It had never been hotter in Crescent City in January than it was Thursday.
Easterly winds and an off-shore flow raised the temperature to 75 degrees, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Tonkin. That beat the prior record for the date of Jan. 23, set in 1968, by 5 degrees. The only other time Crescent City hit 75 degrees in January at all was 1981, Tonkin said.
“Crescent City did tie the record for the month,” he said.
Tonkin said Crescent City is susceptible to off-shore easterly flows that push out the marine layer and dry things out. This usually happens in September and October, and is similar to Southern California’s Santa Ana winds, though on a smaller scale, he said.
The same easterly winds and off-shore flows also increase wildfire danger in Del Norte’s inland areas, Tonkin said. A red flag warning was in effect Friday for elevations above 2,500 feet due to low humidity and gusty east winds, according to the NWS.
Del Norte residents may get a brief respite from the dryness, with a 30 to 40 percent chance of rain Monday night to Tuesday, Tonkin said. If it does rain, it will likely stay north of the Klamath River, he said.
“This is probably the best potential for rain I’ve seen in a number of weeks,” Tonkin said.
Del Norte County and California experienced their driest year on record in 2013 due to a strong high pressure system forcing storms to the north. Del Norte is currently experiencing a level two, or severe, drought, according to the National Drought Monitor.
California Gov. Jerry Brown last week officially declared a drought emergency in the state.