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Storm Tracker Forecast: Hot & dry today, but welcome changes are ahead

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Be prepared for hot temperatures and very dry conditions across northern California Friday. The positive news is that winds are not expected to be as strong today, and will shift from north winds to south winds as we head into this afternoon. The lighter winds are a positive change for our fire danger forecast today, but we'll still have moderate to high fire danger due to the dry and hot conditions. High pressure is building into northern California from the Eastern Pacific and that will result in well above average temperatures and sunny to mostly sunny skies today. Skies are mostly clear to start the day, and are expected to stay that way through this evening. Smoke from the Fawn Fire is sinking into the valley from Shasta County early today, but a shift to south winds should help to push most of the smoke to the north into Siskiyou County and Oregon later today. Air quality is much more impacted early Friday, with many valley areas showing air quality in the unhealthy range to start the day. Winds are out of the north east this morning, but most of us will see a shift to south or southwest winds this afternoon. Temperatures are starting out in the 60's to 70's in the valley and foothills, whlie our mountain areas are starting out in the 30's to 40's this morning. High temperatures are projected to end up in the mid 90's to around 100 degrees in the valley, 80's in the foothills, 70's to 80's in the Sierra, and 80's to mid 90's in the Northern Mountains Friday afternoon.

High pressure will break down and flatten through this weekend as areas of low pressure track into the Pacific Northwest. This will bring a decent cooling trend to our region, and will keep our winds mostly out of the south or southwest. Valley areas will have high temperatures in the low to mid 90's on Saturday, and then mid 80's on Sunday. Foothill areas will have temperatures in the 70's to mid 80's on Saturday, and then 60's to upper 70's on Sunday. Mountain areas are projected to top out in the 70's to lower 80's through this weekend. We'll stay dry through the weekend, with mostly sunny skies both Saturday and Sunday. Winds will pick up out of the southwest in the Sierra late in the day on Sunday, and gusts up to around 30mph out of the southwest will be possible Sunday evening.

Temperatures will continue to cool through the start of next week, and the potential for showers will move into our coastal areas on Monday. More widespread showers will be possible Monday night into Tuesday. Models have been inconsistant on rainfall totals, but some wet weather and much cooler temperatures do look very likely for the early to mid week period next week. Valley areas are projected to dip into the upper 70's to lower 80's on Monday, and then into the mid 70's on Tuesday. Mountain and foothill areas can expect temperatures in the 60's to 70's on Monday, and into the 60's on Tuesday. The latest models have temperatures warming back into the 80's in the valley and 60's to 70's in the foothills and mountains for the middle of next week.

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