La Ni as typically peak in winter and last between 12 and 18 months, Bell said, though because this one is still strengthening, meteorologists do not know how long it will endure. Some climate models have suggested it will remain a moderate event, others that it will become even stronger. Either way, the news does not bode well for firefighters. In the Angeles National Forest, the fire danger rating “remains at extreme, which is level five (of six), indicating there is a likelihood of catastrophic fires,” said Stanton Florea, the forest’s fire information officer. “There’s going to be extreme fire danger until we get significant rainfall.” In fact, Florea said, at a meeting of officials from Southern California national forests, “everybody agreed that the fuel moisture level is consistent with critical level six,” but the danger rating was lowered because of improved weather conditions and fire crew availability. The Angeles National Forest reopened at midnight today, two weeks after tinder-dry vegetation and gusting Santa Ana winds forced a temporary emergency closure. There could be some cause for optimism, though, for those who believe in mythology. Legend holds that oak trees become laden with acorns before a winter of heavy rain, Patzert said. “I’ve had a huge fall of acorns, it was like being in a hail storm some evenings, so many acorns,” he said. “If you have to put some money on it, go with the science,” Patzert said, “but I’ve kind of got my fingers crossed the acorns are right.” [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE – No relief is in sight for bone-dry Southern California. For months, the trade winds have been blowing east across the Pacific, churning the ocean and bringing cold, deep water to the surface – the hallmark of a La Nina event. With La Nina will likely come another mild winter, meteorologists say, without the rainfall needed to refill depleted reservoirs and dampen fire-prone wilderness areas. “Because most of our rainfall occurs in December, January and February, this is definitely going to impact us,” said Bill Patzert, a JPL meteorologist. “It’s not a good forecast.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre In Pasadena, Patzert said, four out of every five La Nina events bring unusually low rainfall totals. The dry conditions are expected to stretch across the entire southern United States. “There is an extreme drought in the southwest, but we have an exceptional drought in the southeast, so this is definitely not good news for them,” Patzert said. La Ni as, the near opposite of El Nino events, occur every three to six years, said Gerry Bell, a climate forecaster for the National Weather Service. “La Ni a keeps the jet stream further north, up toward Oregon, Washington and Canada,” Bell said. “The jet stream dips southward much less, and so therefore you don’t get as many storms” over Southern California. The Pacific Northwest, by contrast, will likely have a wetter-than-normal winter.