After a brief lull, a new round of even stronger winds and extreme fire danger will unfold in California this weekend into early next week.
As a potent storm pushes across the northern Rockies and a strong area of high pressure builds across the Pacific coast and Great Basin, winds will again kick up and wreak havoc for firefighters and residents in California already dealing with several large blazes such as the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County and the Tick Fire in Los Angeles County.
North-to-northeast winds will kick up late Saturday over Northern California and spread to Southern California on Sunday.
The period with the strongest wind in Northern California is expected to be late Saturday night into Sunday afternoon.
Strong winds will also be felt over much of the southwestern United States later this weekend.
North California will bear the brunt of the strongest wind gusts with this next fire weather event, particularly the North Bay mountains around Sonoma and Napa counties north into Lake, Trinity and interior Mendocino and Humboldt counties..
Wind gusts in this region are likely to climb into the 60- to 90-mph range. Elsewhere around the Bay Area, Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills gusts of 40-60 mph will be common.
Gusty winds are also forecast for Southern California with the highest winds likely from Sunday to Monday.
Over Southern California, this will generally be considered another moderate Santa Ana event, with wind gusts in the mountains and through the canyons and passes generally ranging from 35 to 70 mph.
Tens of thousands are already without power in both the northern and southern regions of the state as utility companies Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, have instituted planned power outages to help reduce the risk of wildfire growth. Some wildfires have started in the past as a result of coming into contact with live power lines that were blown onto the ground.
One difference with this wind event, as compared to the Diablo and Santa Ana event into Friday, will be the temperatures.
With the upcoming windstorm this weekend, a push of colder air will move in from the north. Therefore, temperatures will be some 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit lower, as compared to the oppressive heat that accompanied the most recent windstorm.
For example, San Fransisco, which climbed to near 90 degrees on Thursday, will remain in the 70s on Sunday when the next windstorm peaks.
Similarly, Long Beach, California, peaked at 99 F on Thursday. Los Angeles International Airport, which sits right on the Pacific Coast, soared close to 100 on Thursday, but can expect a high in the 70s on Sunday.
That’s weird, no? This new windstorm will create extreme fire danger over California this weekend, but this ‘hell’ will get colder. [AccuWeather]