Be prepared for very poor air quality to continue and for fire danger to be on the rise today. Air quality is starting out in the unhealthy to very unhealthy range across most of our region, but valley areas may see some improvement with stronger winds out of the southwest this afternoon. A Red Flag Warning for high fire danger will go into effect in the foothills and western portions of the mountains from 11AM this morning through 8PM tonight, in Plumas and Lassen Counties from 1PM through 8PM today, and in Siskiyou and Modoc Counties from noon through 9PM today. Low humidity, dry fuels, and gusty winds out of the southwest will be the biggest factors in increasing fire danger. Winds could gust up to around 40mph out of the southwest in some of these areas this afternoon and evening.
Some thin clouds are brushing across our region early today as low pressure approaces the West Coast from the Eastern Pacific, but the big concern continues to be very poor air quality, with smoke blanketing our region today. Temperatures are starting out in the 50's to 60's in the valley, in the 60's in the foothills, and in the 30's to 50's in higher elevations. Winds at the surface are mostly light and out of the northeast this morning, but will pick up out of the south or southwest this afternoon. Valley winds will be up to around 10 to 15mph out of the south, while foothill and mountain areas will have sustained winds to around 15mph, and gusts up to as strong as 40mph. Humidity will dip into the 16 to 32 percent range this afternoon. The very dry and windy conditions are resulting in high fire danger today. High temperatures are projected to top out in the mid 80's to low 90's in the valley, and in the upper 70's to mid 80's in most mountain and foothill locations this afternoon.
Temperatures will not change much through Wednesday, and breezy winds out of the southwest can be expected over the next few afternoons. We'll then see a slight uptick in winds, and a drop in temperatures on the way for your Thursday. Valley areas will mostly dip into the lower to mid 80's for high temperatures, while most mountain and foothill areas top out in the 60's to 70's. There will be a decent chance for some showers in the Northern Mountains on Thursday afternoon, and that potential for showers will become somewhat more widespread on Friday. The further you are to the north the better the chance for showers you'll have late this week. High pressure will build back into our region this weekend, and that will result in a modest uptick in temperatures on Sunday and the potential for shower activity diminishing across our region. Make sure to use extra caution with the elevated fire danger today, and stay indoors as much as you can with air quality verging on the hazardous range.