Meet Akash, the Scripps National Spelling Bee’s Youngest Contestant

Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee(NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.) — Akash Vukoti of San Angelo, Texas, may be the youngest contestant -- and the first first-grader -- ever to reach the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but he was in it to win it.

"I knew all the words they gave, not just to me but to every speller," Akash said Wednesday after his first appearance on the big stage. "My goal actually is to get to the finals."

This year, the 6-year-old joined 284 other children to compete in the national spelling bee for a trophy and $40,000 in cash, among other prizes. Akash would strike out later Wednesday when he misspelled the word “bacteriolytic.” A tweet from the National Spelling bee Twitter account confirmed the misspelling.

Earlier Wednesday, Akash walked on the stage, adjusted the microphone and correctly spelled "inviscate."

At the age of 2, he'd already participated in his first spelling bee. He said he practiced daily with his parents and teachers.

"It takes lots of studying time to win up your bee," Akash told ABC News. "I prepare with a dictionary."

Akash said that when he wasn't prepping for spelling bees, he enjoys playing in the park and swimming in pools.

And thanks to his appearances on the Steve Harvey Show, as well as Harvey's talent show, Little Big Shots, thanks to his spelling skills, he's changed his mind on what he wants to be when he grows up.

He said he's opted not be an astronaut and wants to be an actor instead.

The Spelling Bee finals air Thursday.

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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