alex hall delivers turco lecture to american geophysical union

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Alex Hall in The Los Angeles Times: California is so hot and dry that not even soaking rain can ease fall fire peril

A summer of drought, extreme heat and deadly wildfires will end with much-needed rain this week in parts of California, but it is unlikely to douse the threat of wind-driven fires this fall in a state scarred by record-setting heat waves and bone-dry landscapes.

What’s more, fall is often accompanied by gusty Santa Ana winds that help to fan wildfires. With experts now predicting a rare, third consecutive year of dry La Niña conditions, the combination of winds and desiccated fuel could prove perilous.

“We still have to be really vigilant,” said Alex Hall, director of the Center for Climate Science at UCLA. “The heart of the fire season — especially for Southern California and the central part of California — is coming up.”