Late October rains could dampen wildfires and help with drought, forecasters say

The precipitation prospect map shows a change in the pattern for California. (Paul Duginski / Los Angeles Times)
An above-average weather forecast for late October could dampen the forest fires burning in Northern California and alleviate drought conditions, according to the National Weather Service.
The latest weather forecast for the second half of this month predicts above-average rainfall in California, with possible heavy snowfall in the Sierra Nevada and Cascades. There is also potential for atmospheric flux between October 21 and October 27, forecasters said.
The increase in moisture is expected to suppress the ongoing forest fires and help improve drought conditions, said the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.
Heavy rainfall is possible from southern Oregon to central California later this month. (Paul Duginski / Los Angeles Times)
From southern Oregon to central California, there is a moderate risk of heavy rainfall.
Although the outlook for the weather released on Wednesday looks pretty far into the future, the models have been consistent over the past few days in terms of the development of this weather pattern over the Northeast Pacific, according to forecasters.
"We're monitoring this and it looks like it might be a little above normal but nothing earth-shattering," said David King, a meteorologist with the National Bay Area Meteorological Service office in Monterey. King pointed out that October is usually not a very wet month, so it wouldn't take much to lift it above normal.
Climate scientist Daniel Swain tweeted Tuesday that there was growing evidence that a wet pattern could develop in about 10 days and encouraged his Twitter followers to "stay tuned".
The pattern change would follow a week of dry, windy conditions with a continued high risk of wildfires across California.
The pattern change follows an outlook for October that showed California with equal chances of above-average, near-average, or below-average rainfall and temperatures. The eight- to twelve-day temperature outlook released on Wednesday shows that most of California has a likelihood of normal or slightly below average values.
Conditions would make a welcome change now that California was one of several western states experiencing their hottest summers on record in 2021.
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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