Southern California hit by tropical storm after record heat wave | California

parts of the south California were whipped by strong winds from a tropical storm on Friday that brought high humidity, rain and possible flooding to the parched region, but also the promise of cooler temperatures after a 10-day heat wave that nearly overwhelmed the state power grid.

Firefighters had feared powerful winds in excess of 100 mph (161 km/h) could spread the massive Fairview Fire burning about 75 miles (121 km) southeast of Los Angeles, but instead firefighters Crews made significant progress and considered Monday a day when they should have full lockdown. More than 10,000 homes and other structures remained at risk and evacuation orders were still in place.

Hurricane Kay made landfall near Mexico’s Bahia Asuncion in the state of Baja California Sur Thursday, but quickly weakened into a tropical storm by the time it reached southern California. Winds were still fierce in places — speeds reached 109 mph on San Diego County’s Cuyamaca Peak, the National Weather Service said.

Tropical conditions have worsened the heatwave that has seen temperatures top 100F (38C) in many parts of California this week. Even places like San Diego, renowned for its temperate climate, baked in the heat.

Late Friday morning, steady rain pounded downtown San Diego as Charles Jenkins brushed up puddles of water that collected on the tarps of his makeshift home.

“The heat was deadly, so for now it feels good,” Jenkins said. “I just hope the water doesn’t rise too high. But I’m going the rough. I have pallets that I can put under to avoid the rain.

Although rainfall was generally moderate in Southern California on Friday, there was a chance of isolated thunderstorms and heavy downpours on Saturday. With flooding possible, officials in coastal towns posted warning signs in low-lying areas and made sandbags available to the public.

September has already produced one of the hottest and longest heat waves on record in California and some other western states. Nearly 54 million people were subject to heat warnings and advisories across the region this week as temperature records were shattered in many regions.

Scientists say climate change has made the West hotter and drier over the past three decades and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive. Over the past five years, California has experienced the largest and most destructive wildfires in state history.

As firefighters made progress against the Fairview Fire, the fast-moving Mosquito Blaze in the foothills east of Sacramento doubled in size on Friday to at least 46 square miles (119 square kilometers) and threatened 3,600 homes in Placer and El Dorado counties, while covering the area in smoke.

Flames jumped the American River, burning structures in the mountain hamlet of Volcanoville and approaching the towns of Foresthill, home to around 1,500 people, and Georgetown, home to 3,000 people. More than 5,700 people in the area have been evacuated, said Placer County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Josh Barnhart.

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