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Storm Tracker Forecast: Strong winds drive high fire danger Wednesday

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Be prepared for stronger winds and very dry conditions driving high fire danger across northern California on Wednesday. We'll also have high temperatures ending up much cooler than earlier this week Wednesday afternoon. Low pressure tracking east to our northeast is the main factor driving our forecast today, and is what's responsible for this big uptick in our wind speeds. A Red Flag Warning for high fire danger is set to stay in effect through 8pm Wednesday night in the valley, foothills, portions of the Sierra, and Trinity County due to the strong north winds and low humidity over dry fuels. Humidity is projected to dip into the single digits to teens this afternoon. Winds will be out of the northeast from 15 to 30mph, with gusts up to around 40mph today. A Wind Advisory has been issued for the valley from 8am through 5pm Wednesday due to the gusty northeast winds. Air quality is very impacted early today, with very unhealthy air quality being observed by sensors across the valley, foothills, and our mountain areas to start the day. North winds will cause the impacts from wildfire smoke to become more widespread to the south through Wednesday. Temperatures are starting out in the 60's to 70's in the valley, 60's in the foothills, and 40's to 50's in our higher elevations early Wednesday morning. High temperatures are projected to end up in the upper 80's to mid 90's in the valley, upper 70's to upper 80's in the foothills, and lower 70's to mid 80's in our mountain areas Wednesday afternoon.

The low pressure to our northeast that's bringing the strong winds Wednesday will track further to the east on Thursday, and that will help our winds to become lighter. North winds are still expected on Thursday, but only up to around 15mph. Temperatures will be a couple of degrees warmer than Wednesday on Thursday, and around the same as Thursday on Friday. Winds will shift to become out of the south again on Friday, and that should help to decrease air quality impacts to the valley, but our higher elevations will continue to have very unhealthy air quality.

Low pressure tracking through the Pacific Northwest will bring additional cooling into your weekend forecast, with the peak of the cooling expected on Saturday.Low temperatures in the valley and foothills will dip into the lower 60's overnight. High temperatures will only top out in the mid to high 80's in the valley on Saturday afternoon, and then in the 80's to lower 90's in the valley on Sunday. Mountain and foothill areas will have high temperatures in the 70's to 80's through this weekend. High pressure will build back into northern California next week, and we'll have a warming trend on the way through the middle of next week's forecast.

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