I'm pleased to let you know that Sundowner Winds and Wildfires - A Virtual Gathering is a go for this Thursday, November 12 @ 5:30 pm. Back in the pre-COVID-19 era, I had a great opportunity to attend an October 2019 workshop at the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management, entitled Understanding Extreme Fire Weather Hazards and Improving Resilience in Coastal Santa Barbara. Those were the days! We'll get there again! In the meantime, this Thursday we have the opportunity to learn virtually the latest information on Sundowner Winds from one of the main workshop speakers, UCSB Professor Dr. Leila Carvalho.
From my workshop notes, I learned that there has been a 2.5 centigrade warming in high elevations during the past 30 years, and a 12%-30% drop in humidity. These climatic changes in conjunction with Santa Barbara's unique Sundowner Winds have caused extreme fire hazards. Since the 2008 Gap Fire, the Front Country of Santa Barbara has experienced major fires, one after another: Tea Fire (2008), Jesusita Fire (2009), Sherpa Fire (2016), Whittier Fire (2017), Thomas Fire (2017), Holiday Hill Fire (2018), and the Cave Fire (2019).
Let's learn more about the risks we are facing and the scientific work being conducted by UCSB's Sundowner Winds Experiment (SWEX).