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Storm Tracker Forecast: Gusty north winds keep fire danger high Thursday

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Be prepared for another day of gusty north winds, low humidity and high fire danger in your Thursday forecast. Low pressure off to our east will continue to result in areas of gusty north winds, and will also help to keep our temperatures slightly below average on Thursday. A Red Flag Warning for high fire danger will be in effect through 8pm Thursday in the valley and foothills, and portions of the west slopes of the Sierra will remain under a Red Flag Warning through 11am Thursday. Winds are not expected to be as strong as they were yesterday, but gusts up to 40mph are still possible in the valley and in favorable canyons in the foothills and Sierra early today. Sustained winds out of the north to 15mph are looking likely, and gusts up to around 30mph will be possible for the valley. Skies are mostly clear of clouds to start the day, but smoke has continued to blanket northern California overnight. Air quality is in the hazardous range in Trinity County Thursday morning, while the rest of our region is in the unhealthy for sensitive groups to unhealthy range early today. We'll likely continue to see air quality continue to stay more impacted in the valley today as the winds out of the north push wildfire smoke into our lower elevations. Temperatures are starting out in the 60's to 70's in the valley and foothills, while mountain areas are in the 40's to 50's early Thursday morning. Humidity will dip into the 10 to 20 percent range this afternoon, which is not as low as it was on Wednesday. High temperatures are expected to top out in the mid 90's in the valley, 80's in the foothills, and 70's to 80's in our higher elevations Thursday afternoon. Winds will start to weaken this evening, and our fire danger will not be as high by late tonight.

Low pressure tracks further to the east on Friday, and this will allow for lighter south winds and warmer temperatures in your Friday forecast. High pressure will build into northern California on Friday, but it's dominant hold will be short lived as another area of low pressure is projected to drop south into the Pacific Northwest on Saturday. This will bring a very decent looking dip in our high temperatures for the start of your weekend, and will then bring the potential for stronger north winds late this weekend through early next week. The cooler temperatures look very likely, but there is currently low confidence on the potential for another strong north wind event in your extended forecast. Valley areas will bottom out in the 50's to mid 60's through this weekend, and will have high temperatures ranging from the mid 80's to lower 90's. Foothill areas will also dip into the 60's, but will likely top out in the 70's to 80's this weekend. Mountain aresa will have low temperatures in the 40's, and high temperatures in the 70's to 80's through this weekend. Conditions are currently projected to stay dry through your extended forecast. High pressure building back into northern California next week will bring a return to around to slightly above average high temperatures to our forecast. That means mid 90's to low triple digits in the valley by the middle of next week, with 80's to 90's in the mountains and foothills.

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