokesperson Rob Roseen noted that rain had begun falling in the area by Friday afternoon, which was a significant help in containing the fire. It was remained rather calm by late afternoon.
The National Weather Service (NWS) warned that the storm, which had weakened from hurricane strength overnight, still posed a threat to Baja California, other regions of Mexico, and the U.S. Southwest with torrential rains that could lead to hazardous flash flooding, landslides, and mudslides.
The National Weather Service predicts that when Tropical Storm Kay comes onshore on Friday and over the weekend, some areas of Baja California could receive more than 10 inches (25 cm) of rain, while other areas of Southern California might receive 6 to 8 inches.
Flooding in both rural areas and major cities is possible during prolonged periods of moderate to severe rainfall, the service warned. Preparedness is key for those who live in flood-prone areas.
The NWS warned that Southern California could experience strong easterly winds of 40 to 50 mph with gusts of up to 100 mph, which could bring down trees and power lines and make getting around difficult.
According to NWS meteorologist Bill South, the storm will also bring much-needed relief to California from the blistering heat wave the state has been experiencing for the past 10 days.
Tomorrow it “will travel over us and offer us with some cloud cover and perhaps some light rain and significantly colder temperatures,” he warned.
Even still, Friday’s 101 F high at LAX shattered the 1984 record of 96 F, as reported by the National Weather Service on Twitter.
Temperatures in Sacramento, the state capital, were predicted to hit 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Extremely high temperatures, regularly exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, have plagued the area all week.
The California Independent System Operator (ISO), which operates the grid for the majority of the state, reports that the electrical grid has been stable for several days running thanks to conservation measures.
ISO Chief Executive Elliot Mainzer predicted that the state’s crucial supply of solar energy will be reduced by as much as 60% from earlier in the week due to the lower temperatures, overall demand for electricity, cloud cover, and smoke.
“Our friends down in Southern California today really have their work cut out for them as we go from one extreme weather situation to the next,” Mainzer said, saying that utilities might potentially face issues keeping the lights on if heavy rain and winds precipitate floods or mudslides.
However, by mid-afternoon, the data on his agency’s website indicated that energy demand was not exceeding supply.
The Southern California Division of Edison International To reduce the risk of power lines sparking wildfires, Edison company, which serves five million customers in the southern third of California, was considering turning off power to around 53,000 customers on Friday.
“Utility workers are worried about the brief window of opportunity before precipitation begins. The utility’s equipment must not spark any fires at that time, “David Song, a business representative, said as much.
On Tuesday, when power demand reached an all-time high and energy rates surged to two-year highs, the grid nearly imposed rotating blackouts.
The ISO encourages consumers to reduce their energy consumption in the late afternoon, when solar output is at its lowest. About a third of the grid’s electricity has come from renewable sources like solar power throughout the middle of the day, but that percentage drops dramatically as the sun goes down.