Dry lightning threat in Bay Area, focuses on 4 hour window, raises fire concerns

The Bay Area is facing a dry lightning threat on Thursday and Friday due to critical fire weather conditions, according to ABC7 News Meteorologist Drew Tuma.

"We are looking at a 4 hour window later today, from 10pm tonight - 2am Friday morning, for the highest threat of lightning," tweeted Tuma. "It's not guaranteed but any strikes on our extremely dry landscape could start new fires."

Tuma says thunderstorms during a drought can be a dangerous combination.

"Most of the Bay Area is in the exceptional drought category," explained Tuma. "So you combine the fact that we have the threat for lightning and a very dry landscape -- we could see the potential for new fires to start."

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A Red Flag Warning will be in effect from 5 p.m. Thursday to 11 a.m. Friday for the North Bay and Inland East Bay.

Moisture off the Southern California coast is expected to stream into Northern California late Thursday.

"Combine that with an area of low pressure that's going to kick it into gear, giving it an instigating factor for dry lightning," added Tuma.
Tuma is tracking lightning strike risk areas, starting around 10 p.m. Thursday.

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"There is a low risk in parts of the Bay Area, but it's really early Friday morning -- between midnight and 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. -- that we have the highest risk of seeing lightning strikes," said Tuma.

Thankfully, the threat won't last long.

"By 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. Friday the threat is out of here and we will find a pretty comfortable afternoon on the way to end the week," said Tuma.

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