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latest news Late October rains could ease California wildfires

A wetter-than-average forecast for the end of October could ease the wildfires burning in northern California and help ease drought conditions, according to the National Weather Service.

The latest weather forecast for the end of this month calls for above normal precipitation in California, with possible heavy snowfall at high altitudes in the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades. There is also a potential for an atmospheric river between Oct. 21 and Oct. 27, forecasters said.

The increased humidity is expected to quell ongoing forest fires and help improve drought conditions, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said.

Heavy precipitation is possible from southern Oregon to central California later this month.

(Paul Duginski / Los Angeles Times)

There is a moderate risk of heavy rainfall from southern Oregon to central California.

Although the outlook, released on Wednesday, looks quite far into the future in terms of weather, models have been consistent in recent days as to how this weather pattern will evolve over the northeast Pacific, forecasters say.

“We are monitoring this, and it looks like it could be something above normal, but nothing shocking,” said David King, a meteorologist at the Bay Area National Weather Service’s office in Monterey. King pointed out that October is normally not a very humid month, so it wouldn’t take long to lift it above normal.

Climatologist Daniel Swain tweeted Tuesday that there were signs of strengthening that a wet pattern could develop in about 10 days, and encouraged his Twitter followers to “stay tuned.”

The model change would follow a week of dry and windy conditions with a high risk of forest fires continuing across California.

The model change follows an October outlook that showed California had an equal chance of above, near, or below average precipitation and temperatures. The eight- to 12-day temperature forecast released on Wednesday shows that most of California has a likelihood of normal or slightly below normal readings.

Conditions would come as a welcome change after California was one of many western states to experience their hottest summers on record in 2021.