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[1] A new method based on global climate model pressure gradients was developed for identifying coastal high-wind fire weather conditions, such as the Santa Ana Occurrence (SAO). Application of this method for determining southern California Santa Ana wind occurrence resulted in a good correlation between derived large-scale SAOs and observed offshore winds during periods of low humidity. The projected change in the number of SAOs was analyzed using two global climate models, one a low temperature sensitivity and the other a middle-temperature sensitivity, both forced with low and high emission scenarios, for three future time periods. This initial analysis shows consistent shifts in SAO events from earlier (September–October) to later (November–December) in the season, suggesting that SAOs may significantly increase the extent of California coastal areas burned by wildfires, loss of life, and property.