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NOAA satellite image of wildfires across the state of California taken on Oct. 29, 2003, at 5:01 p.m. EST.Oct. 30, 2003 — In southern California a strong onshore flow off the ocean heavily laden with moisture has dramatically raised the humidity across the area, according to the NOAA National Weather Service. Strong southwest to westerly winds of 20 to 40 mph with higher gusts are expected inland Thursday with this marine push, said forecasters from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., and NOAA National Weather Service forecast offices in San Diego and Los Angeles. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of wildfires across the state of California taken on Oct. 29, 2003, at 5:01 p.m. EST. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Click here for latest NOAA images. Please credit “NOAA.”)

"Dry conditions are being replaced by the much more humid conditions in most areas," said NOAA senior development meteorologist Phillip Bothwell. "Even the inland areas should see much higher humidities through the next few days."

Much-needed relief may be on the way for firefighters as NOAA forecasters predict a chance of rain Friday night and Saturday across southern California.

Around Boulder and Denver, Colo., where several wildfires erupted Wednesday afternoon, the warm dry conditions were replaced Thursday with temperatures in the 20s and 30s with clouds and humidity near 100 percent.

Elsewhere in the United States, strong west to southwesterly winds and low humidity across much of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and southern Colorado are expected, and the fire danger remains high in these areas.

Friday should have less windy conditions across the southwest, although the humidity will still remain low, in the 10 to 15 percent range, from Arizona through New Mexico.

NOAA meteorologists continue to provide minute-by-minute localized fire weather forecasts to the hundreds of firefighters battling the raging fire storms across California.

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Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Fire Weather Information Center

NOAA National Weather Service Western Region

NOAA National Fire Weather Page

NOAA Western Red Flag Warnings

NOAA Fire Graphics and Satellite Images

NOAA Provides Critical Support to Wildfire Management

High-tech Meteorology Helps NOAA Forecast Fire Weather

NOAA Fire Weather Services

Media Contact:
Marilu Trainor, NOAA National Weather Service Western Region, (801) 524-5692 ext. 226 or Keli Tarp, NOAA Storm Prediction Center, (405) 366-0451