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Watch: 7 fall weather hazards

Posted at 1:38 PM, Sep 22, 2015

Fall officially begins on Wednesday, September 23 at 4:21 EDT, and while parts of the country have already had a taste of the season, it's only just beginning.

Fall weather usually brings pleasant thoughts of warm, sunny days and cool nights, but that's not always the case.

Here are seven weather hazards to watch for as the seasons change:

1. El Niño
This may not necessarily be a hazard, but it's definitely the overall driving force behind the weather pattern the entire country will see heading into the season.

Strong El Niños such as this one typically bring warmer, drier conditions to the northern half of the country and wet conditions across the southern half.

2. Hurricanes
The season peaks in the first third of September, but there are still more than two months left in the overall season.

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It's been an inactive season so far, but history has shown us inactive seasons are more than capable of producing a strong hurricane.

3. Wildfires
This year has been one of the worst fire seasons in recorded history with nearly seven million acres of land already burned across the western U.S. and Alaska.

The dry air typically associated with fall only adds fuel to the fire.

4. Winter Weather
The calendar may say fall, but Mother Nature doesn't care what day it is. October 1 is a week away from the first day of Fall, and snow typically begins to fall in the mountains in October.

From the mountains, expect that first snow to fall in the Northern Plains and move south from there, so start brushing up on your snow driving skills now.

5. Floods
Monsoon season in the Desert Southwest is just beginning to wind down as the rainy season on the West Coast is picking up.

With a strong El Niño in place, flooding is likely to be worse this year, and more rain than usual is likely across the entire southern half of the country, too.

6. Wind
It's not your typical severe weather season, but cooler temperatures can usher in stronger storm systems capable of creating strong, damaging winds.

Any winds stronger than 58 mph will trigger severe thunderstorm warnings.

7. Drought
California is in the middle of a historic drought. Whether this El Niño will remedy that completely or just make things not as bad is yet to be seen.

In the meantime, conserving water and riding it out is all that can be done.