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Storm Tracker Forecast: Better air quality & the chance for showers today

Gusty winds have brought better air quality to our region, but is also keeping fire danger elevated today. Cooler temperatures and the potential for showers are ahead for your Friday afternoon and evening. Dry & warmer conditions return for your last weekend of the summer season.

Posted: Sep 18, 2020 6:34 AM

We finally have some good news in your air quality forecast this morning. The entire valley is showing good air quality to start the day and we're in the moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups range in most foothill and mountain areas. Gusty south winds have helped to improve air quality, but will also contribute to elevated fire danger concerns today. A Red Flag Warning for high fire danger is still in effect for portions of Plumas and Lassen Counties, and is set to stay in effect through 11PM tonight. Wind gusts up to around 40mph are projected, with stronger gusts possible along ridge tops. Humidity will be higher today, which is going to result in slightly better fire danger conditions than yesterday.

Low pressure tracking towards the Pacific Northwest is driving strong south winds through our region, and will result in much cooler temperatures today. We will also have a decent chance for at least some light showers moving through the northern portions of our region this afternoon and evening. The threat of thunderstorms is expected to stay to our north. Temperatures are starting out in the 60's to low 70's in the valley, in the 60's in the foothills, and in the 40's to 50's in most mountain areas this morning. Winds are out of the south to around 15mph to start the day and will stay in that same range this afternoon. Gusts to 20mph will be possible in the valley, while foothill and mountain areas will have potential for gusts up to around 35mph. Humidity will be much higher this afternoon, and is mostly expected to bottom out at around 24 percent in the Sierra and Southern Cascades. This is good news for fire danger, but the gusty winds are keeping us in the high range today. High temperatures will top out in the mid 70's to low 80's in the valley, and in the upper 60's to mid 70's in the mountains and foothills this afternoon.

Low pressure tracks to the east through this weekend, and high pressure will rebuild across northern California. This will result in dry and warmer conditions returning over the next few days. Winds up to around 10mph out of the north are expected this weekend, and that could result in the return of bigger air quality impacts over the next few days. Temperatures are projected to top out in the low to mid 80's in the valley on Saturday and in the mid 80's to low 90's in the valley on Sunday. Mountain and foothill areas will end up in the mid to high 70's on Saturday, and high 70's to mid 80's on Sunday. Monday will have very similar conditions to Sunday, but most areas are expecting a drop of a degree or two in high temperatures. The official start of the fall season is on Tuesday, and we do actually have a modest dip in temperatures expected on that day. Valley ares will mostly top out in the mid 80's, while higher elevations end up in the 70's to low 80's. We'll see a modest jump in temperatures on the way for the middle of next week.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 886939

Reported Deaths: 17167
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2904866944
Riverside650561275
San Bernardino609451065
Orange576351423
San Diego53263863
Kern33551413
Fresno30220430
Sacramento24811474
Santa Clara23591382
Alameda22932435
San Joaquin21436484
Contra Costa18273238
Stanislaus17403394
Tulare17317279
Ventura13930160
Imperial12610336
San Francisco11969137
Monterey1115884
San Mateo10918157
Santa Barbara9671119
Merced9386153
Sonoma9016134
Kings817383
Solano720574
Marin7036127
Madera492873
San Luis Obispo408032
Placer402355
Yolo309958
Butte302651
Santa Cruz272524
Napa190814
Sutter182112
Shasta178629
San Benito141114
El Dorado13024
Yuba128010
Mendocino111121
Tehama7938
Lassen7611
Lake67815
Glenn6473
Nevada5988
Humboldt5609
Colusa5486
Calaveras33917
Amador31316
Tuolumne2574
Inyo21815
Siskiyou1860
Del Norte1751
Mono1752
Mariposa782
Plumas610
Modoc270
Trinity250
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 75°
Oroville
Scattered Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 76°
Paradise
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 75°
Chester
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 50°
Red Bluff
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 75°
Willows
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Very strong winds and dry conditions are driving critical fire danger today. A Red Flag Warning for high fire danger, a Wind Advisory, and a Freeze Warning are all in effect for the start of your Thursday.
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