Preprint Short Note Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Characteristics of Diablo-like Wind conditions in Northern California Based on a Climatology from Surface Observations

Version 1 : Received: 23 May 2018 / Approved: 24 May 2018 / Online: 24 May 2018 (10:16:13 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Smith, C.; Hatchett, B.J.; Kaplan, M. A Surface Observation Based Climatology of Diablo-Like Winds in California’s Wine County and Western Sierra Nevada. Fire 2018, 1, 25. Smith, C.; Hatchett, B.J.; Kaplan, M. A Surface Observation Based Climatology of Diablo-Like Winds in California’s Wine County and Western Sierra Nevada. Fire 2018, 1, 25.

Journal reference: Fire 2018, 1, 25
DOI: 10.3390/fire1020025

Abstract

Diablo winds are dry and gusty north-northeasterly downslope windstorms that affect the Northern California. On the evening of October 8, 2017, Diablo winds contributed to the ignitions and rapid spread of the “Northern California Firestorm”, including the Tubbs Fire, which burned 2,800 homes in Santa Rosa, resulted in 22 fatalities and $1.2B USD in damages. We analyzed 18 years of data from a network of surface meteorological stations and show that Diablo winds tend to occur overnight through early morning in Fall, Winter and Spring. Conditions similar to Diablo winds occur commonly in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in addition to the area North of the San Francisco Bay Area including the Northern Coastal Ranges. Diablo winds are characterized by high wind speeds and low relative humidity, but they tend to neither be warmer than climatology nor do they have a higher gust factor, or ratio of wind gusts to mean wind speeds, than climatology.

Subject Areas

Diablo winds; downslope windstorms; Northern California; wildfire meteorology

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