one guy just named it something fun this time

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As many know, the reason there is desert on such a huge swath of the west coast of South America is because they have had their own Ridiculously Resilient Ridge sitting just off shore for centuries. California's history of droughts is long and extremely well-documented.

This piece is from 2014, and you might not be able to read it, but this is the salient quote:
Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years — compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell. The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.
The RRR may or may not have anything to do with human weather manipulation, as the geoengineering maniacs insist, but it has popped up quite a few times well before we could plausibly blame that activity for the frequent dry spells in this state.

The only reason you might be able to say these fires are "the new normal" is the high inventory of dead and dying trees and the outright suckish "management" of our timberlands AND our residential areas. It's ALWAYS too much money to do the right thing, so they DON'T. And they are trying to get rid of the insane state of fuels loading by letting wildfires burn, tending them rather than fighting them.

This approach had already yielded some damn serious disasters, but we're counting the dead every evening from it now. This is NOT something we just have to get used to. This is something that requires adult supervision of state and federal agencies.

THAT should be what's in your head as The New Normal.

pipe up any time....