Bay Area faces heightened fire risk, starting Wednesday night

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ByMike Nicco KGO logo
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Bay Area faces heightened fire risk this week
Another Red Flag Warning in Bay Area is now looking less likely this week thanks to changes in the wind and humidity, but ABC7 News Meteorologist Mike Nicco says heightened fire risk is still a factor.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 News Meteorologist Mike Nicco is tracking critical fire weather conditions expected to return to the Bay Area for a second time this week.

"I have some good news, the fire danger is looking less likely Wednesday night into Thursday," said Nicco.

The wind and humidity levels will play a major factor in what happens next.

Nicco's Accuweather forecast shows wind gusts peaking Thursday around 5 p.m. at less than 30 miles per hour.

"So, we are not looking at the 60 and 70 mile per hour gusts we had with our last Red Flag Warning," said Nicco.

The current Fire Danger Index shows the highest fire danger will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday.

Nicco is focusing on "moderate" to "high" fire danger in parts of the North Bay.

"Around 11 a.m. Thursday we could see high fire danger in northern Sonoma County and by 3 p.m. very high fire danger could develop across some spots in the North Bay," explained Nicco. "But, once we get past that we are back to low to moderate fire danger."

The lowest humidity is forecasted for 3 p.m. Thursday.

The fastest winds are forecasted for 5 p.m. Thursday.

"So, what we are dealing with are parameters that are not reaching the levels for a Red Flag Warning. They are not coming together at the same time," said Nicco. "While we have a heightened fire risk, no Red Flag Warning is needed -- that's some good news."

Red Flag Warnings are "extremely rare" in December, but Red Flag Warning was declared on Monday.

The previous two happened in 2013 and 2017.

"In 2013, it lead the Pfeiffer Fire near Big Sur," said Nicco. "We have also had some warnings in January at the height of our drought. We had three of them in 2014 and that could be a forecast of what to expect in January 2021."

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