Storm Tracker Forecast: Elevated fire danger & unhealthy air quality

Dry conditions are keeping fire danger elevated today and smoke from active fires is impacting our air quality. Temperatures will be cooler over the next couple of days, but hotter temperatures and the potential for thunderstorms will return in your extended forecast.

Posted: Aug 20, 2020 6:13 AM

Fire danger remains elevated through the start of your Thursday and air quality will be very impacted today. The Red Flag Warning for high fire danger is finally set to expire at 9AM this morning in areas of Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Butte, and Plumas Counties. Gusty west to southwest winds, and low humidity are still a concern today, but winds should weaken this afternoon and shift to become mostly out of the south. Air quality is down into the unhealthy range for most of our region this morning and will stay very impacted through the day. You're going to want to limit your time outdoors as much as you can until the smoke disperses from our region, which is entirely dependent on how long the active fires continue to burn.

Skies are mostly clear of clouds, but smoke will continue to blanket our region today, with the exception for some clearing in the Northern Mountains. Valley areas will see the biggest impacts from the smoke today, with some modest relief expected in the foothills and Sierra into the afternoon. Temperatures are starting out in the 60's to 70's in the valley and foothills this morning, and in the 40's to 50's in most mountain areas. Winds are mostly light and out of the northeast at the surface level this morning, but upper level winds continue out of the west. This could bring another round of ash into our region this morning. Humidity is starting out low and will end up in the single digits to teens in most valley areas today. The dry conditions will keep fire danger high despite the dop off in the winds. High temperatures are projecte to end up in the mid to high 90's in the valley and in the 80's to 90's in the foothills and mountains, but smoke overhead will likely keep most areas from reaching their projected high temperatures.

Low pressure tracking into the Pacific Northwest will keep our temperatures on the cooler side through Friday, but high pressure to our east will rebuild into our region through the weekend. That will result in an uptick in temperatures of around 5 degrees for both Saturday and Sunday compared to Thursday. Tropical moisture is expected to get pulled up into our region starting either Sunday evening or Monday, and that wil bring the threat of thunderstorms back to northern California during that time. The window for potential active weather currently extends from Sunday evening through Tuesday, but low pressure moving into our north is expected to push that off to our east by the middle of next week. There will also be a modest cooling trend on the way for the middle of next week that is expected to result in temperatures mostly hovering closer to average for this time of year.

Chico
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
Oroville
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 48°
Paradise
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 46°
Chester
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 36°
Red Bluff
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 36°
Willows
Mostly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
A ridge of high pressure delivered beautiful weather to northern California on Friday. The weekend will also begin in a quiet and mild way, but changes including rain, snow and wind are coming over the next week.
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